Spider – You Can Pick Your Friends but You Can’t Pick Your Family…



I borrowed this picture from Somewhere Joe over at Hooky Beach. This picture just spoke volumes to me. If you have been following this blog and my previous one, you will know that my relationship with my parents has not always been the best in the world. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized how dysfunctional my family was – and no, that is not just pop psychology lingo left over from the 1970’s. My Mom and I were inseparable when I was a child – it wasn’t until I got older and realized what was going on that that changed. My Dad and I could never stay in the same room for over 15 minutes without being at each others throats.


This picture shows something that I never had – a Dad who would take time with me, teach me, explain things to me patiently and let me learn from him. My Dad was the 6 A’s and B Dad – “why did you get the “B” – you obviously didn’t work hard enough.” My Dad was a one time teacher – you didn’t get it the first time, well, you didn’t get a second chance – but you better do it right. My Dad is the only person who has ever said to my face that they hated me… twice. My Mother called me a son of a bitch this last trip down but I just considered the source.


One of the things that I was actually relieved about when I figured out I was gay was that I would not have children and I would not be the kind of father that my Dad was to me – it was a relief that I would not have to subject another human to something like that.


As you may have been following, my parents came down to visit and to “take care of me” after both of my surgeries. The first trip down was a little short of a disaster, but the second trip down. I am not sure what happened – but things began to click between my Dad and I. I didn’t mind being in the same room with him. We actually went out together and did some things together – went to look at new cars, things like that. Maybe it is because we both have my Mother to bitch about, we now have common ground – but we actually got along.


Maybe we have had problems because we are much more alike than I care to admit. Maybe we both are realizing that maybe neither of us have much time left here – and we have wasted 47 years being pissed off at each other. Maybe both of us just need someone at this point in our lives – or maybe we just realized that maybe we need each other.


Funny how life works out…


~ by Brett on July 31, 2007.

17 Responses to “Spider – You Can Pick Your Friends but You Can’t Pick Your Family…”

  1. A good few things take a lifetime to achieve, if ever… but not this. I’m so glad that you and your dad are finally getting to know one another! I think that’s so sweet beyond words. 47 years is a long time, but some things are better than never.

  2. i hope that there is some closure between you two; and you can have some sort of rapport now. that would be nice.

  3. Well, ma dad run for another woman when I’m in senior high school. Thank god I manage to hold on, and now have my own great family…

  4. I am glad there is some level of reconcilliation between you and your father. That cannot be a bad thing. Indeed it is funny how life works out.

  5. Spider, that was a beautiful post. Something tells me that you would have been a great Dad.

  6. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have been like your dad. You are very open minded, you learn, you grow, and had you been faced with the responsibility of having a child, you would have done your darnedest to make sure that child had a loving environment.

    It’s good you two are getting along. A little confusing, but good nonetheless.

    And had parents like that said they were coming “to take care of me,” I’d have said, “No thanks.”

  7. I am happy to hear of the reconciliation. I surmise that both of you have learned and have moved toward each other.

    I am a firm believer that persons can disagree with each other and still be civil, still be good friends even. We waste so much time, energy, and emotion when we let that disagreement degrade into animosity or worse.

    My own Dad was somewhat similar, but there are striking differences. Despite the disappointment I was to my father/mother in many ways, I knew that they loved me and I never bore in my soul the hateful words that you have needed to bear.

  8. […] « The Report of the Point Committee My Father: a Tribute August 1st, 2007 Spider writes about his relationship with his father in his post today. He writes about the broken […]

  9. Nice post, my brother and I have some of the same relationship with our father…. he more than I. Last Christmas, I told him that we always expect our father to piss us off and we look for reasons to make sure we are right…. I am trying to find common ground and it gets easier, I am pushing my brother to do the same.

  10. Glad to hear that things are getting better between the two of you. It is funny how life changes and some of the quirks that totally pissed you off before seem to melt away and aren’t that big of a deal anymore.

    Take care bud


  11. Whatever the reason for the greater tolerance between the two of you, I believe it is a good thing.

  12. Amazing, these time we live in. Nothing short of a miracle some days. Needing a miracle the next day. I’m very very happy for you. We all need encouragement and fresh chances in our lives.

  13. Spider it’s great that you and your father are making progress, and maybe even a breakthrough. If nothing else, the parents did at least get us here and that, for most of us, is an outrageous privilege.

  14. This development in your relationship with your dad is great. Growing up, my dad was a hard-assed, alcoholic Marine who I tried to avoid if I could. Luckily, we’re both different people and we have a great relationship.

    I hope you and your Dad continue to nurture a growing relationship. 🙂

  15. I’ve gone back and re-read this post…..the part where your dad told you he hated you and your mom called you a son of a bitch really hit me this time. That cannot have felt good — either at the time nor today. I wish you (and them) continued success. I know that you were pretty much under the weather last spring when the series on my father ran on my site….but if you ever have the time and/or inclination, maybe you’d like to read it sometime. Take care, my friend. Still hoping for the day that we’re able to meet.

    Part 1: http://spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-dad-part-1-impact-of-childhood.html
    Part 2: http://spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-dad-part-2-its-great-day.html
    Part 3: http://spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com/2007/03/my-dad-part-3-finale-curtain-must-close.html

  16. I hope things continue to get better with you and your family. I had the same relationship with my father and it wasn’t until after he had a serious stroke that it started to change for the better. I’ve never been able to figure out why, but was thankful for the ability to not hate each other.

  17. Don’t know how this post got by me…maybe vacation. One always has to keep an open heart to healing. I like to think that you and your dad need each other. Always keep that element in the back of your head. I hope you called them…they are a support system too. Hugs!

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