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June 17th, 2007

Happy Person-Like-A-Father’s Day

Some people are blessed with great dads, loving fathers, or wonderful papas. To all of you, may you enjoy this special day with the most special of men in your life.

Most of us, however, aren't so lucky. Some people don't even know who their real father is, and some would rather they didn't - I'm blessed enough to fall into both of those categories. It's not that I don't love my Dad - I do; I just don't like him very much. All's fair in love and war, though, up until just recently he wasn't very fond of me either.

It's hard for me to celebrate this day in any earnest when the man who chose to call himself my Dad and (attempted) to play the role was...well, a total dick; an alcoholic one at that. He wanted to claim me as his own, but it appeared to be more a matter of pride than anything else...our relationship was more than lacking in that thing they call love. I was his, mainly because he couldn't bear the thought that I might be that other guy's, but he resented me for it the entire eighteen years we shared a home.

In the father and family name department, therefore, I've always felt set adrift in a way...not really belonging to anyone or any particular family other than my maternal one. That whole paternal thing doesn't really exist for me; it's no surprise that when I began to delve into genealogy I never even considered doing it on my paternal side.

My Dad and I have a relationship these days - if you can call it that - though it mainly revolves around him being a needy, pathetic drunk and I being the only one still desiring his love and approval enough to be a sucker for it. He's a shadow of his former self, but I suppose I felt I had to take what I could get. Sad, isn't it?

So on this day I just never feel compelled to honor Dad. For what? He supported the family, but...well that's it. Emotionally he was never there. It's not that I don't love him; I do - immensely. But there's little to say "thanks, Dad" for.

Still, I feel there is a place to direct that "you're great, Dad" appreciation; someone who's actually earned it in a few short years...Dad had a lifetime and still hasn't gotten it. That would be Harley, my Mom's boyfriend and, for all intents and purposes, the man I call my stepfather. He's been there for me, and the entire family, in ways Dad never was.

He genuinely loves and cares for each of us, my siblings and I, as if we were his own - and, best of all, he actually shows it. Imagine that. He has come through for me and Worm, and the rest of the family, in times of crisis. When Guitar Rockstar died, he was the rock that held us together...while Dad lost his freakin' marbles and made it worse. He loves my Mom, and he treats her well - he makes her feel loved and beautiful, and that - most of all - is something to thank him for.

So, on this day, rather than thank my Dad - who doesn't deserve it - I'd like to thank Harley and tell him I love him. In the short time he and Mom have been together, he's been more of a father to me, to all of us, than Dad ever knew how to be. Thank you, Harley - The Worm and I love you - Happy Father's Day.

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