Okay, let me start by saying that I love my Dad.  We haven’t always had a very close relationship, but that’s changed in the past ten or so years.  We have started to understand each other better, and since my breakdown, he has done a lot of personal growth.  (“Done” doesn’t seem to be the right word here, but I can’t find one I like any better.)  I do love him, a lot.

But today was one of those days where I wanted to shake him, or smack him, or something.  It was such a small incident, but yet it illustrates one of the most frustrating things about my father.  Hang in for the full story, I think you’ll see what I mean in the end.

Today was Wendy’s Dreamlift Day, which is a fundraiser where all of the local Wendy’s restaurants donate all their proceeds and the staff and management donate all their wages to help local children with life-threatening illnesses or severe disabilities go to Disneyland.  It’s a super-worthy cause, and my parents always support it.

So Dad says he’ll go pick up supper, and we should write down what we want.  I made the list:  an Ultimate Chicken Grill and a baked potato for me;  chicken nuggets and fries for Mom;  and I left it to Dad to figure out what he wanted.  So off he goes to pick up the food.

He comes home, and tells me that he ordered us each a combo meal, with fries and a Diet Coke.  I got my chicken sandwich, but Mom got chicken strips, not nuggets.  I didn’t get my baked potato, and aspartame gives me a migraine.  I asked him, what was the point in giving him a list, if he was just going to choose something else for us?  He said that he’d just decided that the combos were a good idea, and so easy to order.  You’ve got a friggin’ list, what is hard about that???  I pointed out that Mom didn’t even order chicken strips, that she had deliberately chosen to order nuggets.  And reminded him that I can’t drink diet pop.  He just shrugged and said something like well, I decided to do this.

Gaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  Maybe I’m over-reacting, but this is an ongoing thing with him.  He doesn’t listen, and when he does, he just does whatever he wants anyway.  He was so matter-of-fact about it, and wasn’t bothered at all that he had completely disregarded what we wanted, substituting his own choice for ours.  He was positively cheerful.  Father knows best, riiiiiiiiiiight.

Petty example, because it’s fast food, right?  Not something that, in and of itself, made any real difference.  But the thing is, he would do this no matter what the issue was.  It is so frustrating.  If he had been going out to buy medicine, and was told to buy Tylenol because the sick person was allergic to aspirin, he’d come back with aspirin if it was on sale, or if he just happened to prefer aspirin himself.  He does things like this all the time.  I am so frustrated with the larger issue that was spotlighted tonight with our food order.

He does it with Dannan all the time, too.  Dannan is a three-legged dog.  His missing leg is his front left.  All of his weight rests on his front right leg, because his centre of gravity is at the front of his body.  The vet has repeatedly emphasized that Dannan has to stay very trim, or the stress on his joints will be disabling.  He cannot become overweight, not even close.  It will affect his mobility, lead to arthritis in his joints, all kinds of awful stuff like that.  I have explained this to my father at least fifty times.  (And yes, I am one of those people who exaggerates all the time, but this is no exaggeration.)

So my father likes to share his food with Dannan, and he wants to do it.  So he does.  Even though I’ve repeatedly asked him NOT to do it.  I have explained the reasons why so many times that he should be able to repeat with me, word for word.  I have shown him what a proper portion size is for a piece of apple, which is the only thing he is allowed to feed Dannan.  Dannan gets a piece of apple about the size of my thumb nail.  Dad gives him a third of his apple.  I have asked him not to, I have threatened to not bring Dannan over to the house, I have scolded, and I have become so angry that my voice cracks when I talk.  He doesn’t care;  Dad wants to feed Dannan people food, and so he will.

Fortunately, I seem to finally have gotten through to Dad, at least on the “apples only” front.  I haven’t seen Dad feed Dannan anything but apple in quite a while, even though Dannan and I have been staying at Mom and Dad’s house for a couple of weeks.  I shudder to think what happens when I’m not around.  But I’ll be satisfied with a third of an apple, if that’s all he gives him.  Dannan loves apples, and they’re not bad for him.  I just can’t believe that it took my father almost four years to get the message that this is a matter of health and mobility for Dannan.

Okay, father rant is over.

In other news, my stalker ex did not try to contact me this past weekend when he was in town.  I didn’t even run into him anywhere.  Perhaps he has finally moved on?  I asked my roommate if I was being too paranoid to be so concerned, and she said, “No, after all, we’re talking about The Stalker.”  I’m just relieved and happy.

My other almost up-to-the-minute news is that the house three doors down from my parents’ house burned down this afternoon.  My mother’s friend, Joan, lived there for thirty years before moving to an apartment when she couldn’t handle the yard anymore.  We don’t know any details about the fire, or even if there was someone home when it started.  But the entire city’s fleet of fire trucks were there, ambulance and police in accompaniment.  I hope we hear more about what happened tomorrow, but the media in our city is just plain incompetent.  The t.v. station itself could be on fire, and the story would never appear on the local news.

Finally, I have a big decision to make, and I’m in a quandry.  I might write about it tomorrow.