I was at my dad's last week, right before I got sick. We were having a leisurely evening, sitting in easy chairs on his wrap-around deck, getting some fresh air, listening to the crickets. I don't totally remember now how the conversation went, but I know he managed to give me grief about two out of three of my least favorite topics to discuss with him.

The first was my weight. He said something about when was I going to get my weight "under control" and I said it is under control. "Bullshit! When are you going to do something about it?" I said I'm not, and he demanded to know why. I said "I don't care enough about it to do anything."
"You don't care about your health?" Now, I find that absolutely hilarious coming from someone who drinks every night, smokes, spray paints cars without a mask, dips his hands in paint thinner, and thinks guns and whiskey are a great combination.
"I'm perfectly healthy," I told him.
"Oh really? Could you run two miles?"
I just looked at him, trying to figure out the best response--I was leaning towards I couldn't, but plenty of skinny people couldn't either.
"Well, could you?" he demanded again.
"Could you?" Okay, no the best response.
"I'm 50 years old and I drink like a sailor and breathe toxic chemicals! But I could if I had to. I wouldn't like it, but sometimes in life you have to do things you don't like."

Which was his excellent segue into giving me grief about my career/schooling. He started in about how I need to pick something and stick with it, blah blah blah; when I said I didn't know what I'd be good at he told me that's a 12 year old's answer. Then he said, "I thought you were going to be a dietetic technician, or did you give up on that too!"

That right there tells me that my aunt's got a big mouth. Because I have in fact "given up" on that whole misguided adventure, but wasn't planning on telling my dad that yet. I told my aunt, though, but asked her not to tell my dad and explained why. But I'm sure she did. I didn't admit it, though. I just wasn't up for it. Instead I just sighed and said "Do we really have to talk about this now?"

"No, let's put it off another ten years!" and he stormed off to go flip the burgers on the grill. Luckily he let it drop then, and instead we talked about his dog with the broken leg. And then I pissed him off again by calling my cousin's fiance an idiot because he told my dad something totally incorrect. But he's a pharmacist, so naturally he's infallible.

I'm just so tired of having these conversations with my father. I know he's just worried about me; but I wish he'd just let go of those two topics. I'm sick of him making me feel like I'm disappointing him because I'm fat--oh wait, I mean unhealthy.

6 Responses
  1. Simon Says:

    That sounds like hard work. Is there no way you could sit him down, tell him to keep his mouth shut for a few minutes, and just listen to you? Maybe he'd understand how he makes you feel and try and change his ways - or at least try and be more supportive of you. As you have said in the past, he only worries about you, but surely he could be made to see that his attitude isn't helping you at all, despite the best intentions behind it?

  2. purplegirl Says:

    Nah, I've tried that approach before. I don't think I've ever successfully changed his mind about anything in my life. I've tried to tell him he makes me feel like I'm letting him down by being fat, but he immediately says that's not it, he just wants me to be happy, and he thinks my blubber is stopping me from being happy. He doesn't believe that I am happy. It's quite frustrating.

  3. Simon Says:

    That sounds like a right pickle!
    I tried to write some advice like 7 times but kept erasing my sentence - which means I honestly have no idea what you should do! Aren't I crap?

  4. purplegirl Says:

    SUCH crap, Simon. ;)

  5. Cady's dad is the same way. There's nothing to do about it either. Finally, I spoke to him myself and made the point that when he was an alcoholic there was nothing anyone could say to make him stop drinking, but then you're equating alcoholism with obesity and that's not fair (unless, of course, you have an addiction to food).

    And by the way, if you had to run two miles, you could. In what circumstances would you *have* to run, as your dad put it. A tiger after you? You'd do it. Or at least you'd climb a damned tree.

    Never underestimate the power of hypocrisy.

  6. purplegirl Says:

    I almost asked him what circumstances he was talking about, but he wouldn't have found it amusing. :)