I hadn’t talked to my dad in a few months because I was buried in script-mode. So I almost forgot just how crazy he is.
The point of the call was just to catch up – as I drove to a doctor’s appointment across town. But since all I’ve been doing for months is writing, I don’t have a lot to catch people up on. So I told him what I’m excited about – which is that I’m thinking about buying a house.
I asked him if he would consider co-signing a mortgage with me, since I don’t exactly have two years of stable job history. (One of the many perks of being a writer.)
I don’t even feel like trying to put down here all the crazy things he said. Like when he kept bringing up his divorce from my mother – and how we and all the lawyers keep going after him for everything he’s got. (If that were true, how did he end up on the sailboat, and we ended up with our lights cut off?)
In the midst of sobbing and trying to make sense of this craziness – I forgot I was actually on my way somewhere.
I think I’m posting this because I want to remind myself some day – in case I forget again – that I can’t keep treating him like a normal father. Because he just doesn’t want to be that for me. He refuses. He’d rather pathologically lie – claiming his credit is too poor to co-sign for me (p.s. he owns a Ferrari), claiming he was hit so hard by the recession he’s had to dip into his retirement (p.s. he “retired” a few years ago – isn’t “retirement” when you “dip into your retirement”?), he’d rather go on meaningless angry rants about how he doesn’t cheat people and walk away from mortgages the way all these other scumbags do –
I remember I had an appointment but I forget where.
I kept trying to pin him down as to why this innocuous (to me) request made him so upset. The way I see it – if co-signing the mortgage isn’t something he feels like he can do or wants to do, all he has to do is give me a normal reason (or not), be nice about it and move on. I don’t see the need to get vicious, cruel, and mean about it. To rip apart and belittle every part of what I’m doing (including the city I’ve chosen (Los Angeles), my chosen career, my idea to get a roommate to help off-set the costs of home-ownership (“you don’t think that would look ridiculous and weird?” any weirder than my own father refusing to co-sign with me?), and everything I know about the real estate process.) Oh and he managed to compare me to my sister (who has owned a house with her husband for a few years in a vastly cheaper market) – making the implication both about my being single compared to her, and their joint income being more, and their joint job history being stable – and I just wanted to scream at him –
I am single because you have mistreated me my entire life.
I didn’t say that – but I did say variations of –
Don’t you get – the way your father treated you – that’s how you’re treating me.
You want to know why I don’t call you or visit you ever? This is why. Because this is what awaits me on the other end. Would you call you?
I keep driving and driving – maybe if I just keep moving I’ll see it when I pass.
He wanted to know why I didn’t ask my “mother and father” (stepfather) to co-sign. I was like “you’re the one with the mansion and the yacht out back – seems obvious that you would be the one with the great credit.” He said something like “you treat me like shit. The only reason you ever call is because you want something from me.”
I pull off to the side of the road. I give up.
I went to my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting last week. I don’t know yet if it’s right for me – though my experiences clearly resonate with those of OA. However, I started listening to this podcast of OA speakers. And I am ob-sessed. I listened to Martha O. (12/17/11) tonight – who described getting cancer while bulimic, and looking forward to how thin she’d be. There’s something about how honest and raw these people are – how much I relate to what they’re saying – I just can’t stop listening to them.