I got a Christmas card from my dad's family and he wants me to call him. I have not spoken to him in over 5 years, and I haven't found it particularly challenging not to do so. Moreover, I can't figure out why he suddenly sends a card saying he's been trying to get in touch with me at my office to no avail. Without ever once leaving a message, apparently. I don't for a minute believe he is feeling any real sorrow over our lost "relationship" either.
I guess it's just that I don't feel like he's my father. He didn't want to take the time to call me, or pick me up for his visitation rights. He didn't teach me to ride a bike, or catch a fish, or throw a ball, or shoot a rifle, or swim. He didn't teach me to drive a car or change a tire. I know how to do all those things, but not because of him. As a small child, he was the big scary man who hit my mother and locked us in various closets and put his fist through the car window. While we were in it. Because we were going to get a happy meal and he didn't get a chance to say goodbye. He was the guy who dragged me to deer camp and illustrated the finer points of field dressing a deer for the child who cried when anyone smashed a freaking spider. (He thinks I'm a vegetarian just to piss him off. I'm a vegetarian because of that fucking skinned deer you made me look at, Old Man).
As a teenager, he was that strange guy who always told me, "I hope you ain't dating any colored boys," when he remembered to call, but who mostly seemed to forget my existence. He's the person who made me cry on my birthday because he called to tell me he had forgotten my birthday and it was my fault. The last visitation I had with him as a child, he threatened to beat me if I didn't go to sleep and when I woke up he was screwing some strange woman. Because his booty call was more important than whether or not his daughter would ever be able to think about sex at all.
The only thing he said to me when I told him I was getting married was, "Well it will have to be a small wedding. We don't have a lot of money, so don't go ordering anything too expensive." I paid for my own wedding. Which he did not attend.
On the other hand, he's an old man now. I think he's in his 70s. He's been married to my step mother for at least 20 years. He quit drinking and he quit smoking and he has had some heart problems. Maybe I should give him another chance (not that he thinks he needs another chance...he still won't admit he ever did anything wrong).
Sorry about all that. Happy Holidays?