It's Friday and the office move is done (OK, I'm assuming it's done - writing this in the future - it's actually Wednesday). Power of positive thinking = if I say the office move is done and it went swimmingly, then that is sure to come true, right? So, "it's Friday" and the move is behind me, I'm well situated in my new home office, eager to dig my teeth into a new, simpler chapter of my life, chaos behind me!
Where did we leave off? Oh, right - the father letters. Sunday is Father's Day, a dastardly day for me given my jaded history with three missing in action or worse, cruel fathers. Tonight Schaller's - a good crowd going and I'm going to sing my heart out. Gonna stay in the moment, enjoy my friends, gonna flirt with the old Irish guys at the bar, trying to take care of myself. Confession. I'm missing the martini days - especially when everyone around me is drinking heavily and getting fun and silly. It's such a mismatch to stay sober and responsible when everyone around you is kicking up their heels. I really feel it when Mark and Mario and friends come up to play dice. They polish off a bottle of Grand Marnier or Tequila as we play and the more inebriated they get, the louder they get until the place is full of their loud laughter and shouting. I used to be right there with them, pushing the boundaries. Now, it's a single glass of wine for Sarah, if that.
And interesting that just last week guidelines were finally published about how much wine provides a health benefit versus a health detriment. We've heard for a while that people who include a judicious amount of wine in their diet actually live longer than teetotalers. The unanswered question until now is, "how much"? Where is the crossover point where the problems associated with alcohol consumption outweigh any health benefit. A credible research study just provided that long awaited answer and it's going to surprise you. Drum roll, please. The answer is eight glasses of wine per day! We should all be downing the stuff at every meal including breakfast! OK, I'm lying....the real answer is much more "sobering." Just 5 grams a day which equates to two glasses of wine a week! That's a shock to most people who were expecting to be told they could drink a glass of wine a day, guilt-free. Good news for Sarah, though. These days, I'm a 2-3 glasses of wine/week kind of gal. Proud of myself.
So where were we with Charlotte? Oh, right - she had written two of the three letters to her MIA fathers in the hope of realizing a cathartic healing. Today, her third letter and this one is angry.
June 21, 2009
(Not so) Dear Father,
I no longer call you dad as I was required to do. You are Henry and my brow darkens when I think of you. To say that I am angry would be an understatement. I am beyond angry and I should have taken you to task when you were alive. I hate the expression, “I/we/he did the best they could.” When I hear someone say that I invariably think, “No they didn’t” or “If that’s the best, then that’s a pitiful effort.” People have excused you by saying you did the best you could do. You did, after all, marry a widow with four children and support us in a fashion. But, we both know you did not do well, don’t we? You lived a selfish and fraudulent life. And you were cruel and built yourself up by knocking down “small fry”. You always put your needs and desires first and our only purpose was to satisfy your narcissism.
And I loved you for some perverse reason and always tried to please you and have you see me and love me. To your dying day, I hoped for your affection and when you threw me a bone and complimented my cooking or something like that, I would hang onto those words. Why I loved you is a mystery – maybe because it was a natural thing to do, to love your father. But now I hate you. If you were here I would lock you in a room with me and make you listen to a list of all the horrors you heaped on us. I would make you see yourself as the monster you were. I would expose you as a fraud. I would hit you and make you beg God for me to stop. I would violate you. I would make you beg for my forgiveness.
That one man could do so much damage is sad. Your abusive legacy will live through many generations; there are children yet unborn who will feel the sting of your cruelty. I’m not sorry you died; I just wish it had been in childhood.
Tomorrow, the fourth father letter, written to my real father, the man who loves me best, who finds me adorable, lovable, interesting and beautiful. I am an apple in his eye.
Challenge today is giving serious thought to your alcohol consumption - are you in line with the recent guidelines? If not, should you amend your drinking habits to take better care of yourself? I'm just saying not nagging!