What about your father?

I very rarely mention my father. In fact, I think one will have a higher chance of striking lottery than hearing me talk about him. So there, those of you who are reading, do go and get yourself a ticket.

I don’t think I have even discussed him with my close friends. I remember J tried to ask me about him while we were travelling in Paris. I snapped at her and told her I didn’t want to talk about it.

Two of my work colleagues tried to carefully broach the subject. I just told them that we do not live together. When I was temping at the SPH media library 10 years ago, a lady I worked with took me out to lunch and asked me, “Is your father dead?” I was quite startled, and said “no”. But I can’t blame her for assuming so.

My parents split up when I was 9. I don’t remember much about the divorce, but I do recall my parents sleeping in different bedrooms when I was in primary school. Apparently, my mother said I never questioned why Dad moved out. She said that when she explained the situation to me, I just said, “Alright, Mum.”

I don’t hate my Dad, but I can’t say I love him either. I care about him somewhat, because he is afterall my father. He isn’t a bad person. He has never hit me or my Mum, and I think he loved Mum till the end.

He was just bad with money and preferred to gamble it all away. Mum left him because she was tired of seeing the loansharks who were coming around. She was very disappointed in him.

But she never stopped me from going out with or contacting my Dad. When I was still in school, we went out every other week, to the zoo or the birdpark or Sentosa. Sometimes we caught a movie and had A&W root beer floats. I always enjoyed myself.

Dad was working as a taxi driver but he seemed to have a lot of trouble with money. He borrowed some thousands from me when I was a teenager, and I don’t remember if he had paid it all back. Mum was very upset with me then, and really pissed off with him.

I don’t blame Mum for leaving him, though it deeply affects me till now that I did not grow up in a nuclear family. My Mum, aunt and grandma did their best to give me all their love and concern and I am very blessed to have them. But that unfortunately can never make up for not having a father around.

I still feel very sad about this, that I did not grow up in a “normal” home with both parents, but among so many women. That’s probably the reason why I never like to bring up my Dad and start the long story, because it always makes me cry.

In recent years, Dad has found a job as a security officer and I think he is really contented. It’s a job that suits him. Dad is a funny man and he likes mingling among people. Judging from the value of the ang pow he gives me every Chinese New Year, I know he’s not into dices anymore.

I think the dynamics of our relationship have changed as we both grow older. We meet during the school holidays for a meal or a walk in town. I feel I’m meeting an older friend. We don’t have a lot to talk about. I ocassionally give him some money, which is awkward for both of us because we know he’s never really supported me financially. 

I have no doubt that my family situation is the reason why I am attracted to older men. I appreciate their wisdom and maturity. Surprisingly, I am not averse to marriage or kids. In fact, my background motivates me to try to make mine a success and bring up kids in a “normal” family.

I told W one day when we were returning from lunch, “If I lose the love for my husband, I will still stay married with him. For the sake of my child. I know the kind of pyschological effect it has on the kid when parents split. And how long it lasts.”

I am the kid. This is my story. Dedicated to all those who asked or wondered “What about your father?”

Explore posts in the same categories: Family, Life

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