Daddy Issues

“How was your Christmas?” my friend zoned guy friend asks me as we sip coffee. We’ve covered a lot of ground in our weird and recent friendship, from my faith to his mental illness to my dating history to his father’s death. We’re both a bit lonely, so we share. We talk it through.

“Not good, honestly. We spent some time at my Dad’s and…” I tell him a brief story, of reaching out, of offering neutral ground for the sake of peace, and of being accused and shamed and shut down. “I really tried. I’m not sure what else I can do at this point.”

He breaks eye contact, looks out the window. “Yeah, well, all girls have Daddy Issues.” And we’re talking about his mom now, and the girl he likes. I try to listen as he tells me all his woes. I try to not burn with embarrassment. I try not to apologize for being honest. I try not to cry. I’ve got Daddy Issues. Not that anything has happened, just I can’t get along with the Man in my life. I feel 2 inches tall.

And another safe relationship slams its door and catches my fingers.

*************************************************

I sit in my first solo apartment. My childhood “best friend” has dropped in from out of state and as we seek to connect, despite the vastly different directions our lives have headed, conversation turns to the day to day. After a brief awkward silence, she cheerily asks, “So, how’s your new job?”

“Not good, honestly… It’s hard to explain, but I don’t think I’ll be able to stay. Basically, it’s like working for my Dad, and I didn’t move all the way here to work for my Dad.”

My oldest friend, who practically grew up in my home, who saw, who knew– she had to know–, chuckles, turns to her husband and says, “In case you hadn’t noticed, Cicada has Daddy Issues.”

Dismissed, explained away, I fall silent. I am one of a million girls who just has “Daddy Issues.” Yeah. That’s all it is. Just one more 20-something girl who couldn’t hack it.  

And another safe relationship slams shut its doors. But I’m faster this time, and jump back in time to save my fingers.

******************************************************

“So, how was your visit with your family?” 

I ignore the earnest interest and grit my teeth briefly, then smile, just hoping it reaches my eyes. I shrug. “It was fine.”

My fingers are safely tucked in my pockets. 

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