Daddy and Mommy — Opposites do Attract (Part 4)

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My father was very funny, as was my sister, as was I.  Dinnertime was usually accompanied by lots of laughter with good-natured ribbing of each other.  Not that my mother got any of the jokes.  Mom didn’t have a sense of humor, though she could act like she did for her friends. My father also would play with me. There is a picture on my father’s bureau of me wearing  baby doll pajamas and holding a toy golf club.  My father would often play golf with me using holes dug and filled with frozen orange juice cans. Sometimes we would have art sessions using John Gnagy’s drawing instructions as inspiration.  I also remember him making chocolate milk sodas for us in the summer.  My sister was eight years older and off with her friends so it was just me and Dad together doing stuff on his days off from work.  My mother was either napping or watching her soaps or busy with some housework.  These were good times where she was only in the background. Where my mother was harsh and mean, my father was kind and gentle and funny and I loved him. I remember him gently taking out my splinters.  It was treated like minor surgery.  The needle would be torched with his lighter or a match to sanitize it.  Then he would carefully remove the offending little particle. It didn’t hurt at all.  It practically tickled.  This symbolized my father whereas my mother’s washing of my hair symbolized her cruelty.  She would dig her dagger-like long nails into my scalp.  It hurt plenty.  I would avoid her after school like she was the plague and hide at the next door neighbors when I knew I was due for a hair washing.  She also enjoyed swinging me around by my hair if I had been bad.  She often would refer to herself as a witch by speaking of her witch’s broom being in for repair when we would need a ride someplace (she didn’t drive).  Years later when she passed away, both my sister and I responded with the same exact words when we were told of her death:  “Ding Dong, the witch is dead!”

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