1997

As a kid, I often thought if my parents would ever get a divorce. I didn’t really understand it, i knew they would be living separately but i did not know what a divorce was. As a young kid, i said to myself that i wasn’t prepared for it. Maybe in a few years. So i came up with a year where i would be comfortable with it: 1997. Don’t ask me why, i just came up with it. It seemed far way enough in time that i wouldn’t care about it and i could choose to live with either of them. At least that’s what my only friend with divorced parents told me: “i live with my mom because i chose. i go to my dad’s on weekends or vacations”. My knowledge of divorce was this, having two houses to choose from, having two different bedrooms, having two everything, i thought.

I’d like to point out that my parents never got divorced nor did they ever had arguments that could make someone think that. They got along just fine.

I planned ahead. I’d go with team dad, not because i preferred him over mom, but just because i thought my brother would choose my mom (that momma’s boy) and so i would choose my dad. My sister was too young to choose so she had to stay with mom. That was kid me planning shit. And since everyone kept telling me i was my fathers spitting image, it made sense to me.

I always connected with my dad, we always had a very good relationship. My sister was very close to my mom, being the only girl and my brother always seemed to prefer my mom over my dad. But they got along just fine too. But me and my dad, we clicked. We were tight. He was my example to follow. As little kids, we all think the same, i guess.

He didn’t show his emotions often, my mom was more like that but still, i learned to appreciate the small things. My dad was always very quiet concerning his parents, so even though i met my grandmother, most things i knew about them was through my mom or aunts. So i knew that my grandfather was very strict but once relaxed, he was sort of a prankster, very pleasant to be around. My mom said that he used to joke with her always, that he was funny and very nice. So i supposed i had these references. Everyone kept telling me as i grew up that, in some ways, i was like him. It didn’t really affect me and i didn’t really care as a teen. But then you start to mature and realize that it is a good thing that you remind people of loved ones.

I’m capable of being very stupid. As in, saying the most inappropriate things at the most random moments. It is actually a gift, you see. At a our grandmothers funeral, i made my mom laugh so much that she had to clutch herself to me so it looked like she was sobbing so people just came over to say those overly clichéd lines. All the while, she was laughing.

During a work-meeting, a colleague at the same company but from a different department came to give a sort of welcome speech and she turns to the table where i was sitting and goes like: ” oh god, i feel so emotional being back here and blah, blah, blah … i see my ex-colleagues over there…” and points towards us. So this goes on for awhile, the room is full of people. She ends and asks if there are any questions, so of course, i raise my hand. For a few seconds, it looks like she’s ignoring me but since no one cares enough to ask questions, she looks at me, semi-puzzled look on and goes: “Yes?”. And i must say it. “So, does this mean we’re no longer colleagues?”. She talked for about 30 mins, i retained the “ex-colleagues” line only.

What can i say? There this urge in me and i must go along with it. Sometimes it works fine, other times not so much.

One Christmas my uncle and his family came to spend it with us. My uncle was overjoyed as it was the first Christmas he spent with his side of the family in about 20+ years. He was excited. So we’re preparing for dinner, we pop open a few bottles and my dad and him are just talking about Christmas, how it was when they were little. And my uncle says that he really misses their father, especially during the holidays. My dad turns to him and says: “Oh, you have no idea what Christmas is with us. I, too, miss dad but with him (me) here, its like dad is here with us. He’s funny as dad was and things get very entertaining around here.” My dad had never told me this. I had no idea i made it more enjoyable for him just by reminding him of his dad. So i took it as a big compliment, possibly the best compliment i’ve ever gotten.

When i got married, my dad cried. A lot. Never had i seen him cry like that. I don’t know if it was out of joy or because he knew exactly what awaited me after being married for 35 years.

We have our ups and downs, but i kinda like him.

Santiago Roque

Author: santiago roque

I can predict the future. If given the right topic. Often confusing, i am mostly me on emotional steroids.

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