No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Meet the Parents

Saturday was my Dad's birthday. My parents invited Wifey and I over for a cookout and some of Dad's splendid homemade banana pudding, but considering that my brother would be there and that we already had plans for Saturday, I declined that invitation. Instead I offered to take my parents out to dinner on Friday, and low and behold, they accepted! I suppose we acutally are making progress in this arena. This is a huge relief to me. It was just last month that they declined my invites to get togethe on my mom's birthday and Mother's Day citing church events as their outs. Happy to have a date with my parents, Wifey and I met them at the restaurant of their choice, which oddly enough was a Mexican restaurant (I mean, mom can make that at home better than any local place, right?) but hey, it's your day, Dad, so whatevs! It was a little more relaxed than previous visits with them have been since our reunion. For you new readers,( or those, like me, who forget things) my family and I are just now beginning to rekindle our relationship, after a nearly 6 year hiatus, in which there was no contact at all. It's been painstakingly slow and somewhat slippery to navigate this path of finding a happy medium with my family. I say my family, but I only mean a small section of it. My parents. I learned more about my father this past Friday night, which in turn taught me more about me. I found out that my OCD like behavior of counting how many words were just spoken in the last sentence, how many letters in that word, how many syllables...probably came from him. I found out that my high school algebra experience of being completely unable to grasp the concept and unable to transfer out of the class mirrored his experience. The only difference was he received zeros because he simply turned in papers with his name on them and my teacher was kind enough to give me 50s for at least placing an answer on the paper. My papers were usually turned in with all of my answers being x = 3.14 just because I was particularly fond of the way pi looked, and enjoyed drawing it. It really wasn't until college that my dad, who is now an engineer, picked up his mad math skills, and likewise, for me. I suppose you have to be in the right mindset, and have the right kind of teacher teaching in the right way to learn something like algebra and trigonometry. Once it clicked,though, it clicked. We attributed our math skills to all of our practice at counting everything in our heads all of the time. The old apple really doesn't fall so far from the tree, does it? Scary. After dinner, once we were in the safety of our car, Wifey said to me, "Honey, your dad's leg was bouncing as fast as yours does! And he was fidgeting with his napkin worse than you do! You guys have some serious anxiety issues."
I laughed. Not a full hearted, ha ha that's funny laugh, but a nervous, Yeah, I know what you mean, kind of laugh. Wifey has such clear perspective sometimes, it's frightening.

7 cookies cracked:

Karen said...

It is really great that you are making progress with your parents.

gr said...

Remember Archie Bunker? My father's twin. I don't want to be anything like my father.

Jay said...

Even a little bit of progress is still progress right?

Fortune Cookies said...

karen - yes, it is, i fully agree.

gr- oh my grandpa was your father's twin?! That makes us some kind of cousins! lol No wonder I like you so :)

Jay- very true. yes and I am appreciative of it fo-sho!

Chatty said...

Still, it must be a relief to be getting on better, or at least feeling more comfortable with
h the parents, and they with you. I hated algebra (and had a HORRIBLE teacher) - loved geometry - because I liked to draw neat angles and make everything tidy. Go figure. Then, to get to go to college a year early (to Vanderbilt), I had to take algebra-trig in summer school. What a nightmare. But at least when I got to Vanderbilt I could drop one subject. I dropped math. Surprise, surprise! But you and your dad turned out to be math wizards. Interesting. I would have thought if you hated something so much, it would never click. Maybe you didn't hate it quite as much as I did! And I still say I've never ONCE needed algebra in the "real world"...

kcinnova said...

Isn't it interesting how we form somewhat different relationships with our parents, once we are adults ourselves? It can seem like starting a whole new relationship, and I suppose that after 6 years apart, that is a good goal.
I suppose in a truly disfunctional situation, parents never let go of their control over kids' lives.
Luckily, mine have managed to each let go and see me as an adult.

Fortune Cookies said...

chatty- funny, I find myself saying, wow, I really do use algebra every day! but it goes with the job.

kcinnova- a much different relationship is certainly in order in this situation. lets just hope it turns out to be a bit more functional.