I never stop complaining, don't think I haven't noticed. And what better outlet for my various whines and moans is there than a blog? But here is a complaint to which few others can relate, here is a circumstance without precedent in my short life, a moment in time at which all joy has been sucked out, replaced by the wheezing of a soul stripped of all purpose.
Dad has gone back to college.
And he chose MY college.
This is, although akward, really neat. Dad knows that his old man brain is withering, atrophing, wasting away, draining down and out the ear canal in a form of thick yellow wax which obstructs hearing and, regretably, intelligence.
So he's taking Spanish, tired of hearing my last-minute crash course in the language before he hops a plane to Guatemala, moderately equipped to request a bathroom, food, and a tourniquet for seeping wounds which he could obtain in a kidnapping ordeal. He knows I don't have the spare cash for a ransom.
Dad came up to me on campus, seeking, or so I thought, to say hello. Little did I know that I now have a new job. I am my dad's guidence counselor, helping him to decide what class would suit him; his advisor, helping him pick the right time and the right place, signing him up for the class, walking him to the class; campus store worker, finding him the books he needed and the "neck-thing" he wanted to put his keys on; business office helper, since he needed an ID and to look good in his picture with the right lift to his hair, sitting up straight, and all that jazz; and technical support since he can't work a computer which is less than five years old. In one hour period I escorted him in a quest to get an ID, burned him a CD of Spanish excersizes, taught him to use SpartanPrint, introduced him to the librarians, showed him how to use Word, and witnessed a moment of senior inspired forgetfullness.
You see, Dad had gone up to a fellow student's dorm room. They had there attempted to burn CDs, and had become frustrated. Dad had led her to the library for help, leaving his book in her dorm.
"Laura," he told me. "Can you believe this? I bet they're all gone! I need to do my Spanish homework!"
There is nothing like mothering your own father, especially when you aren't equipped with mothering capabilities.
'So just go!" I told him. "It won't hurt you! She's probably waiting right there with your text to give it to you. She probably thought you were coming right back!"
The furrow appeared."Oh," he said.
The down side to having your Dad think you are his caretaker as well as his daughter is that you can't say any of the mean things you think of, like "Suck it up--get your book!" or "I don't care if you have to walk back to Oakwood--I'm still too lazy to go with you!" That would be hurtfull. So instead I have to spend the rest of the semester trying to walk the fine line in between kicking him in the shin and telling him to sink or swim and coddleing him.
My poor dad is about to witness the decay and dessication of what little patience I had at the beginning of the year. It's gone. Oops. Too bad.
Daddy, it isn't your fault! Every old man reaches the point when his daughter has to take care of him. It just means we're a step closer to that nursing home we saw on 60 Minutes. You remember which one...