Saturday, December 24, 2011

what's in a name?

many who know me, know i am ferocious about my family. 
seriously, who isn't?
i have a lot of parts to my family...
we put the dysfunction in 
screwed up. 
every family has holiday stress and weird uncles and other cockamamie stuff to contend with. 
why should i be any exception?

the discussion and opening up of my feelings about these people are not nearly as raw
as they once were. 
thank the stars above. 
it used to hobble me. 
now i feel a little rotten that i can't muster much of any reaction to these folks. 
the stories would curl hair. 
if i was to say, i feel that i paid for my old therapist to
 install a hot tub in her back yard... you ought to believe me. 
i was going at least once a week, but more like three times a week to unscrew my head. 
i think it was on backwards for years. 

one of the most consistent things about my relationship with my father is that he cannot manage to get my name right. 
no matter how much i work with him on it. 
his inference is constantly issued every time we go through this. 
i have been trying for years to instruct him on this issue. 
i know it is the least of all things to be upset about...
but the irony is simply gobsmacking.

when i married, i kept my maiden name. 
i have never nor will i ever change my name. 
it is something i was given as a gift on my first day of life. 
so many things have changed since, i have come to love that i will only have one name.
i plan to keep this all of my life. 
my husband is just fine with my decision. 
he was fine with it when we met and chose to marry...
now many, many years later,
he is completely ok with my choice still. 

for unknown reasons, my father keeps impressively ignoring that i have made this choice. 
he ought be flattered,
but he chooses a completely different tack to take. 
he addresses things to me with the wrong name. 
it is a homophone for my husband's family name. 
neither is it consistent, nor is it spelled correctly. 
so every decade or so, when he feels death is imminent, 
he sends me a card. 
or a package. 
none ever addressed correctly. 
it is how i know it is from him... every damn time. 

each one of his ridiculous attempts includes some kind of card. 
they even actually say HALLMARK.
i don't think if you read this blog regularly, 
you will think that i am a mean and miserable person. 
truly, i have a sense of humor most days;
i love my children impossibly, no matter what;
my dog is my bestie;
my husband and i bicker and commit acts of marital warfare upon one another 
regularly enough, but we still love each other dearly
{see postings on peanut butter if you are forgetful of these moments};
i have a rich and lovely extended family i enjoy enormously that i see throughout the year;
my mom is a wealth of crazy that has no equal, but i love her and my stepfather too;
and of course, 
my friends figure deeply and fully in my life. 
i am nothing without all these relationships. 
and if you did not know it, 
i am profoundly appreciative of all of them, no matter how much i grouse. 

i just want to say that my father has made a lifelong career of buying the wrong card on every damn occasion he chose to buy one with me in mind. 
one decade, he sent me birthday cards that started with:
"dear son"
then crossed through that to tell me how much he loved me. 
i went nutsy on that one, but in my defense i was in my twenties then. 
then the most insulting was the one addressed to 
"dear son-in-law"
also crossed out to become:
"dear daughter -in-law".
ok, perhaps i am being petty here. 
but still, 
since he stopped drinking he still can't get the things right. 
i am unsure of how much latitude to offer to him... 
he seems so particularly stubborn and unwilling to take a hint. 
loud audible sigh. 
no longer the heartfelt sobbing of having such a dipshit for a dad. 
i am well out of my twenties. 
i kept giving him chances to shape up. 
none of them took. 

so i got a package from the UPS man who travels in my neighborhood today. 
the package was not embellished with a return address. 
it was very light and sported an improbable address. 
so close, but so far. 
my husband's family name is Griffin. 
it was sent to Wendy Gryphon. 
 the hallmark who sends the very best card within the box,
was a Big-Ass 
it is a ridiculous sticking point, 
but we are JEWS. 
non celebrating ones, but nevertheless, jewish all the same. 
he crossed out the CHRISTMAS... 
to be particularly specific that it was meant as a birthday card. 
as far as i know, 
CHRISTMAS  falls on each year without fail on
if i want to go just a tad further, for the 55 years i have been celebrating my birthdays, 
they have all fallen on 
JULY 29th. 

in addition to all the love he sent my way...
a birthday gift was enclosed. 
remember i am not mean spirited, i just am reporting here....
that he sent a sweet little oval pendant. 
i have no idea what it is composed of... 
however i think it has a sparkly setting with clear stones of some kind, 
and a pretty deep blue center. 
 as you readers must know, 
i tend to work in huge sized, overwhelmingly proportioned things
of a floral and vintage nature. 
i am not unappreciative of this gesture,
 but since we share the same month for our birthdays, 
i think he knows our birthstone in common is ruby. 
this may actually be sapphire, which is lovely and i have never had one ever in my life. 
still i remain a little confused. 

so many little details... and i am not being bitchy, i am just totally confused. 
the constant state of mixed messages. 
if i add them all up, 
he is saying that he doesn't know me very well. 
ultimately, this is the only real message that holds a correct interpretation. 

i just wonder why he doesn't say what he really means? 
every time i get sucked into a conversation, something goes terribly awry. 
it is out of self preservation that i keep a few arms' lengths from this crazy man. 
he is tough on a good day. 
those are quite rare in fact. 
and i have been hurt a lot. 
i also have learned to appreciate what a good husband and father my husband is from all these 
escapades my father has put me through. 
someday, when i feel very very maudlin, i may share a few. 
then again, i might not.

all i can say is that it is a miracle i have a modestly well adjusted life 
with my own sarcastic, smart, funny, pretty/handsome family. 
there really is never a day that i don't tell them how much i love them
or try to show them that i appreciate them.
even if they are prone to dragging their celery stalks through a fresh jar of peanut butter. 

i posted about a necklace i made this week for a really swell guy. 
i messed up the date for him to share it with his love gal. 
they went their own ways to celebrate the holidays with their families in different locations. 
this upcoming week,
 i feel fortunate to enable them to share a special gifting of one of my necklaces. 
it is gonna be totally swell, since they have both seen it and are both tickled. 

i love it so much, i might try to make one a bit like it for me too.

usually, i am not so self congratulatory, at least i think that i am not.
but the unusual design constraints of the fab boyfriend and my interpretation of them, 
came to a conclusion that is not my norm. 
and i absolutely love it. 

happy christmas eve !!!
to all of you everywhere that may or may not celebrate. 
it is beginning to look a lot like the end of another FESTIVUS for the rest of us here. 
and thank you for a kick butt year. 
i owe you all so much. 


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