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Daddy's Girl*

I have no memories of my father until I'm past age 11. He was in the Navy for 28 years. I was fortunate that I didn't have to move all the time like the Grunt or Flyboys/girls. I was born in Germany and then we went to W. Virginia when I was 18mos old. When I was three we went to S. Carolina. We lived there for 7 years. If I had to sit down and name 5 specific memories right there on the spot, I honestly could not do it. I remember 2 kitchen fires, the neighbor across the street dying (and we thought she was drunk and slipped on the pool deck again. Oops.) and my mom stalling out the 5speed at the stop sign a dozen times (it was in 3rd gear). None of these involve my dad. He was out to sea for 9 months at a time and I don't recall a single time going to the pier to welcome him home. To be honest, I was probably in daycare. That's where I spent all of my weekdays when I wasn't in school. My mom didn't have a job. She volunteered some but not to the point that I needed to be there so much. I don't know if this all factored into me turning into a huge daddy's girl and yet, I am.

We moved to Great Lakes, IL (N. Chicago, Waukegan, Gurnee, etc) when I was 10. My dad was on shore duty (can't run an aircraft carrier on Lake Michigan as well as the Atlantic Ocean). Now that daddy was home all the time, I wanted to spend more time with him. He was a strict man, still is sometimes, but I'll admit, I got away with a lot more shit with him than my mother. He was the one I went to when I broke my arm (after the lecture that I should have been home 20min ago and it's my own fault if I really think about it and now dinner is cold), he was there when I was devastated at the thought of going to prom alone (and realizing once I was dropped off at prom that my parents forgot to give me money for pictures so now I have none of the event which in hindsight is not such a bad thing because the dress is SCREAMING 1980's).

Right before I turned 17, I found out we were moving to Germany that summer. This was going to happen between my junior and senior year. I was so outraged and pissed off. I'd been going to school with the same kids for 6 years and now I had to leave all my friends and move? To another country? For my senior year? I asked my parents if I could throw myself a birthday/going away party and my dad right away said yes. My mother? No. FYI: I never had a birthday party with the exception of my 1st birthday when my grandparents flew to Germany to see me. NONE after the 1st one. I had to beg and plead, finally after groveling (sp?) she gave in. Then I had to beg that he take her out. I couldn't have her there, nit picking over the noise, the cigarette smoking by minors (even though by then they knew I was stealing smokes from them and even gave me money to get them at the vending machine in the bowling alley. Good job!) I couldn't have that kind of stress there. He won Father of the Year award for pulling that off. He understood then how upset I was but there was nothing he could or would do. He was not about to sign over power of attorney and custody to my friend's mom. I was going with them whether I liked it or not.

When I lost my virginity to some stupid boy and regretted it 2 minutes later (and really, most of us do regret it), I told my dad. Sounds odd but he was the first person (after my friends) that I told. He let me cry about my stupidity and let me know that everyone makes mistakes and while mine was colossal to me at the time, I would get over it someday. Maybe when I'm 30 (nope). Maybe when I'm 60 (we'll see). When I said I wanted to go back to the states then changed my mind when we landed at Dullis, he worked out a plan for me to come back after the summer.

All of my life he's been there for me. He's spanked me when I told my mom to shut up. He grounded me for rolling my eyes. He made me write a thousand times "I will not ever ditch school again. I need my education to be productive in life" when I skipped and was caught by the police chief's secretary. When I wanted a TV, I had to keep my room clean for 2 weeks with no reminders from him about it. I was 14. A teenage girl. Impossible as it may sound, I did it. If acted like an ass in public, I was chastised in public. I embarrass them, they embarrass back. I was never handed anything. I had to bust my ass to get the things most kids took for granted. I never drove a car without my parents until I was 20. Well, the 4 days before we moved to Germany we were in Iowa visiting family and I just got my license and got pulled over 4 (four) hours after getting it. Yeah, that was fun.

When I talk about my parents, it's clear to many, if not all, that I'm a daddy's girl. I really wish that people wouldn't assume that means I'm spoiled. Money I've borrowed from my dad has always had conditions and a payback deadline applied. I'm not spoiled by any stretch of the imagination. I just love my dad and he loves me (that sounds so creepy but really LOL it's not!). I'm not sure to this day still how I would write about my mom. I love her but yeah. I don't know what to say. Anywhoo, this was what I wanted to write on Father's Day but didn't have the time to compose my thoughts and get them out.

Thanks for listening internet.

* I apologize ahead of time (even though this is after the post) for any headaches incurred while reading this. There are several tangents (some off topic) and I think I may have gone off the road a couple times trying to get some thoughts out. Sorry. Take two Tylenol (or Vicadin, T3w/ Codeine, shots of booze, cases of beer) whatever it takes to feel better.


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