RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘Dad’

  1. Gypsy curse for sale

    December 7, 2010 by superlative

    Would anyone like to buy my parents’ gypsy curse? Because it’s going cheap, and it’s seriously getting out of hand now. Perhaps you could give it to an enemy as a Christmas present; I’m sure you’d be pleased with the results.

    Mum and Dad have recently had their roof done, which needed doing badly because it had never been changed since the house was built in the 1930s and it was starting to leak. So of course the gypsy curse was all over that straight away, making it take twice as long as it should have done, and ensuring that the front garden, back garden, guttering, water tank, and some other pipes were all destroyed in the process. Like, totally destroyed. They’ve finally FINALLY finished it (I’ve had Mum on the phone banging on about it most days for two weeks), so I was at least able to start saying comforting things like “well it’s all done now, and you’ve got a few weeks left to rest before Christmas to try to get over the stress and the tiredness, and it did need doing, so just put the stress behind you now and be glad it’s done.”

    WRONG. The gypsy curse decided to kick my parents square in the bollocks (yes my Mum has them too) the day after they’d paid the ¬£6,000 for the roof¬†from their savings by sending my Dad’s company into compulsory liquidation. So he’s out of a job and has been made redundant for the fifth time in his life, leaving them with no income apart from my Mum’s benefits and Dad thinking he’ll probably never find another job now that he’s 62 because no one will want to hire him.

    I really don’t know why they’re so unfortunate, but it’s just ridiculous. FORTUNATELY, their mortgage is paid off because my Grandad paid it when Mum got ill and had to give up work. And they do have more savings in the bank. So it could actually be worse, as I have tried to remind Mum, because they’re not going to be out on the streets and I’m sure at some point my Dad will find SOME sort of job, even if he has to stack shelves or sweep roads or whatever. To his credit, within about two hours of getting home from his liquidated job he’d already made an appointment at the job centre for his initial interview thingy, so at least he’s trying to get on with things (while Mum freaks out in the background of course).

    Naturally my Mum’s first reaction is only to consider how this affects her, with scant thought for what my Dad must be feeling. Apparently he was ‘inconsiderate’ by walking back into the house at 10am and just saying “Redundant” at her, rather than breaking it to her gently. And she “can’t cope with having him in the house all day; she needs peace and quiet to rest”. So poor Dad gets shit off her straight away for not being tactful when he was probably still reeling from being laid off completely unexpectedly, and he gets pressurised to go out of the house all day even though he’s got no where to go so she can rest. Nice. I do feel sorry for him, I really do. He’s a lovely, clumsy, warm man who always means well but just gets some things wrong, and I don’t know how he puts up with her.

    So yeah, my parents’ life remains pretty crappy. The only thing I can imagine making this worse is if my Mum’s Dad dies this winter, which is a distinct possibility as he’s very old and frail now. That would send Mum fully over the edge, and I could entirely imagine her topping herself as a result. And to be brutal, really really horrifically brutal, a tiny bit of me would be relieved for it to be all over because supporting her has become harder and harder and harder and there’s never any respite, never a moment when she says ‘yes I feel a little bit better today actually’ or ‘oh things are fine here at the moment, I can’t complain’ and her downward trend just goes on and on and on. It’s horrible, and I’m out of energy.


  2. Contrary to most evidence, I do indeed have a father as well

    June 23, 2009 by superlative

    I spend quite a lot of time (too much, in fact) writing about my insane mother on here, and I’ve realised today that I don’t really mention my Dad much. And when I do mention him, it’s usually in relation to her and the running around after her that he has to do.

    But today is my Dad’s birthday, his 61st in fact, and so I’m going to write a little something about him.

    I like my Dad, but in some ways we aren’t that close. I suppose that’s why I don’t write about him often. We rarely speak on the phone, and when we do it can be a little stilted, but I think that’s probably the same for lots of people. You just speak to your Mum instead and get any news about your Dad second hand.

    Growing up I felt that I didn’t have a lot in common with him, as we scarcely share any interests and are quite different people. It was connected in part to me being gay and him not knowing about it, as I felt that meant he didn’t really know me very well. I’ve actually felt much closer to him ever since I came out to him about eleven years ago. I didn’t think he would take it all that well as he’s from a traditional east end kind of background, but after an initial period of getting used to the idea he has always been really supportive. I genuinely feel that he’s proud of me, and that he enjoys seeing me, even though we aren’t hugely close.

    He’s a quiet man, occasionally a bit clumsy both in his words and his actions, but he always means well and he’s very kind. He possibly wouldn’t be so quiet or so clumsy if he weren’t so browbeaten by my mother. He must also be very very patient to live with her and to put up with her crap. I often find myself telling her off for being utterly unreasonable to him, but he’ll rarely say anything back to her himself. Although saying that, his temper will get the better of him sometimes: when I was younger I saw him both put his fist through a wooden door, and drive a breadknife through a frozen (yes FROZEN) turkey, through the plate underneath it, and into the worksurface when Mum pushed him too far. He’s quite terrifyingly strong beneath his placid nature. Maybe Mum should take note…

    He’s also very hardworking: he works full-time as a delivery man, and then about an extra hundred hours a week looking after Mum and doing for her all the things she can no longer manage, like the shopping and housework.

    When I spoke to him on the phone on Fathers Day this weekend, he was half way round Tesco’s doing the weekly shop. Not the best time for me to speak to him, I thought, but he seemed quite eager to talk to me and keep me on the phone for a few minutes. And then I realised why: he probably didn’t want to go home in too much of a hurry. He and Mum had had a bit of a spat first thing in the morning, and he was probably glad to be out of the house for a while so they both had a bit of breathing space. How sad for him though, on Fathers Day, to be lingering on the phone to his son in the dairy aisle of Tesco’s.

    I don’t know what he’ll be doing for his birthday today. Not much, would be my guess. He’s off work, I know that much, and they had planned to go away for a couple of days to the coast. But Mum’s not sleeping well due to the humidity (there’s always something), and so they’ve cancelled it.

    “Can’t you put the fan on in your bedroom at night?” I asked.

    “It’s too loud,” she said.

    “Even with ear plugs in?” (she always wears ear plugs)

    “And also I just don’t like the feeling of the fan on me.” – Oh. Well. There’s no helping some people!

    So anyway, he’ll be having a fairly crappy birthday by the looks of it. Maybe I’ll give him a ring later, just to say hello. He’d probably quite like that, and the five minutes he’s on the phone to me will be five minutes that no-one’s going on at him.