Twelve years on, this is the day of the year I can't seem to control my anger. Hallmark emailed me about how I should handle this holiday, and I wanted to scream and rant. Deletion just is not enough.
Through the year, I can manage to get through every one of the thousands upon thousands of times I am told by my television, mail, and so on that I am a non-person because I do not belong to A FAMILY (I have family, yes; but the degree to which our politics and pop culture presumes all people are - or are supposed to be - members of a nuclear family is impossible to really "feel" for those who actually do; for those of us who do not, it is an inescapable imposition upon us that we don't belong to the world if we don't belong to one). But come May and Mother's Day, this day begins to bob up on the horizon. And there is no way around it.
Father's Day acknowledges NOTHING about those of us whose fathers are no longer with us. Never mind those whose fathers don't occupy that nuclear-familial role. What that must feel like I can't even imagine, but it's awful to contemplate.
I only know that the only thing I've been able to feel for this day, myself, for a dozen years is impotent anger. Impotent, not in the face of my father, but in the face of my CULTURE, which parades ugly shirts and power tools and stupid stereotypes at me for weeks on end, and cannot apparently conceive of death.
It is exhausting - the parade, and my own anger. I know the latter is a bag of rocks I collected for myself and it does nothing. But I let it live on, because I am not perfect and I don't want to be, and I have very little anger and hatred in my life. This ... Well, this doesn't actually hurt anyone. It is not aimed inward, it's not aimed at anyone. Only the faceless monolith of the idiotic and money-driven tone of the world I have chosen to stick with in life. Hallmark needs to bite it hard enough to break a tooth. But there's no ill wished on actual humans (or teeth).
On my dad's last Father's Day, I made sweet rolls and brought them to my parents' house. We ate out on their brick lanai in the back yard, then lay in the grass, lolled in the hammock, talked to each other in the iron patio furniture. My rolls weren't as good as grandma's - the sugar didn't completely caramelize with the butter. But they tasted good. My dad told me long ago, my bread was really good. It was good enough, that day.
That day is over.
This one ... isn't.