22.6.07

Just boring parents, but. . .

June 22nd was the day Dad was born and the day he and mom got married. They were married as long as I knew them (grin), a marvel as they dealt with lost jobs, went from well enough off with two cars, house in nice neighborhood, country club membership, to barely money to feed, nothing for anything else, no cars, hour each way in FL heat to get groceries on the bus (unairconditioned), no money to buy us school clothes, no thrift stores like we have now, etc. Mom suffering from major depressions at time, etc. You know, marriages with real people and real problems, like many other people have and allow to collapse around them.

I tried to consciously think of what they taught me about marriage without much success. I rely so heavily on instincts that facts become feelings and are hard to convert back to facts.

They had a much more traditional marriage than Leon and I, in the sense Mom was the homemaker, Dad was the provider. She excelled at putting him first (after the kids); when he worked the evening shift all those years, she cooked dinner twice, once for my brother and I, again for my Dad. She even had it timed so it was ready to eat as soon as he walked in the door, something I have never learned to pull off. Made it hard to sleep if I was late getting to bed, smelling all that food cooking. . . and I loved food, and many nights it was cabbage cooked in bacon grease. I am vegetarian now, but still love the smell of bacon cooking.

Mom sucked at housework until we were grown and out of the house. Yes, that is a strong word and I am sure it will offend someone, but it is most descriptive. Yes, I followed in her footsteps. Her priorities were her children, Dad, and golf. I can remember few days, even as a young adult that she was not home when we were; it just felt right. If that is old school, then I am eternally grateful they were.

Dad did the heavy stuff, man stuff. Mom paid the bills, kept the house, took care of the kids. (heehee, I said kept the house, well -- she did sort of!) Those two, for the most part, seemed to see eye to eye on almost everything (that we observed as children) with one exception. Dad said what he was thinking when he was mad when he thought it; didn't matter if we were at the dinner table.

Mom hated arguments of any kind, anywhere, and at her dinner table, forget it! They didn't agree much on discipline either, that was a bone of contention to coin an old phrase, but, at the same time, I don't remember them undermining each other, I mean, that she said no, and he said yes. On occasion, my brother or I could pull it off, but not as a rule. Wait, that was because Dad worked nights a lot, so only Mom was there to make decisions and back then you didn't call people at work! (So, much for the undermining theory.)

It was not until they were older that we really saw the caring between each other. It may have always been there but we didn't see them together that often when he was working nights. Mom waited on him; he was protective of her. There was obvious affection in their eyes. They were a couple who lived, for the most part, what most would consider boring lives. I know at times Mom, the more social of the two, longed for adventure and travel, Dad never shared thoughts like that. I honestly don't know if he dreamed or not (pathetic, that I don't, I know), but I know he and mom were both content they had each other and their two children and our families.

I realize these words are boring, somewhat like their lives must seem to others, but boring is not always bad. . . it was a boring contentment, and contentment is something few people are lucky enough to realize.

Feel free to read the other entries, some much less boring, including two poems, I made this week in reference to my dad (and father's day) here.

5 comments:

This Eclectic Life said...

Sometimes, boring contentment can be blissful. I know what you mean about not knowing if your dad "dreamed." I didn't know that about my daddy until reading the love letters momma had saved. I didn't find your post boring at all, my friend. Once again, you sent me on an emotional journey.

nutmeg said...

Visiting from this eclectic life. I long to be that boring! I think sucking at housework is the sign of a great mom. That I can do!

Damien Riley said...

I think making a marriage and a family work long-term is never boring! :) You really have a way with describing things. I enjoyed reading this post. Being a dad/husband in a family is quite challenging at times. nice to read I am not alone through history.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

Damien Riley - It's not boring, not really, just seems like it to some people. You are not alone in past history or future history! Thanks for commenting.

Marcia (MeeAugraphie) said...

This Eclectic Life - It is great you had your daddy's letters. I'm starting to love sending you on emotional journeys, just let me know if they get too emotional.

Nutmeg - Nice to know someone else sees it the way I did.

Thank you two for visiting today!