Monday, January 24, 2011

When the roles are reversed

It's said that we become our parents' parents as they age. I think I've started to get to that point with Dad, and it's hard. I'm torn between getting pissed off to the point of unholy at him, and genuine pity for what's happening to him and worrying about the danger he's starting to put himself in. He'll be 65 this summer and he's still driving a semi. We're scared as shit just to drive in a normal vehicle with him because he weaves all over the road, tailgates, speeds, and talks on the phone/removes his coat or jacket/eats food while driving. He purchased a '96 S-10 in November and GUESS WHAT HUGE SURPRISE, the thing has already started acting up and he's poured over $850 in repairs into it, and now it won't even start. So I'm stuck getting driven back and forth to work in MY OWN damn vehicle because they 'need' mine for my dumbass nephew to go to GED classes in, and for Dad to get back and forth to the parts store. I was doing some shopping tonight after I got off and Dad picked me up. He then complained to me that the security guard told him off for sitting in the fire lane. "You're not supposed to sit in the fire lane, Dad!"

"But I was only there for a minute. I was waiting for a closer parking space to open up."

This from the same person who has always scolded at the lazy and the gluttonous.

"You can't sit in the fire lane, not even if you're in the vehicle. Otherwise we'd have the idiots who sit there for 15-20 minutes while their wives are in there shopping."

"So? It shouldn't matter if there's a person in the vehicle, since you're in there and the engine is running, you can get out of the way."

FML, my own father is an entitlement whore. Then on the ride home he tells me martyr style all about how he's only had about 2 hours of sleep in the past 24. What the . . . you shouldn't be driving around! He then tells me it's ok as long as it's daylight. Uh, fucking hell! It's 7PM and it's dark. You're a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road with you. 2 hours of sleep is not adequate, especially for someone who can fucking sleep sitting up! He made me so angry I don't know what to do. He clearly doesn't seem to care if he kills or injures himself or how that will affect his loved ones. He also clearly doesn't care if he smashes up my truck while doing so. That last bit seems selfish of me, and so it is. But I'm sick and tired of his overconfidence and he's wrecked enough stuff (not always belonging to him) with his stupidity over the years. He doesn't need to be out driving anymore, let alone a semi. Someone running on 2 hours sleep has no business running ANYTHING with a motor. Two or three years ago he managed to let himself get robbed because he believed a scam artist who said he would 'double any amount of money in your hand', so he got $100 out of the ATM machine and went running back to the guy. Two years ago he fell out the back of his trailer in the middle of NYC and woke up in a taxi. Last week he was in the store, close to tears, asking me to borrow my cell phone because he lost his. Some kid found it in the parking lot at Advance Auto and turned it back in.

I don't know what to do about him anymore, as he doesn't listen to anything I have to say and it's getting to the point where anything I say honestly is going to hurt his feelings. I hate it. I can sometimes make myself feel a little better by telling myself "Well, be thankful. It could be worse. He could be like Pippy's Dad, running outside with a gun to shoot squirrels and hitting everything else, or begging me for money he claims he needs and then spending it on booze and prostitutes." But Pip's problems are his problems and my problems are mine, and they stress me out almost as much. My father is becoming a child, only his age gives him all the rights and privileges of an adult, and it's scary.

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