Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day - The Emotional Roller-coaster Ride of Manhood

Go over to the Spin Cycle. Topic is Father's Day.  Enjoy all the great reads.

Father's Day was a hoot.  I know of five arguments that broke out that day. Some serious, some not so serious, but it made for a really weird weekend.  It emphasized how stressed out everyone is, especially the men in the family.

I feel sorry for guys sometimes.  I was brought up in the knight in shining armor era, a fantasy held by many young women. While my man was courting me, I fell in love with him because he was funny, brilliant, and talented.  He did so many things well.  Maybe that's why I thought he could fix anything and everything.  Geez, wasn't he a husband and dad, a man ready to take on all problems and solve them.

Men come home to the news that a pipe busted, the refrigerator stopped working, the car broke down, or the sewer backed up.  Then all eyes look to him to fix it.  What do you mean you don't know what you are doing? You're A Man. And if you don't have the extra cash to pay for large repairs, men will get down and dirty and learn by doing, bitching and swearing all the way.

I feel for them, but at the same time, no way would I slosh through three inches of waste water, not as long as there was a man around to do it for me.

We learn that they are as vulnerable and as fallible as we are. When reality pushed my fantasy aside, I felt gypped. He was supposed to take care of me like my daddy wasn't he?   I soon realized that we were in it together.  Together sounded good, fair and empowering.  How fair was it for me to think he could fix everything that went wrong in my life, just because he was the man in the family.

I realized that most men are really just the boys their mama and daddy raised.  Men need their women just as much as women need their men. In the beginning, we are all just inexperienced grown up kids before we become wise old folks.

Father's Day is usually a very nice day with events celebrating all the dads in our family.  This weekend was an exception. It was a very weird weekend.

My brother in law picked a fight with my sister because, well, it was Father's Day.

My other brother in law picked a fight with my other sister, because, it was Father's Day.

My mother in law and husband exchanged a few heated words. It was about to become a full emotional blow out but luckily cooler heads prevailed when the subject was changed abruptly and they let it go.

I thought I was going to have an argument with my hubby, when I told him he should apologize to his mum.  But he would have nothing to do with it.  He refused to budge on his position and I really couldn't argue with him, because he was basically right.  Argument averted.  Yeah.

My brother in law above decided to pick a fight with the rest of his extended family via email accusing us of not doing enough. We are not taking the bait.

There are things happening in their lives that are bringing the men in my family down.  But they are reverting to boys kicking and screaming because it is becoming too hard to deal with the hardships.  And who could blame them. It's natural to want out.  They are in the denial stage and the anger stage.  Hopefully they will reach the acceptance stage some time soon.

For two of them, this is the first year without their dads.

For three of them, they have mothers with latter stages of depression, Alzheimer's, and lung disease.  They all wished they had sisters or women in their families to dump their mothers on take up the slack and help takeover their mother's care.  They are stuck and want to escape, but can't.

One broke his leg in the middle of working on getting his family in a new home. But I think there is a lot of guilt involved as well, because my sister does EVERYTHING anyways and now he has to sit there and be witness to it.

Two of them have brothers that have embezzled funds from their ailing mothers making one mom practically destitute.

So Father's Day, a day celebrating men, was a day full of problems with the women in their lives. They don't want the title of being patriarch of the family, that belonged to their dear departed fathers.  There is a lot of guilt, stress and melancholy when dealing with their moms.  They have to step in and take over the roles of their fathers, becoming their mothers' advocates, care-giver, financial advisor, and for one, her companion.

Stressed out fathers. Yes.  Feeling like celebrating Father's Day.  No.


Julie from Momspective said...

Behind every powerful man is a woman telling him how bad they're screwing up :)

Jim Styro said...

Is it wrong for me to feel a lot better about my (completely uneventful) Father's Day after reading your post? Sorry there was/is so much drama for the men in your life. This too shall pass. I will keep a good thought in mind for your family (as always).

Jim Styro said...

PS: Your Father's Day sounds like the Mother's Day I went through this year...

Sprite's Keeper said...

Wow, that's a lot of drama in one day! (Kind of perfect for the next Spin, huh? :-)
I have taken that stance that if something goes wrong in the home, John should fix it, but last night, he needed my help with the water system, I stepped up, and together, we got it done without arguing about it. I felt so damn proud of us after. I think I will stick my hand in more often on this kind of thing so he doesn't feel like it all falls on him.
You're linked!

Captain Dumbass said...

I think Father's Day should just be skipped, it's far too stressful.

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