Round 2

So, earlier I blogged about the conversation with my father over Christmas, and how he sort of hounded me about tithing and such. I felt like a big girl and told him that I was making an adult, informed decision and that I didn't want to discuss it. He pushed a little bit, but eventually moved onto other topics.

Well, the day before yesterday, he called again. I've been avoiding him lately because he's been hounding me a lot, trying to micromanage my life in a bunch of little ways, so I've dropped off the radar a bit.

Anyway, he called me. I ignored the call but texted him to tell him that I was working (a blatant lie), but asked what was up. This is my way of finding out whether it is actually important--as in, does this have something to do with my mother's health? Anyway, he sent back that he left a message. So I listened to the message and it was basically, "Hey, this is your dad, I've got your mom right next to me. We're kind of worried about you, we haven't heard your voice in a while, and would like to hear from you. We'll both be up until ten, so just give us a call when you can. Your mom misses you."

This effectively guilted me into calling them. I fully expected to be able to talk to my mother, since it sounded like she wanted to talk. Right?

Well... they had me on speakerphone, but my mother didn't say a single thing during the conversation. Nada. My dad dominated, even when discussing my mom's chemo treatment, or how she was feeling. He gave me all the information. "Yeah, your mom went in for chemo the other day. The lump is reacting really well, it's shrinking and isn't hard anymore..." Fantastic, but can I hear it from Mom?

But then, I asked if we should be planning for my next visit. You know, so that we can budget for it and save up the money, so that I'm not hanging out here in the Great White North waiting to see my mother, who could die, and then get an earful this summer about how you had to use a credit card to get plane tickets. It seems like a reasonable proposition, right? Start planning now so that come March or April, we'll have saved enough for some cheap tickets, and I can see my mother by May.

No such luck. Dad started going on about how we'll start talking about it after I've gotten on my feet financially, and he's gotten himself a little better off, and oh yeah, I need to start paying my tithing, I just need to.

I said, "Dad, we've already had this conversation and I'm not willing to revisit it."

And he said, "I know, I was just reminding you, because it's really important for you to pay your tithing."

So I said, fully conscious of my silent mother listening in, "Dad, I've made my decision on it, you aren't going to change my mind, and I am not going to talk about it again."

He made a couple more attempts to posture and make it seem like he was just reminding me, was just concerned for me, et cetera, then we moved on.

But it really makes my blood boil. This whole conversation does, in fact. First, he coerces me into calling him under the pretense that my mom wants to talk to me, which I'm fine with, but then he dominates the conversation and doesn't let my mother talk at all. Then, he gets all holier-than-thou and acts like because he is the presiding authority in the family, he has direct authority to tell me what I need to be doing, trying to micromanage my life. THEN, he reopens a topic that he KNOWS I won't budge on, which I made clear in a previous conversation I was not willing to discuss, in front of my mom whom he knows will be upset by any argument over the subject, and who was not feeling well that day due to her chemo. What the hell?

And don't even get me started on the presumption of getting me back on my feet financially before I can visit my mother. The last time I checked, I was doing better financially than my dad. I am only about $5,000 in the hole, all from student loans which I had to take out because my father, who had promised my entire life that he would take care of college for me, but in return I would forfeit any inheritance in his will, got stupid with his money and dug himself a hole roughly to the tune of $100,000. And that isn't counting his half-million dollar home he decided to build.

Oh, and one final thing: is it just me, or did it kind of seem that he's holding tithing over my head as something I must start doing or he won't let me come down to visit my mother?

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