Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Plastic Daddy

Yesterday was my parent’s 30th anniversary.

My mom and I were having a little trip down memory lane on the phone last night… I was a “bridesmaid” in my mother’s wedding, as she and my biological dad had divorced when I was 2 and she met my (step) dad when I was 3 or 4? We wore strange long aqua polyester gowns and had daisies in our hair… it was a sort of 1975 bourgeois hippie kind of thing.

At that time in my life, I had an imaginary friend named George so when my mom told me she had a date with a man named George, I was apparently quite excited. Until he arrived to pick her up, and was not who I had anticipated. I think I may have shut the door on him or straight-out told him that he was not George. Something like that, so the story goes.

As time went on, I decided he was pretty okay, but I still went through some adjustments, and in my world adjustment often means vomiting unexpectedly. Seriously, I have issues with my stomach… it’s where stress always ends up. I remember puking on the carpet at his bachelor pad apartment near Wichita State University, where he was finishing school after his stint in Vietnam. I remember 3 things about that apartment; his extra large overstuffed zebra striped floor pillows, his super cool reel-to-reel stereo system, and vomiting macaroni and cheese on his floor one night when he had to pick me up after my mom worked late.

Poor guy. Somehow he stuck it out and married my mom in 1975, when I was 5 years old. Last night my mom reminded me that right after the wedding, we were at the reception at the Wichita Country Club, and I loudly asked “Can I call you Daddy now?”
I referred to him sometimes after that as my “plastic daddy”.

I’m glad they met. (I don’t think I am at liberty to say how they met, but suffice it to say it was rare in those days and incredibly common now… Ginger didn’t even tell me the whole story until recent years.) He was and still is a great daddy and would do just about anything for me. Unfortunately he had to make up for a lot of disappointments from my biological father, and did well at it. On a side note, my biological father and I have been working over the past few years to forge our own relationship, and I value knowing that he’s in my life, although in a different capacity. In the end, though, I only have one “Daddy”, and he’s put up with my mom and me for 30+ years. For that he deserves an award.

1 comment:

Rikki said...

Great story. It reminded me of something Cleo said the other day. She said that I'm kind of an orphan because my mom died and my dad's not much of a dad. However, I have 2 great stepfathers from my mother's last 2 marriages, and they ended up being the best parents I could have.

And I, too, am a puker -- but I've added fainting to the mix in my old age. Lovely.

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time . Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." --E.B. White