Women’s relationships with their fathers are especially complex and fraught with possible pitfalls, anxiety, and disappointments, but can also be the source of a large amount of happiness and satisfaction. Some women get a whole slew of complexes from their fathers – maybe from trying to please ‘em, or maybe from trying to forget ‘em. Some women love their daddies something awful, but are too attached for their own good. And some women have normal, healthy father-daughter relationships. But don’t tell me that they don’t still worry most about making their fathers proud.
Today is Father’s Day, and I thought I’d tell you about my take on fathers. I don’t remember my biological father, but that may be because I don’t actually have one – I just popped into existence just as I am today. He wasn’t around, therefore, to advise me against stripping at roadhouses or drinking whiskey before 11 in the morning. He couldn’t rescue me from that cult, or propel me to college, and, perhaps, nuclear physics.
What I have now is a stepfather. Yes, he is occasionally known as Eternal Tormentor (ET). And is it any wonder why?
Exhibit A: Being held upside-down, pug feet-side up. I protest this position by deploying the Pickles Defense System: holding my breath until I make “erk erk” sounds, sticking my legs straight out like four sticks of rebar, and occasionally eking out a small, round poop. It doesn’t help.
Exhibit A.1: Please help.
Exhibit B: Being spontaneously smothered. You can see me weakly reaching for rescue, but the light is flickering out in my eyes. I can only wait. And refuse to breathe.
Exhibit B.1: All hope is lost.
All of this causes me to try for invisibility behind Mommy, who offers only slight protection, and damn it all if my trying to remain invisible doesn’t make me the more tempting target!
ET came into my life about nine months ago, when Mommy met him online. Not long after that, he moved in, along with the two Blond Puppies and the Big Brown Idiot. And yes, Mommy is much happier. So is Other Pug, since he laps up attention. Even Fluffy Mafioso and Mountain Lion are happier – they purr a lot and cuddle with ET.
Despite the daily torment, forced cuddling, and general violation of my personal space, I have to admit that ET is an acceptable stepfather. He has adopted me as his own, which shows that he feels some fondness for me, and not just glee at my discomfort. Also, shhhhh, don’t tell Mommy, but ET is a good source for yummy contraband, like jellybeans, chips, and doughnuts. That’s why I’ll still hang out near him if he’s eating. I also interpret some of the harassment as affection. Dads sometimes have funny ways of showing that they care, but if you read between the lines, you can see it. And when it’s gone, you’ll miss it.
That’s why I’m grateful for my stepdad, My Eternal Tormentor, on this Father’s Day. I look back to my life on the streets, the times when I lived off spray cheese and Meow Mix, and I am grateful for the life I have now and the happiness and comfort I’ve been given. And for the family who loves me.