Tuesday, April 22, 2008

And it goes to zero

Two weeks ago, I sent an email to my dad listing the dates I would be available for a family vacation this summer. I also listed the dates that I had professional obligations that would bring me within driving distance of his place. Since I knew that their schedule was pretty packed this summer, I left told him that I would come back from Africa early if that's what it would take to make a family vacation possible.

For a few days I was puzzled that I didn't hear back from him. Since I copied his wife on the email, I figured there was no chance it had gone astray. After fours days and no reply, I started crying just a little bit. When I hit the seven day mark, I cried a whole lot, finalized my plans for Africa, and moved on.

My brother Buzz has never been thrilled with the idea of me going to Africa. He didn't love it the first time I did it, and now that I will be visiting the country right next door to Kenya, he is the opposite of happy. When I told him I had booked the trip and why, he told me that Dad had written an email in response to my email as part of a reply to some other email he had gotten from Leta. And had forgotten (somehow) to copy me. Or whatever. So my brother was the only person who knew that the only time it is convenient for my dad and his wife for us all to get together are the first two weeks of August, which is precisely when I will be in Africa. The rest of their summer is already wall to wall with plans.

So now there will be no family vacation and I will be going to Africa and my brother is the opposite of happy with me and who the hell knows how my dad feels about any of it? He knew the dates I was planning my trip back in January, so the fact that the only dates that he declared it ok for us to visit happen to be the only dates when I can't make it? What does that mean, exactly?

I am done. Done letting other people tell me what is important, done putting other people's feelings first, done bleeding money to see people who think they are doing me a favor. And I am most especially done letting my dad hurt me.

So if anyone notices my anxiety level flat-lining as if I were in a coma, please note that it is no accident. There really does reach a point where "it" goes well beyond not sweating the small stuff. I am sweating NO stuff.

Lalalalalalala.

Happy Tuesday.

14 comments:

country roads said...

exactly. Put you first and let everyone else fall in line with that.

Julie said...

I agree. Right now you need to do what you need to do.

Finn said...

You have to live your life, let them live theirs.

And try not to take anything personally -- it's them, not you. Really.

Em said...

Sounds like a good plan.

Sometimes I get so tired of 'sweating stuff' that I just stop and go into lalalala mode, and then somehow I start sweating it again ever so gradually, it's an endless cycle.

But, whatever you do enjoy Africa. And why would that even bother your brother? I don't get it. Is it because he thinks it's dangerous? So is driving a car. Live a little, buddy.

123Valerie said...

Amen, sister. Preach on.

Unless your father can shoulder your regrets for missing out on a wonderful traveling opportunity, then he shouldn't be deciding your priorities.

Catherine said...

Wow, that is good power used well.

Woodrow said...

Next time just call him and you can avoid that whole emotional waiting period thing.

Africa will be more fun than hanging out with the fam anyway.

Mrs. Who said...

Life became a lot more enjoyable and less stressful when I learned to let the family catch up with me, instead of the other way around. Cheaper with gas, too.

LAS said...

Good for you. Screw everyone else. I am upset for you about this. It pisses me off. My dad, I don't say much about him - but - before I moved away this last time two years ago, he was moaning and complaining about how both of his children were moving away. How he wouldn't get to see us, how he wanted to see us, how important we are to him . Well, I would ask him to hang out with me - go to dinner or breakfast - and he would say no. He always had an excuse - I have to go hunting or something. Right before I moved, I asked him to go to dinner. He told me he couldn't because he had to stay home and wash the walls. I shit you not. I no longer cared about plans with my dad, because, you know, he didn't seem to really give a shit either.

jen said...

Three shots of tequila in your honor, Nina.

Annie said...

You can do nothing else, but what you have done. :-). They will all live and you will have a wonderful trip.

nicoleantoinette said...

I really think that at some point it HAS to be more about you and less about repeatedly trying to please (and getting hurt by) others. Good for you!!

Kate P said...

Wait--so your brother did not share the contents of the reply e-mail with you? That seems so. . . passive-aggressive to me.

You're doing the best you can with the information you have. I'm impressed with your stance.

utenzi said...

Gotta live your own life, Nina. Of course your Dad might have had an agenda when he set his summer plans--but given his close brush with death, he might not have expected to have this summer at all.