Your comments on my previous post re threadbare/old clothes took me back to a very shameful moment in my relationship with my father.
It was 1992, I was in Std 9 and it was my big tennis match of the season. My father of course was there to support me because he had taken leave to do some things around the house and we were both chuffed that he would finally be able to see one of my matches as they always happened after school on weekdays when he was at work.
So I’m at the venue and we’re warming up and out of the corner of my eye I see my Dad strolling towards the benches. OMG! What is he wearing!!! Is he kidding me?! Is he for real?! He was wearing his weekend gear (ie not suit and tie) and it was fine where my friends could not see him but he was now at my school in those clothes!
I wanted to die of embarrassment and didn’t once look at him or acknowledge his waves and nods and winks of encouragement. I won my match and I think it was mostly fuelled by anger because I had a record number of aces that day!
I gave my Dad an earful in the car on the way home and was so angry with him for days afterwards.
But last year while in the depths of recession, I was standing in Woolies and really wanted to get a pair of nice trousers and maybe a shoe for myself but then realised that Thomas needed clothes more than I did. So I used the money I had sort of earmarked for clothes for myself to buy clothes for my son and it HIT ME!
My father must have had many of the same moments as we were growing up and he had FOUR children – all at PRICEY schools – all with LOADS OF EXTRAMURALS to pay for and a BIG HOUSE and GARDEN to maintain and FOUR DOGS and TWO CATS and TWO CARS and EVERYTHING ELSE. That’s why my Dad was wearing shitty clothes and didn’t look like my coach in a snazzy tracksuit or snazzy casual clothes! I called my Dad that day filled with shame and THANKED him for everything he did for me.
Daddy, you rock – from your ungrateful brat of a daughter!
Thomas with his Dadda.