August 14, 2003

What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

It happens in all relationships at some time, I suppose. Eventually, you find yourself dozing on an inflatable mattress tube, drifting lazily over the surface of your girlfriend's father's backyard swimming pool, while on the patio set nearby, your girlfriend, her father, and her father's new boyfriend engage in animated discussion about new interior decorating concepts for your girlfriend's father's home.

Sometimes, all you can do is float and doze and marvel at the strange journey that is life.

I remember when I first started dating Melissa, like, maybe the third date. She invited me over to swim in her father's pool.

"Her father has a pool," I remember thinking. "That's awesome!"

So, I went swimming with Melissa for awhile, and then she asked if I wanted to take a quick tour of her dad's place. During the tour, I was introduced to her father, and some guy about my age, who I assumed was Melissa's brother or something. Back in the pool, I asked Mel what her relationship was with the other guy in the house.

"Oh, that's my dad's boyfriend."

You know that look you get when confronted with a really tough calculus problem? Yeah, that would be the look I radiated, I'm pretty sure.

Since that time, the reality of Mel's dad's preference for men is just a given. I've listened to Mel talk about her dad breaking up with his longtime boyfriend, and I've engaged in long discussions with her about getting her dad back together with another guy. Any guy. I talk about getting her dad hooked up with another guy the way I talk about getting Marc together with some girl other than Kelli.

But, there's a large part of me that takes exception to her dad's selfishness (not his lifestyle, mind you, but his selfishness), and some of the stories she has related to me about the early days of his coming out just make me cringe with the unfairness he piled on his three daughters.

Consider, for the moment, that he broke his marriage vows to explore his rediscovered homosexuality. Maybe it's because I come from a strong family background. My parents have been married for 30+ years and have endured plenty of hardship, most of all raising me, but they persevered.

There are those who would say that it wouldn't be fair for Mel's dad to have lived a lie. But, if you take the homosexuality out of the equation, he sacrificed his marriage so he could have sex with someone else. That's just adultery. He broke his wedding vows to have sex with someone else. I know, I know. We live in a society that touts over a 50 percent divorce rate, and Lord knows I may not be immune. But, whether you're gay or straight, the same rules apply, and if you break your vows because of an overcharged libido, you're being selfish. Factor in a marriage that features three children, and you're being monumentally selfish.

But, beyond that was her father's behavior after the divorce. With Mel just out of high school, her dad invited her and her sister, Jenny, to go out with him and his boyfriend. What that entailed was a limo ride to the cities to go to the Gay 90s. The limo was packed with strangers smoking pot and drinking and sharing with the girls while her dad and her dad's boyfriend made out in the back. Mel and Jenny couldn't do anything but keep their eyes trained to the front, while Melissa fought back tears. What the fuck was her dad thinking?

Back in May, Melissa decorated her dad's home, buying all the items for his house under the assurance he would pay her back. Months passed, and her dad came up with excuse after excuse why not to pay her back. Until last night.

Last night, in the presence of the new boyfriend, Mel pressed for the money, and her dad couldn't jump up fast enough to pay the check. You know, gotta play the role of the good dad and all. That type of shit just pisses me off. Gay or not, this guy is unforgivably selfish.

Posted by Ryan at August 14, 2003 10:29 AM
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