Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Dating Game

My father is trying to date.

I'm not quite sure what I think about that.

Mom and I, as well as my sister and mom's two best friends, all talked about this while mom was still alive. She wanted to make sure we knew that she was ok with dad dating, and getting remarried. My sister and I both figured he'd be remarried within 6 months of mom being gone, simply because he is NOT cut out to be on his own. He's still bitching about having to take care of the lawn and garden, as well as take care of himself, pay the bills, and not having any social life.

He quit his job that he's had for years and years because he got tired of the way the company was run - didn't give his two weeks, just 10 minutes. He already had a job lined up at Wal-Mart. He's been there about 7 weeks - he started there the same day I started my job. Today he calls me and tells me he's looking at maybe quitting there and getting a part time job elsewhere. Why? Because he "doesn't have time to do anything." He doesn't get to have a "social life" because he doesn't always have Wednesdays off to go bowling, or Fridays/Saturdays for bingo, and can't always go to church on Sunday because sometimes he has to work in the mornings. But the Dept Manager ALWAYS has Sat/Sun off. I told him "welcome to being a grunt in retail. Your schedule is never set, you work when they want you to." He doesn't get it, he really doesn't. It doesn't matter where he goes, he will be a grunt who doesn't really get much say in when they schedule him to work. He's too used to a M-F, 8-5 job like he's had for 15 years. He actually told me that if all else fails, he could go back to his old job because they'd take him in a heartbeat. With 10 minutes notice? I doubt it. Dad thinks he's just indispensable and everyone will do anything he wants.

I never figured my father for a stupid man, but damn...he has no idea how the real world works, I guess. Things aren't like they were in the "old days". You don't work for a company for life and get a gold watch when you retire - you get a cake, a clap on the back, severance pay. This company was damn good to dad while mom was so sick - they paid his insurance so he wouldn't lose it, even while he wasn't working. He took months off at a time to spend with mom while she was going up and down, and we'd think the end was near, and then she'd recover. How does he repay that? Gives them 10 minutes notice. I know that loyalty to a company isn't exactly a thing of the present, but still...

Anyways, back to the dating. I'm more or less okay with it, but it's still weird. Especially when he asks me for dating advice. You see, dad doesn't seem to realize that I never really dated. John (a guy I met in college) and I moved in together when I left school the first time. My ex-husband and I moved in together shortly after getting together. My ex-fiance and I lived together for about 20 of the 22 months we were together. DH and I have lived together since the day we met 6 1/2 years ago. No dating there, see? I have no idea. Not to mention I'm a girl and we do things differently AND I'm 30 years younger than dad. The girl he was dating? I use the term girl for a reason - she's 45, which is only 3 years older than my sister. I also say "was" because she hasn't contacted dad in a week. He keeps saying he's leaving it in her court, but then he sends her text messages. He doesn't know how NOT to be in control, even when he wants to be. They went on two dates...and he brought her a dozen roses on each. I'd have run screaming, if I were her. While romantic, it's WAY too strong. But I can't explain that to him, because that's what they did when he was dating, before he married mom. I don't seem to be able to get it through to him that it's different now; that even the definition of dating is different.

So yeah, mostly okay with it but frustrated. I have no advice to give, because he won't listen even when I DO give it. The idea of my FATHER dating is a little weird, even though I know mom was okay with it. Knowing that, and still having to deal with it...a little weird. At least I'm not alone - my best friends' parents got a divorce and her mom is trying to date again. So I have someone to talk to, at least, about how weird it is. Probably a little weirder for her, since her father is still alive...I at least only have one parent to deal with.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Wow...yeah. Lot to deal with. Hopefully he'll find someone soonish and then it'll be over?


As for the working stuff, it's odd to find your parents clueless in anything, I think. As we get a little older there are some things that just make me shake my head at our parents....I think...reallllly??????

I hope things sort themselves out for your dad (and therefore you) soon.