September 18, 2012 1990s music Alanis Morissette bad boyfriends bad music boyfriends Canadian singers fathers and daughters irony irony in Canada isn't it ironic losers NASA pretty pretty princess Voltaire 3

God is a comedian playing to an audience that is afraid to laugh.-Voltaire

(Let me preface this by swearing to the high heavens that I am not in a poopy mood. I am simply observing.)

Remember way waaay back in that simpler time called the 1990’s, when a certain chick had that incredibly irritating song about things being so ironic…except that, oddly enough, nothing she sang about was, technically, ironic. Rain, for example, on one’s wedding day is simply bad luck…not irony. At least, not in the United States. Maybe it’s different in Canada.

Anyhoo, I got that odious song stuck in my head recently, because a dear friend was telling me that her “difficult” father had just  ripped her a new one due to the latest “hi-jinks” her latest “boyfriend” pulled. The boy was driving the car my friend had just purchased, and owned and is making monthly payments on. My friend had been reduced to having to call her “boyfriend” to get him to let her borrow her own car. (…I know, I know…seriously…I know!)  Apparently her pops found out about this magical situation of true love and unloaded.

Here’s the irony: when my friend was just a wee little girl, that same father was too busy running around with other women–not my friend’s mom–and drinking and generally being a selfish douche to bother with being her dad in any real sense of the word. Unless you count making my friend feel like shit, as part of fatherhood. That part of daddy-hood, he had down. He really had the knack for making my friend feel stupid, and unloved and unworthy of being loved, and a pain in his ass. He was great at making her feel awkward and insecure and a moron. That kind of stuff he had down cold. However, the part about making his daughter feel like she was a pretty pretty princess so that 20 years later, she seeks to continue that positive affirmation with partners who also think she’s beautiful, lovely, smart, talented…that part not so much. So, imagine the irony when her father screams at her about all the “manipulating losers” she dates and asks, “What’s your f**king problem?” Imagine. Guess maybe pops was finding my friend’s taste in men a little too um familiar, n’est pas?

So,unfortunately, my friend didn’t snap back: “My problem, f**ktard, is that when I needed you to make me feel special and smart and pretty and worthy of love…you were too busy. You couldn’t be bothered. So how would I know what a good man is like? Where would I have witnessed that in my own life? And why would I ever think I deserve that?”

Oh my. So much irony. Stories like this make me simultaneously want to laugh bitterly…burst into tears…curl up in the fetal position with a mug o’ whiskey…and punch someone. (Note: for those of you wondering if my “friend” is really me…ha. Foolish mortals. You’ve never met my wonderful parents who bent over backwards to make me feel like the prettiest, smartest (if perhaps not the nicest…but can’t have everything, whatever) princess who ever lived. My parents who hated to say “No” to me. My parents, Bill and Teo, who still have every scrap of paper on which I doodled, starting at age 3… all of which will apparently be launched into space by NASA as proof of intelligent (and self-absorbed) life on Earth. Or, at least on NYC’s Upper West Side.)

No, I wrote this today thinking of my dear friend, hoping that someday soon, she will understand her story’s bitter irony…and then will recognize how worthy of (real) love she is and always has been and always will be. 

3 Responses

  1. I can think of a few ‘dads’ who could stand to read this article! I hope the same for your friend, who is lucky to have someone who cares as much as you do.

  2. Bryan says:

    I really thought this was going to be about 90’s music. Now I’m just sad. Hopefully, 3.5 years later, your friend figured out that she doesn’t need those kids of men, the kind like her father, in her life. Here’s to hoping.

    • Carlota says:

      Ha! Bryan, you really went back into the vaults of time to find this post. But, spoiler alert: nope there’s no happy ending here. I gave a VERY abridged version of the melodrama that ensued here…and it only got worse. Such a shame. She really committed to her fears, and the self-loathing she was taught to make sure she was unlovable. No happy ending here…

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