Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Last night, I had a pretty long telephone conversation with my dad. He's not much of a complainer -- or a talker -- but apparently, the quiet of being in the house by himself is starting to get to him. How do I know this? He actually said that he couldn't see spending the rest of his life in the house, by himself.

He also asked me if, theoretically, I would have a problem with him dating.

I didn't know how to respond to that. The whole idea of having a single parent is so foreign to me. Plus I don't think he's ready as much as he's just lonely and used to having someone there all the time, the way it had been for the prior 34 years. So I said "Dating is such a loaded word."

He didn't know what I meant. We then had a discourse about how, to his generation, pretty much any time you make plans to do something with someone, it's a date. I laughed when he said that, because if that were true, I date a lot more than I think I do.

I told him that's what his kids call "hanging out."

I then decided it would be fun to turn the tables on him: I asked him if he has a problem with me dating. He thought about the question for a second, and said, "Only when I think about it."

Ah, there's the rub. Anything is okay as long as you're not thinking about it.

And in that line, the more I think about the conversation, the more bothered I am by it. Why is it that my dad hasn't even been living by himself for two months and he is so bothered by it, where I've been living by myself for the better part of six years, and I find it so much more palatable than the alternative? I mean, I absolutely relish having my own space.

I guess maybe I should be lonelier.


DSL said...

The same is true with my dad. He hates being alone in the house. Any time my mom is gone, he'll have dinners with friends every night. On the other hand, my sisters, my mom, and me love having some time alone to ourselves.

I'm sure it's also harder, having had a partner for so long. Takes some getting used to. But anything that gets him out of the house is good. Maybe he could volunteer or something.

dara said...

DSL: My dad works, so he is out of the house for about 10 hours a day. And he sleeps for about seven or eight of the remaining hours. Even when my mom was a live, the rest of the time, he was either cooking, running errands, on the internet, watching tv, on the phone, or out at a show/dinner/the occasional sporting event with his friends.

He's just not used to not having someone in the other room doing something else -- and telling him what to do.

DSL said...

I know what you mean. I guess it comes down to having had a partner for so long.