It’s been a while.

Today, I told my father something in passing. I only meant to take a minute of his time. I rarely want a conversation, I’m not terribly chatty. Dad is so terribly chatty that it kind of puts me in awe.

Not in a good way.

Somehow, he went from my, “I have to go pick up my husband from school soon,” to stuff about maintaining the house. One of the toilets had been leaking for ages–and mysteriously stopped. He complained about the one lock in the entire house that no one ever uses being sticky and ornery. Blamed it on my older brother’s botched installation. I quietly attribute this complaint to the fact that Dad resented the changed locks because he was the reason we changed them. Sure, Tom did the work, but everyone else requested and endorsed it. Dad had an aneurysm. We had to be sure he wouldn’t leave the house and try to effing drive.

So yeah. Anything negative he has ever said about the locks (which is a big number), has zero grounding in reality beyond the resentment that he can’t remember properly.

Then he said that thing.

That thing that he has said twice before. That I had felt safe “knowing” I would never hear again.

“Gonna rip out this crappy carpet and put down laminate.”

For people who know my dad, and his history of making really important life decisions for the family without actually discussing it with anyone–this is code for “I’m gonna sell my house.”

Dad is a guy who uses the word “MY” like some people use the word “GOD.” Never mind that my mother lives here. Never mind that they’re letting my family and me stay here. It’s HIS house. Screw the fact that when we all moved up here from Phoenix, he promised that it was the last move. That my mother said she would never move again for the rest of her life.

I heard the word, “laminate” and about swallowed my tongue.

Now, I know nothing is actually going to happen, because I am a reasoning adult. And also I will sic his wife on him. It just stirred up things. It’s not like we moved a lot. Only twice, really. But it’s the way we moved both times. Autocratic dads are a thing, but my dad always seemed only to have this kind of revolting power over really crazy important stuff.

I wanted to get my ears pierced, I talked to my mum. She was cool with it, I got my ears pierced. The end. I doubt Dad noticed until I started asking for new earrings to pad out my collection. But when mum finally had a car she liked, he sold it while she was out. Not to be malicious, but because to him, it was his and his input was the only input needed before selling something that large and important. He did that to her twice. My dad worked so much when we were all kids that he really didn’t have any power except in those extreme cases. The ones where he wielded that power absolutely.

Ugh. This is one of those things that I’ll probably never get over. You know, that stuff that  you just kind of start crying dryly and asking, “Why?” over and over. Not because it hurts so much as it baffles you so hard that you don’t trust yourself to have a handle on the behaviour of smegging anybody.

Thoughts on weird crisp flavours tomorrow.


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