Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where's Aretha when you need her?

Since living alone, my father seems to have turned into a voracious reader in comparison to what he used to be, someone who subscribed to National Review on the principle of the thing. I guess he read them, I dunno. I gave him a history book once for Christmas which, after effusively thanking me, my father decided would achieve its greatest potential on the second shelf down from the ceiling, third book from the right on the bookcases, between the John Locke and Thomas Paine he ordered, again, on the principle of the thing. And they have decorative covers.
I have gathered that the genre he favors these days ranges from the self-help type to the self-affirmation niche to the life coaching strategies and so on. Meaning he eats mashed potatoes for breakfast, baked potato for lunch, and scalloped potatoes for dinner and calls it a balanced diet. I was happy about his self-improvement kick, seeing as how we haven't been on chummy terms for a while, and I thought it could only bring about good things. Then last night my brother Dylan and I took him out for a Father's Day dinner where Dad informed me that he was getting me a book, a statement which has the same effect on me as filling my bathtub with buttercream icing and handing me a swirly straw. Ooooh, I want to know, what kind book?
The kind of book, it turns out, that he wants Edmund and me to read together for the good of our relationship, teaching us what different creatures men and women are, how differently created.
Go on...
And how they want different things that neither one can give the other without reading this book first, things that are essential to a happy, successful relationship.
Such as...?
You see, Alyse, men want Respect. Women want Love. This is how they are programmed. Men try to give women Respect, but women just want to be loved! And women want to give their men Love, when all those men want is Respect!
To which I respond as kindly and patiently as possible that I believe that women want respect as well as love, and my father ACTUALLY DISAGREED with me. I didn't even get to the part about men.
No they don't, you just think they do. You'll understand when you read the book.

Ah, yes. When I read the book. I can't wait to get my hands on that page-turner..except for the nagging fear in the back of my head that by the time I get halfway through I won't remember how to read anymore and the pages will prove unwieldy without opposable thumbs.
And I wonder at what point it is okay to stop trying to have a good relationship with my father.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I think that will be a good one for the bookcase you keep in the backyard; you know, the one that has the gas tank underneath and thin metal wires across the top. :) -steph