Father’s Day Is Coming

Hello, hello!  Since Sunday (the 18th) is Father’s Day over here, I thought I’d tell y’all about my dad, Gary.  If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ve probably heard a lot of this before, so sorry in advance for the repetition.  Anyway, I’m not really good at the whole sappy emotional thing, so I know I don’t tell him how much I appreciate him enough.  So, I thought I’d give it a shot in writing (because I’m better at putting words on pages than I am at speaking).

12310696_10153290948051716_4911173510513371495_n
Dad and I at the MDA Christmas party in 2015.

Since Mom died in 2011, Dad has dropped everything to become my sole caregiver.  He learned to take care of me basically from scratch and my less than perfect instructions.  Yeah, he had an idea of what to do from watching Mom, but since she did everything before, he didn’t know all the ins and outs.  It’s one thing to see what has to be done with me, but another thing entirely to actually do it, to learn my limitations and how to work around them.  But he did it, and we’ve got a good routine going.

We compromised on a sleep schedule (I used to stay up until four or five in the morning and sleep all day while he was usually in bed by ten and up around six).  He always asks my opinion before doing any remodeling around the house.  I’m always in the loop about major purchases.  When it comes to things like life and the house and all that, he treats me like an adult and an equal because that’s the kind of person he is.

198
The nightstand and part of the bed he built for me.

On top of all of that, he custom built all of my furniture to hide all of my medical equipment.  Who would guess there’s a ventilator hidden in that nightstand?  It started with a desk that comes out in a point, like the corner of a table, so I can get to it more easily than a regular desk.  You can see it here.  That’s nestled between two armoires.  The one on the left has a special drawer that used to house my Xbox at a reachable height back when I could still game.  Then came the bed, because I didn’t like the looks of my hospital bed.  And finally, the nightstand to hide the vent and for storage.

054
That time he made a stack of panaffles (waffle inside a pancake) with Nutella and raspberry puree.

He’s also the best cook I know.  He makes a pastrami from scratch, smokes all kinds of things (including mac and cheese once or twice), and that’s just his bbq skills.  I’ve been spoiled by his Italian, since I’d rather he cook it than go out for it.  He also likes to experiment with new things.  Yeah, I’m definitely spoiled.

Okay, maybe I’m just bragging now, but these are just a few things I appreciate about him.  So, happy (almost) Father’s Day to my dad and all the other dads who might be reading this!  Feel free to share something about your own father figure here or on my social media pages.  I’d love to hear some of your stories.

Writing Challenge Q&A: Struggles

Hello, hello!  As you may know, last week I decided to do a writing challenged turned Q&A thing (see it here).  If you haven’t chosen a number, but are still interested in doing so, feel free!  I discussed day 29 last week.  Day 8 is up today.  And days 19, 28, 12, 15, and 26 are coming up in that order (it’s a first come, first served order).  Today’s topic is courtesy of Dallas Funk.  She chose day 8, which is “share something you struggle with.”  Her only stipulation was that it be about more than my struggle to meet my writing goals, because she wants to learn something new about me.  So, I guess I’ll write about the fact that I struggle with expressing myself.

Untitled-1 It’s kind of like that.  But don’t get me wrong, it’s mostly just a face-to-face and/or an emotional thing.  In face-to-face conversations, I mostly just feel awkward when I’m asked for my opinion or whatever, so I end up uh-ing a lot while my brain plots out a response or I just go with the old standbys “I don’t know” or “I don’t care.”  Then there’re those moments when I give a way too concise answer and people look at me like I’m supposed to say more because apparently conciseness isn’t conducive to small talk.  That’s why I like the Interwebz and texting.  I can still have a real-time talk, but I can take my time to think through an answer without feeling like I’m being put on the spot.

Awkward-Moment-8
“Uh… I don’t know?”

 

Even worse than all of that, though, is when I have to express myself emotionally.  I laugh, I smile, I cry.  That’s about it.  It’s not like I can jump up and down when I’m excited.  I can’t scream or punch things when I’m angry.  So, negative emotions come out as tears (which only manages to piss me off more because crying is weak even though I know it’s really not).  Positive emotions come out as a smile or a laugh or whatever.  And I’m not blaming this entirely on the fact that I can’t do most of the physical responses, it’s actually mostly because I’m a bottler by nature.  I push emotions deep down into the abyss of my soul where they belong.

The weirdest part is that I don’t have much trouble expressing these things in my writing.  Granted, most of my main characters tend to be fairly reserved with their emotions, but they’re better at expressing themselves than I am.  Maybe it was all of those psychology classes I took that helped.  Who knows?  But I can say that I’m trying to work on learning to express myself better, whether in day-to-day conversation or with my emotions.  The latter is proving the most difficult.  And my hermit-ness doesn’t really help with the former.

INSIDE-OUT-8-1940x1092
Maybe watching Inside Out would help.

 

What about you?  What do you struggle with?

Until next week!

P.S. I’m debating on posting a poem I wrote in undergrad one of these Fridays.  Anyone interested in that?  After all, it’s National Poetry Month.  But if no one is interested, I won’t do it.