I gave up on my Dad calling without an agenda long ago. Yet I’m seriously considering doing what could cause a rift between us. Again I give him the benefit of the doubt, and get disappointed every time. I’m giving it one last chance, and he can either run with the ball or fumble. It’s up to him.
Give me a break, I thought. How can this person expect anything from me when they have disappointed practically everyone who ever trusted them? I mean, that old trope that says forgive and forget can only be pushed so far, at the best of times. At my worst, I’ve been known to ignore someone who’s annoying me for months at a time.
But…there’s always a but inserted in any conversation with one’s conscience. It’s an annoyance, but at least I don’t have Jiminy Cricket following me around. Having a real cricket chirping on the sunporch till all hours is bad enough. I don’t think I could take orders or advice from an insect. What’s the best they could offer (if insects could communicate, but after all, I’m taking this example from a fairy tale for children). How not to be stepped upon or eaten by a chicken pop into my mind first. What a concept!
Unfortunately, it has literally no application to my life. I’m made of flesh and bone not wood…and this ludicrous comparison has gone on for far too long already. Going back to my main theme, I had a decision to make. Would I put someone else’s clear and present need before my own petty craving for revenge? After all, it had been so many years since I had let him close enough to hurt me. Maybe I should swallow my pride and put my past behind me. Holding on to resentment does nothing to the one who did the original damage. The only one I’m really hurting by grudge holding is myself.
I make a promise to help, wondering if this would lead to more begging, and even though I had made the offer in the first place, I began to doubt that it was a good idea. Oh well, a promise is a promise. I’m a firm believer in keeping your word. Whatever damage it might possibly do to my future self, the possibility of taking my words back made me cringe.
Trust me, this guy had no idea how I felt about him, and I intended to keep it that way. He wasn’t the only one involved. People I loved were in harm’s way. That ought to keep my fantasies of pulling the rug out from under him in check. For now, anyway.
When it comes down to brass tacks, all you have is your reputation, and I didn’t want my family to think of me as untrustworthy. That was the tipping point to my personal pendulum. So what if he thought I was an easy touch? It was going to be a one-time offer. Remembering what happened to Pandora after she opened that tempting box, I naturally had plenty of misgivings, but what the hell. Family should come first, right?
He reminds me of my dog. No matter how many treats you give, he’s always right by your side whenever food is in sight. He doesn’t care how silly it looks to us, turning his head from one of us to the other, as if he were watching a tennis match. The mere memory of previous table scraps is enough to keep him glued to dinner like some fans are glued to the super bowl. The only bowl this dog cares about has food in it, he could care less what kind. Just so the two stomachs I’m positive he was born with are satisfied.
That’s how my father has always been with money. Once is never enough…the possibilities sent my mind reeling. But like I said, I mean to keep my word, come hell or high water. Ironically enough, high winds and high water were involved in this predicament. The area they live in was just damaged severely by a hurricane they had a hard time finding shelter from. Unfortunately, their only home, an old RV, was right in the path of a category 4 storm. The damages were severe.
This time the help was badly needed, and yet I hated to set a precedence of his asking me to help whenever he wanted something beyond his means. Having already opened my enormously compassionate and naïve mouth, the damage was done. Only time would tell if the past would repeat itself. I have no intention of being his human ATM.
It’s amazing that my size 11-foot fits into my mouth, but it has a nasty habit of getting itself wedged in there on a regular basis. How it manages to not make me gag from the smell alone is beyond me. Here I am in familiar territory. Sigh…I’m too nice for my own good.
How many times does my heart have to be broken before I learn my lesson? I guess I skipped the class where they teach how to stand up to bullies. I let them run roughshod over me, then wonder why my soul ends up bruised and bleeding. If I could just learn how to be more assertive. I wonder if maybe there is an actual class in my college catalog that would help. I end up searching in vain, but then a thought pops into my brain; like a firework streaking across the sky, it lights up my head. Neurons firing like cannons, I wonder why I never thought of it before.
The next time I feel like giving in to an unreasonable or inconvenient request, I’ll just hand the phone to my husband. He knows how to say no and leave it at that, no matter what. Its cowardly, sure but I use what works. Honey won’t mind if his words hurt my dad’s feelings, since they never liked each other much to begin with.
What a perfect plan! If my Dad gets and at anybody, they’ll be pissed at each other, not me. This might backfire on me eventually if either of them figures out what I’m up to. Guess I’ll cross that tightrope over a volvano when I get there. That is, if I don’t punk out and just the cell go to voicemail. Then again, knowing their tempers as I do, they might have a huge fight and never want to speak again.
Am I a bad person for hoping for the worst? Sure, we all do it, but when the plan is this detailed…I’m in hot water now. Yeah, Dad, the check’s in the mail.