A Father’s Day Realization
I was discussing with a friend yesterday about fathers and one way or the other we landed on discussing my dad. We touched on the estranged relationship we have and I blatantly told my friend I might not be dancing with my dad on my wedding day. As you imagined, he was stunned.
For a long time I have pondered the reason a lot of women find it pertinent to have the father-daughter dance at their wedding. As horrendous as that first sentence might sound, it honestly eludes me.
From my understanding, the father-daughter dance is an intimate moment shared between a dad and his daughter on her wedding day, but what happens when you are not that close with your dad and the intimacy required is not particularly felt? Is it still necessary to still continue this tradition? Or is it now just done to fulfill all righteousness?
I remember attending the wedding of a dear friend and when it was time for the father -daughter dance, she shared it with her biological father, whom she barely tolerates and I could not just understand the reason she did not just dance with her stepfather who felt more like a father to her.
Speaking personally, this is a topic I have struggled with for a long time.
My dad and I used to have a great relationship, and gradually it deteriorated to the point it is right now – almost non existent.
I looked up to him even when I was unaware I did, we had conversations about a lot of plans in life, we were inseparable and because I took his brains, inquisition, knowledge in a wide range of topics we shared a strong bond. I would never admit it but I always knew.
With all the discussions we had, all the plans we had shared , all the expectations I had of him, constantly he kept disappointing me,unconsciously, he stared drawing a line in our relationship and because he was so caught up with working, he did not notice.
I stopped sharing my dreams, talking to him about my aspirations, my school of choice for masters, my change of mind from studying International Management, instead I decided to go for Media and Communication Art. Then it started affecting my physical connection, I could not stand being in the same room as him. He would get home from work and I would go into my room to avoid any communication. He would call me and it would take hours for me to respond, he was so unaware that we had drifted that when he finally realised that the girl who used to sleep on his chest, talk to him about her career choices, argue about grammatical structures and politics had become a stranger, it was already too late.
As I grew older, I did not feel the need to discuss my life choices with anyone, I gained my independence and made career choices based on my understanding of my long term plan, my dad would ask me about a job he thought I was working and I would tell him I no longer worked there, – he started to feel the distance. After the second time this had happened we had ‘a talk’.
He confronted me on how I had drifted far from him, how I no longer ask him for his input, I no longer ask for advice, discuss my future, talk about my career path and all the many things we stopped doing. But he was 10 years late. I stopped doing that a long time ago and even though I know he noticed, he never really asked me what changed.
Asking me 10 years later was a waste of time because all I felt was nothing.
He had been disappointing me for 10 years, disappointing the entire family, unable to follow up on all the many plans we had shared, promised me a lot of things and never came through, made me see things I should never have seen in my younger years… After those 10 years, it could never be the same again.
Imagine me feeling this way about my dad and I have to share a dance floor with someone whose physical presence I cannot stand, I do not particularly think so and on a day as special as my wedding, pretending is the last thing I want to do.
What is your father’s day story? And No, it does not have to be as sad as mine.