About the Old Man

I often reminisce about my relationship with my father and about what he was doing at my current age. The year was 1964, and he had a 15-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter. He worked 55 hours a week as a carpenter, and before and after he went to his regular job he spent a few hours each day building a house for his family. He was profane, bad tempered, verbally abusive, morbidly shy, disorganized, unhygienic, intolerant, unempathetic, and thought that being a good father simply meant keeping your family out of the poorhouse and not making your children work as hard as you did when you were a kid. He also identified as a transsexual and wore women’s clothes under his striped overalls.

He fluctuated between atheism and Church of Christ fundamentalism. During the latter periods, he read his red-lettered King James Bible each night, using his finger as a pointer and mouthing the words. He rarely drank and had quit Camel Cigarettes and Beech-Nut Chewing Tobacco cold turkey when I was three. He voted faithfully and sent money to political parties but rarely talked politics.

He displayed little interest in the Civil Rights’ era, although he told the churchmen who asked him to join with them in barring the door against blacks that, “The church belongs to God, and if God doesn’t want niggers to come inside, let God keep them out.” He didn’t think that blacks were as intelligent as whites, but he held many black people in high ethical esteem. He had no close friends, although he expressed respect and fondness for certain individuals and made several poorly rewarded overtures. He expressed feelings of shock, hurt, and betrayal to his family when his affection wasn’t returned or when men he liked would be friendly for awhile and then withdraw.

He worked for Gerald Kees who owned the local Buick dealership as well as a house in town, a ranch, and considerable commercial and residential property. He addressed my father as Tom or Tom Cat, and Dad called him Gerald. Gerald was a dull and devout Southern Baptist who wore gray pants and a gray jacket, and only bought one new car that I remember. He tithed to the church and did volunteer work for the Lions while underpaying and overworking his employees. When the owner of a hardware store offered Dad kickbacks for throwing business his way, Dad reported the matter to Gerald and never shopped there again Yet, he gave me little if any ethical or religious instruction.

He adored me when I was a child, but lost interest as I aged. I was allowed to do pretty much as I pleased and was never spanked or otherwise punished. This held true even when I began failing grades—three in all—and drinking heavily. When I was twelve, I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a book that inspired me to do some foolish things. I cut myself seriously with a razor blade after talking my friends into starting a club and signing our names in blood. They then signed their names in my blood, and the incident found its way into the newspaper.

That same year, I decided to run away from home with my friend Grady, and accordingly filled my closet with items to take along—including all my underwear and a Bible. The railroad was but a block away, so we decided to hop a freight to wherever it might take us. We wouldn’t have really gone, but when my mother discovered my cache, she reported it to my father.

That night, I happened to stay out later than usual (having gone to Wednesday night Bible study with Grady), and when I finally returned home, my mother and sister were in tears and the police had been called. Mother immediately took me to my father, who was asleep. He raised up on one elbow and told me with great anger that he had given me a good home, and that, by god, if I wanted to run away, I didn’t need to sneak around because he would help me pack. I was hurt, but reflected that I didn’t see him much anyway except at supper. He was gone before I awakened each morning, and he went to his solitary room at the back of the house when he got home.

My biggest boyhood problems with my father were my embarrassment that he was a generation older than my friends’ parents; that people feared him; that he was morbidly shy and grievously lacking in social skills; and that his anger was extreme and unpredictable. He would curse loud and long without regard to where he was or who was listening. He would curse God, curse the “whore” who gave him birth, threaten suicide, call my mother a slut and blame her for trapping him into marriage and bearing him children that never should have been born, and so forth. People would look at him as if he had lost his mind, and then they would look at me as if I must be like him, or that I was to blame for his behavior (or such was my belief at the time).

I lived around him rather than with him, and this continued until I grew into my upper teens and began working with him. I can’t explain why I worked with him, other than to say that I wasn’t motivated to look for opportunities beyond those that fell into my lap, and to offer that he seldom directed his anger at me. When he was mad at me, he would say maybe a half dozen sentences about how stupid or irresponsible I was (sentiments that made sense given my behavior), and that was that. He never raved at me, and he never hit me, although I never stopped thinking that he might.

45 comments:

CreekHiker said...

Wow! Our upbringings sound so similar. My parents are a generation older than all my friends parents too. And the outbursts and rages - I carry wounds to this day and I'm certain it's why I never married. I just don't need the drama...I've lived it long enough!

Bernie said...

Oh snow it doesn't sound like you had a very healthy relationship with your dad.....perhaps he was ill snow and didn't know how to deal with everything going on around him.....I hope he is at piece now........:-) Hugs

RNSANE said...

Snowbrush, this was such an interesting read. Your father was quite a character, to say the least, but I think he must have really loved you and you stuck by him, for whatever reason! I love your writing!

Becky said...

Sounds like you inherited his 'honesty'... telling it like you see it!

babbler said...

Hello Mr. Snowbrush! I hope this comments finds you feeling better and in good spirits. I have read your experiences with your father, it was a very interesting read indeed. It seems that life, for me, was so serious in the 60's, plus I had an unusual father myself. The photo of the back of that old car brings back the residue of the intense time that was. Thanks for the interesting trip down your memory lane slug trail! You must have suffered with some uncomfortable moments at times, it sounds like your Dad might have been bipolar and they did not know how to treat it at that time even if he could have been diagnosed. I can tell that you loved your Dad even if your relationship was strained somewhat. Surely it is not your fault, and he may just have been ill and nobody knew what to do about it. You are a good man to be willing to share it with us. Have a relaxed week ahead,
Mrs. Slug :)

Crazed Mom said...

This explains quite a bit abut your feelings about religion and faith. Wow Freud would have a field day! I, myself, prefer not to make assumptions or to judge anyone.

Your childhood makes me appreciate how good mine was and how relatively 'normal' my folks were.

Does he ever show up in your dreams?

Snowbrush said...

Your questions...

First, I wondered how my father would feel about the things I wrote being put online for unknown numbers of people to read. I don't have any clear sense about this. I can see how he might get upset about some things, but I can also picture him being okay with others. He lived much of his life with profound aspects of whom he was being stifled (in the closet, as it were), so my best guess is that he would think it high time that they, at least were shared. I'm quite sure that he would have wanted to have been completely open in many ways that he couldn't bring himself to be in rural Mississippi.

Yes, of course my father was mentally ill! I was aware of it even as a small child when I told myself again and again that there was "something wrong with him." I was quite ashamed of how he behaved and quite troubled by the way people looked at him. If he had been able to be open about his transsexual identity (at least within a circle of supportive friends), he might have been able to find happiness. As it was, he thought he was the only person in the world who was like that until the 1960s when he read a Life Magazine article about a man who became a woman. Even as an old man, he told me that, could he afford it, he would still have the operation.

Yes, I dream of him often, or at least I have invariably pleasant dreams in which he appears as a quiet and benevolent, yet needy, figure in the background. That is how he passed his last two years here in this house. During that time, he was my shadow, going almost everywhere I went just to have something to do. By contrast, I had heart-rending dreams of my mother for a year and a half after she died in 1988. Since then, I'm unaware that I've dreamed about her at all. When she left, she really left. My father is still very much here though. (I don't mean as a ghost but in my awareness.)

The "old car" is a 63 Impala, and the truck in the background a 73 Datsun.

Yes, I did love my father (and he me) although our relationship was indeed strained (for both of us) right up until he died, in this house in 1994 with Peggy and me by his side. He loved Peggy like a daughter, and praised her to everyone he met, sometimes saying that she treated him far better than his real daughter had, which was absolutely true. She and I were the only people I ever knew who could tell where his many anger buttons were and, for the most part, avoid stepping on them. Even my mother never seemed to have a clue.

Creekhiker, as far as never marrying because you grew up with such a person, perhaps the rageaholic in your family was also male. I say this because I always knew that I would marry. I'm unaware that I still carry any wounds that were inflicted by my father during my childhood, at least not in the sense of being tormented by my memories. I now think of him lovingly; I feel no anger, and I have no regrets

Crazed Mom, I have no idea what you think this explains about my religion and faith (or the lack thereof). Maybe you could elaborate. My father's father was a Church of Christ preacher, as had been his father before him. In his last years, my father got religion bigtime, but no church welcomed his attendance for long because as soon as he could figure out where their sin was, he would start standing up during services and telling them about it and demanding that they repent.

The Blog Fodder said...

Thank you for sharing about your father. Someday I may write about mine, just to clear it out of my system.

Are there any normal people and normal relationships in this world? Sometimes I wonder.

I have always envied fathers and sons who had a good relationship all their lives. I knew a few. But not many.

rhymeswithplague said...

Great read, Snow, including the comments. My father was neither bipolar nor transvestite (as far as I know), but every time I think about him (he died in 1967) I find that my teeth are clenched and my jaws have tightened. I am working on trying to relate to him as a normal man who had flaws and a history of his own, but it is an uphill struggle (I never said I was perfect). He was the youngest of five boys and had very strict parents, so I can just imagine how his older siblings may have treated him, and that tempers my feelings at times. Oh, and perhaps most importantly, he wasn't my biological father, which I learned when I was twelve. I never knew the original sperm donor, although I have a small photo of him that my mother kept and I know his name. He died in 1977, according to the SSDI (Social Security Death Index). Perhaps I should investigate to see whether I have half-brothers or half-sisters or half-nieces or half-nephews out there somewhere, but I cannot bring myself to do it. Even though it would provide medical information for my own children and grandchildren, I somehow think of it as betraying my mother. Plus if she wasn't good enough for him, he and his other progeny, if any, are not good enough for me. Doesn't sound very Christian, does it?

I have decided that I am more screwed up than you. Belief or non-belief has nothing to do with it. I must learn to try to forgive a little better.

I don't know why reading what you write makes me want to be more transparent, but it does.

Thanks. I think.

Reya Mellicker said...

This is such a beautiful post!

Hey to whichever one of you is waiting for a bone scan, please know that chronic regional pain syndrome can be very successfully treated with acupuncture. If you're in Oregon, you are surrounded by really talented doctors of Chinese medicine. I'm not saying you shouldn't pursue this via western medicine, but for chronic conditions, acupuncture can be great.

Hope you are soon on the mend!!

Realliveman said...

Thanks for sharing Snowbrush. Kids today have it so easy compare to what we had growing up.

My father had his low points too, but he was always there when I needed him and he made me work for what I wanted instead of asking for it. In the end, it was successful.

Marion said...

Snow, this was a fascinating read. It helps me understand you better to read about your Dad. Here in the dysfunctional South, I'd say you had a fairly normal dad, all things considered---he wasn't a drunk and didn't beat the hell out of you!

I had no father as mine died when I was 6, but my uncle who raised me from age 6 to 12 was a good role model. He was an honest, loving, gentle carpenter & fisherman and took extra interest in skinny minnie me. (He's the one who nicknamed me and I'm still called Minnie by my Mom, nieces and nephews). My husband had many of the same issues with his dad as you did yours. Memory is a funny thing. I acquired a step-monster at the age of 13 who was a child molester. (I'm sure he thought he'd hit the jackpot when he married my dirt poor mother who had 3 teenage daughters). Turns out he 'only' molested one of my sisters before Mama left him. As Faulkner said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." I'm all over the place on this post. LOL! I had to laugh at the person who commented, "Are there any normal people in this world?" I always say to that: "Normal is a city in Oklahoma." LOL! I hope you're feeling better, my friend. Love & Blessings!!

Crazed Mom said...

Sounds like your dad left many people feeling uncomfortable. What I meant is that I see many negative images in the way your father lived his life. Contradictions such as pointing out others' sins and then preaching loudly before putting his own spiritual house in order.

In your post I see mixed messages from religion and I was observing that they may have imprinted upon you as a child.

By the way, Mariners play baseball.

Snowbrush said...

Blog Fodder, I look forward to the day you write about your father.

Rhymes, I'm so touched by what you wrote. As for being open about your life, you can see that I receive a lot of positive support for it. The only time anyone flies off the wall over something I post is when I write about politics or religion (I delete out-and-out raves so you never see them), and they are rare. I guess the people who regularly read my blog know me well enough to at least tolerate my opinions, and I apparently get few other visitors.

Realiveman, I don't know that kids today do have it easier, so I'm wondering just what you're referring to. I would actually prefer to have been born when I was. I just wish I had had parents who believed in me and encouraged me to believe in myself.

Marion, yes, of course, Normal is in Oklahoma. Does that means you and I have to move? I'll help you dig your tornado shelter if you'll help me dig mine.

Crazed Mom, thanks for setting me straight about the Mariners. I wasn't trying to be funny--I really thought they played football. That's how ignorant of sports I am. I have a lot of caps that I wear. I pick them up on the side of the street or at Goodwill, and some of them have team logos on them, so people will ask me how such and such is doing. Of course, I don't even know what it is that such and such does.

I don't want to burden you with homework here, but if you should hear me contradict myself about religion, please point it out.

kylie said...

i have to say, snow that it sounds like the average kind of screwed up situation. thats not to minimise any distress on your part but just to say that apart from the transexual part it doesnt sound much different to heaps of families.
i think it's fascinating that your mum didnt know his anger buttons cos i know my hubby's better than the kids do
i like the statement that you lived around him rather than with him, i couldnt have put it so nicely but i recognise the description.

xox

Kerry said...

Holy shit. What a resilient little buckaroo you were. I really like the bottom photo of you two, all grimy after a hard day's work?

dana said...

I am rarely at a loss for words. As I was reading of your relationship with your father I kept thinking: "we (you and I) never stood a chance". Is that called "projecting"? Then I realized that both of us grew up just "doing what we had to do to get by". And that's a fair statement for the life I've lived for 60 years. When I read of people I went through school with, and how successful they turned out to be by today's standards, I can't help but know that they had parents helping them: giving them a leg up or just supplying their emotional needs.... That leaves the rest of us. "just doing what we had to do to get by".

Diana said...

I love the fact that I'm not the only one who had a fucked up father.
When my first husband called me a whore, I socked him so hard that he fell down a flight of stairs.
He never messed with me again.
Love You, Di ♥

Diana said...

Well it doesn't take genius to be a parent. My father was a violent alcoholic. But here we are because of them! Weather or not that's a good thing,who knows.
Love Di ♥

All Consuming said...

Brilliant post, you write so very well! You've turned out more than just pretty well considering all that Snow.

A really touching piece, and how good it is to read the following..."I now think of him lovingly; I feel no anger, and I have no regrets."

Michelle xxx

Mariana Soffer said...

Interesting post, brings to mind lots of things. First that all families and specially parents tend to have complicate relationships with their sons, but it is true that there are better and worth ones, it is not all the same. It also brings to mind that every person has its greatness and its misseries, and they both inhabit and are the same human we address.
Well I could go on, but I enjoyed reading your story a lot, and just wanted to contribute with a few reflections of myself.

nollyposh said...

Dear Snowbrush, i suspect that this post would not have been easy to write, although you are an expert at reaching into the 'guts' of things , i greatly appreciate (yet again) your Honesty and Love... i can see that you have accepted your father with all his flaws and Love him with a greater empathy (as apposed to sympathy) than would most given the same circumstances and i am sure this ability is just one of the reasons the dear Peggy (and we here in bloggy worlde) Love you so X:-)

nollyposh said...

(Ps) My Grandmother (on my fathers side) had undiagnosed mental illness too and my family was ripped apart by the horrible things she did... It took me a looog time to understand enough to forgive her... So i can understand (through my own experience) that you have a great strength and have had all your life so it seems to me x

Snowbrush said...

Babbler, I found another photo of Dad and me that has an old car in it, so you might enjoy checking back.

Kylie said: "apart from the transexual part it doesnt sound much different to heaps of families."

Well, some had it worse, and many had it better. I often look back and wonder what the hell my parents were thinking that led them to raise me as they did. While Peggy had too much direction from her parents, I had almost none from mine. I concluded from this that they didn't believe in me, so I ran wild.

Kerry said: "I really like the bottom photo of you two, all grimy after a hard day's work?"

We had just gone home to pick up something. The dirt was from tearing down a very old plaster and lathe ceiling. We were remodelers, so filth was a frequent part of life.

Dana said: we (you and I) never stood a chance".

I often wonder, Dana, how my life would have been different if I had grown up in better circumstances. I'm not bitter about the past, but I am sad about it. I'm sad for me and sad for my parents and little sister too. I could have shared worse things than I did, but I recorded what came to mind as I wrote and then deleted much of that in the interest of brevity.

Diana said: "When my first husband called me a whore, I socked him so hard that he fell down a flight of stairs."

So, let me get this straight. You were subsequently widowed, and then remarried? Ha. If he lived, did he learn anything from the experience? At the very least, he surely must have avoided ever again standing between you and the top of a staircase, not to mention an upper story window or a cliff edge.

All Consuming said: "A really touching piece, and how good it is to read the following..."I now think of him lovingly; I feel no anger, and I have no regrets.'"

I'm too old for anger. Maybe this sounds strange, but there's nothing more pathetic than someone who spends his or her whole life being continually bummed about their childhood. I was in co-counseling for a few years, and I listened to so many people endlessly rehash events from 50 years ago that I vowed that I wasn't going to do that. I believe that when a person is really and truly, completely and utterly, disgusted with feeling a certain way, it means that they have had enough and are ready to move on.

Mariana Soffer said: "I enjoyed reading your story a lot, and just wanted to contribute with a few reflections of myself."

Mariana, I'm so glad you did.

Nollyposh, I never post but what I think of you and wonder how you will comment. I don't know if my father could have been treated. He was so closed up within himself that I can't believe he would have ever been open to anything from the outside other than complete validation. In any event, rural Mississippi had no options for treatment other that a warehouse facility where people were locked away in near squalor and give shock treatments. After they came home--if they came home--they evermore carried the stigma of insanity.

All Consuming said...

I meant to say, but of course forgot, that the pictures are great, it makes you more 3d if you know what I mean? I may post some of myself when younger. Though on most of them I seem to be gurning like an idiot for some reason. I like the black and white one so much I may frame it. Is that odd? Then I am odd. Hahaha. You were a cute kid, cute in all of them actually. xxx

Just_because_today said...

"I lived around him rather than with him"
That is a true statement to many children. Although my mother was a good mother, her belief is that as long as a parent provides food and shelter, he or she is a good parent. We disagree greatly.

lyptis said...

Wow, what a post!

Loved reading about ur old man. U have a really cool writing style and one interesting parent, to say the least.
Like his style, he looks quite cool, tho a bit angry. But u both together look quite relaxed.

Angela said...

Thank you for finding my blog and thus making me come here! You are very honest, I thoroughly enjoy that. Don`t we all have our childhood traumas? You see, me being a German, born in 1948, after the War, I was in that generation who had to cope with Nazi fathers, whose beliefs and great (and haughty) hopes had been shattered, who had fought in the war and lost... a deeply traumatized bunch. Not only my own father, but those of my peers too, they never admitted to guilt, never apologized, never showed emotions (except self-pity), but "looked forward", worked hard, built up a new country. Maybe it would not have worked otherwise. But for us children it felt like hypocracy, and betrayal of our own emotional needs.
My father still lives, but we have no contact.
Your post really made me think - thank you!

Zuzana said...

It has been a while since I read such an honest story about a childhood. One that is light years removed from my own, yet I read it with utter fascination and interest.
Your style is very unpretentious and very clear, I truly enjoyed these recollections. What I liked the most that you described the reality so candidly, yet never ever did I feel you expressed even an ounce of blame.
I like that. I have always disliked when many find it ultimately easy to blame our childhood or our parents for those bad things we go through later in life.

Thank you for your recent visit btw, and your comment. I am very impressed with the fact that you are a pilot. Planes fascinate me, even though I am terrified of them.;)

xo

Matawheeze said...

I wonder if my daughter will ever write about me with such pain and memories? Her view of childhood is very different from what I thought I was providing and she is angry and defensive. Even those of us who love either mess it up or are interpreted as having done so. I recognize some of my own feeling about MY parents in your words... and now it is my turn to face that from my child.

Strayer said...

Womens clothes beneath the overalls. Whoa. Man, that's major stuff there. Reminds me of people I meet routinely, usually in trailer parks or under bridges. Colorful dad figure there, Snow. Cursing, storming, angry, shy, cross dressing, ethical carpenter. My church deacon ultra shy dentist isolationist ranting right wing fondling little girls dad seems boring by comparison. There are no normal people, whatever normal might be and I'm not sure.

nollyposh said...

Snow, Apparently that's exactly what my Grandmother endured on occasion when she had her 'breakdowns' & they sent her off to be 'shocked'... Probably made her worse if you ask me... Maybe truth is that society at the time just had no place for those so 'different'... Just wish that she hadn't felt to take it out on me though (and others)!

Annie said...

Hello Snow. Nice to meet you (from your Blogland comment on my post there).

What a deeply complex and pain-filled man you father was. As I read your tribute to him (I can't call it anything else) I came to the conclusion half way through that you must love him very much. Your memory of him is so detailed, so honest, but so NOT condemning. My read is that you harbor no particular anger at him but instead understand the true and most basic meaning of charity which is "to love".

Annie

Natalie said...

Hi Snow, I have been thinking of you, but you know me, always sitting on my behind and just too lazy to come and visit. Bah!
That was a beautiful piece of writing, and the feeling it gave me was absolute sadness for your dad.
How could he not be profoundly angry with what was going on for him? How tormented and lonely he must have felt.
I am so glad that you and Peggy were there for him and can think of him lovingly. ♥

kj said...

my god, snow, what a piece of writing. you capture a person's innards like few others can.

an SOB (repressed) transexual who drank and tormented his family? i hope you don't mind that i have little sympathy for your Father. i get the mental illness part, but somehow i think he could have spared you and your family at least some of the grief.

our parents matter so much. no matter what, they matter. you are brutally and lovingly honest in writing this, snow. i feel like you've shared a part of yourself that makes me feel protective and proud of you.

love
kj

Snowbrush said...

All Consuming said: "I like the black and white one so much I may frame it."

I am tickled pink, as an American saying goes. Do you English use it?

Just Because Today said: "her belief is that as long as a parent provides food and shelter, he or she is a good parent."

I suppose the sentiment is common in people who grew up during the Depression. We tend to magnify the importance of those things we ourselves lacked as children.

Lyptis said: "u both together look quite relaxed."

Yes. Aside from his anger, I liked my father, and I generally felt that he liked me, as an adult anyway.

Angela, I was delighted by what you wrote about former Nazi parents. Believe it or not, I have never even once wondered what it was like for the kids of the people who lost the war--and who had their countries devastated. I would love to hear all that you might want to share on the subject.

Zuzana said: "I am very impressed with the fact that you are a pilot. Planes fascinate me, even though I am terrified of them.;)"

Then it might surprise you to know that I'm afraid of heights. From my childhood, however, I thought that planes, guns, and women were the most beautiful things on earth (I've since revised my appraisal somewhat). Anyway, I was so enamored of airplanes that I simply couldn't completely convince myself that I could get hurt in one, and this held true right up until the day that I damn near killed myself. I still love them though.

Matawheeze said: "my daughter...is angry and defensive."

I will just offer that when a person's life isn't going well, they tend to look around for someone to blame, and parents are an easy target. I can but hope that she will get beyond doing that real soon.

Strayer said: "There are no normal people, whatever normal might be and I'm not sure."

Ha. Marion said that normal is a town in Oklahoma, so I guess we need to go there and check things out, eh, Strayer? You're still coming down sometimes, aren't you?

Nollposh said: "society at the time just had no place for those so 'different'..."

Well, here, they used to lock them up in abysmal places and practically throw away the key. Then, they decided that that was inhumane, so they let them out but provided little to no care once they were out.

Annie said: "My read is that you harbor no particular anger at him but instead understand the true and most basic meaning of charity which is "to love"."

You're right. I'm not angry at him, and I do love him. I believe he did the best he could, but if he didn't, that's okay too. After all, he still gave me a lot, and he worked awfully, awfully hard to be able to do that.

Natalie said: "How could he not be profoundly angry with what was going on for him?"

Yes. I think that's why he behaved as he did. I often saw him act with cruelty, but I accept that it came out of his misery.

KJ said: "i hope you don't mind that i have little sympathy for your Father."

I'm just puzzled. In trying to understand where you're coming from, I think of a female friend of mine who had three sisters. All were sexually abused by their father for years while their mother looked the other way. Now, the parents are dead, but I will always and forever loathe them, and could happily piss on their graves. I don't see my father as having been evil like that though. Fucked up, yes, but not evil, and that is why I don't hold anything against him.

KJ said: "i feel like you've shared a part of yourself that makes me feel protective and proud of you."

And the best part is that I'm up for adoption!!! You're where--Connecticut, Rhode Island maybe? Anyway, it's not too far from Yale or Harvard, and I would love another shot at college. I could even come home on weekends and hang-out with Emily. YAY! I can't wait. East Coast, HERE I COME! Love you, KJ.

All Consuming said...

We do say 'tickled pink' therefore you don't sound like a man pleasuring himself with a feather duster. Hahaha xx

Rita said...

Your post incited a long ranting response about my own fucked up childhood. About 3 paragraphs into it, my computer glitched & none of my comment was saved. Just as well...
I did have a point to make though.
When I was a kid, I everyone else's life had to be better then mine. When I got older I realized that some kids actually had it much worse, some had it much better, but dysfunction was pretty much the norm.

One of my favorite poems:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.


Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

rhymeswithplague said...

Hey, Snow, this post of yours generated lots of comments! If you want a little slice of Mississippi life from 1975, my current post has one (not proselytizin', just sayin').

Bernie said...

Snow I was trying to say in my previous comment is that I hope your father is at peace now. It must of been terrible feeling you are a woman in a man's body, no wonder he was unhappy and as you say mean.....probably had a lot of hormones creating many problems for him....I like to think anyone who has this problem now could be more open and not afraid of people's reactions.
Take care my friend....:-)Hugs

khelsaoe said...

Just thought I would pop over and say hi. One more week until this horrible second year of grad school is finished, and I'll have much more free time...aka...more time to go back and reread all of your last 10 posts or so! See ya soon!

C Woods said...

Snow ---That was a fascinating read. I didn't get along with my father either, but compared to yours, mine was a pussy cat. I guess we all have parent issues of one kind or another ---it's just a matter of degree. But, you seemed to have turned out well.

JOE TODD said...

Sure was a different time to be growing up. Today we have "helicopter" moms and dads. Maybe that is to compensate for previous times

Vagabonde said...

I was just reading one of your comments on Angela’s Letter from Usedom and came to look at your blog. There is much in it that I shall come back to read. I am catching up reading posts now because I have been on a trip. Actually my last, current that is, post is about visiting my friends in a commune which became a cooperative in the 80s. If you’d like to look at it, here is the link: http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/2010/05/traveling-to-farm-in-tennessee.html As soon as I am caught up reading posts I shall write a new post about our stay at The Farm, maybe tomorrow or next day. I’ll be back though.

Bubba said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Didn't really think anyone would read it. I see what you mean, definitely some similarities between our dads. Good writing.