We all know I’m enough of a dick to blog about my relationship with my dad so let’s just hope he doesn’t think to google me for another day. My dad drove from Calistoga to my place in Highland Park last week Thursday. He arrived at night. I immediately get tense around my dad. His brain is like a thousand wind turbines dancing through the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland so we are a team of mosquitoes drinking Mountain Dew when we’re together. All I can think about is how much guilt I’ll feel for being so annoyed with him all the time when he dies. If we could just pet and talk about cats the whole time we’re together, we might just relax. But until we go to a cat cafe in Japan, that will never happen.
Friday I went to take care of my friends’ kid for a few hours, so my dad stayed at my house. I guess he did wander out and drive up Figueroa, until he saw that it changed into Riverside…then he swung around and sped back to my house. When I got home, I did some cleaning so we could leave for Palm Springs. We loaded up our fitness equipment: his bicycles and my skateboard. This was the best part about planning a trip together: including our joy sports. We got on the 210 at 4:00 which is like putting on pantyhose then dumping a ton of potatoes into them and trying to walk around. We crawled along in his station wagon. At one point we passed a matte black, somewhat bedraggled mini truck that had been dropped to about an inch above the ground. It absolutely was not more than two inches off the ground. The lowest I have ever seen, and I went to Santa Rosa High in the late 80’s. My dad looked over and said, “Look at that trash can.” I said, “I think it’s kinda great.” He said, “Yeah but you see, it’s just a big safety hazard. You can’t turn quickly, if at all, which becomes a problem if you’re trying to avoid an accident. They’re gonna bottom out or scrape with the slightest change in terrain. And fuel economy…well. They threw THAT out the window.” And he said some other stuff, all in harsh tones that you might use for hurting children’s feelings or persecuting old people. So I said, “Isn’t it kind of American to take something like a car and make it your own? And maybe they don’t care about fuel economy, maybe they just want to enjoy the ride.” And he said, “You know what? You’re right.” One thing about my dad, besides his obsession with everyone being stupid and doing stupid things constantly, is that he is willing to admit when he’s wrong. It’s cool.
We got to the MARRIOTTTT because my dad travels constantly and has a billion points there, so we could stay for free. It turned out he only reserved one room for the two of us to share, and people, this is where my very spoiled, Paris Hilton BS comes out. I mean, the heart of it is, I thought I was going to die of ripping my own face off if we shared a room. I needed a break super badly. And part of a hotel room for me is just prancing around naked, watching cable, taking baths and reading tarot cards. None of these things could happen whilst sharing a room. I seriously got so twisted up inside, I didn’t know how to be sane, normal or kind. It was very clear that I don’t work with the homeless or for the UN. I felt so embarrassed for my adverse reaction and then determined to put a room on my credit card if I had to. Can you believe this drama? I sound like I’m reporting losing sequins off a dress or something. I sound like I lost a Faberge egg. I sound like I’m flipping out from losing a diamond-encrusted hair clip (didn’t I use the word “encrusted” in my last post?). If I grew up in a town where everyone lives in close quarters, this wouldn’t be so hard for me. BUT I DIDN’T SO PUT YOUR DUMB SWORD DOWN. I KNOW MY LIMITATIONS (somewhat).
I got my own room.
Ugh. Hang on and I’ll solve this embarrassment by donating money to a cause.
Oh also did I mention there was a women’s motorcycle club in town and staying at the hotel? A profusion of robust women wandered about. Including one lady who was in her late sixties, and had to be topping out at 85 pounds in full leathers and Wranglers. Glorious. She was the only person there who was slimmer than my dad, who could play a praying mantis in a grade school production of whatever play has a praying mantis in it. I don’t know where he stashed his organs but I hope he got a fat check for them. He could also play a way-prettier Rene Zellwagons.
Saturday I skated the Palm Springs skatepark. It is super insanely fun of life. I met some kids who were trying to figure out the pool in the back. There were four of them, probably 14-16 years old. One of the younger ones wanted me to listen to his favorite band whose name I can’t remember but they are from San Diego. We dangled our legs in the bowl and he gave me his ear buds and played songs for me, telling me what songs were fast, what ones were mellow, and what ones were good for skating. He had stick-straight blonde hair and sweet, narrow blue eyes. It was so charming and cute. He eventually left to get lunch. His friends went to skate elsewhere because I think they felt awkward figuring it all out in front of me. I wished they would stay but it was too much for them to be watched by an outsider. I felt bad. It was really great that they were getting into pool skating.
I went back to my room and changed into my bikini so I could lie in the sun for a bit, which I handled for about half an hour with a towel over my head. I read W Magazine and drank a green juice. It was heaven. I went to dinner with my dad and one of his old friends at a super gay restaurant in Palm Springs (is there any other kind? Well, yes there will be, when they open that awful HARD ROCK HOTEL later this year. Fuck, why not just stab all the gays in the heart individually? Do they really want Palm Springs to be Vegas? That’s so gross and I’m going to start staying at some other nearby desert town if all the Ed Hardy’s start storming the gates). I want to wear a Proud Bisexual pin when I’m out just so everyone knows. Just kidding. I truly never plan to wear that pin. My LIFE CHOICES are my pin. I tried to get drunk but could only drink one glass of wine in the course of dinner. Back in my room, I listened to a wedding party outside my window. How is it that wedding DJ’s only ever have to buy one set of records and never any more ever because always they will play Footloose and Beat It? Why is this true? What did people listen to before the 70’s and 80’s created all wedding reception music? I’m asking that but truly don’t care about the answer because then I will know something just as stupid as what I already know about wedding music: it is hurtful to women.
I watched the Bondi skate contest on my computah. That was cool.
Sunday I skated the park again, but just for an hour. My dad rode the stationary bike in the work-out center at the hotel because I guess his butt is a mess from sitting on that hard bike seat so much (the one on a stationary bike is flat and wide like sitting on a white woman’s butt). I stopped in to get the car key and he was dripping sweat through his wild eyebrows and pumping the pedals with his french fry legs stuffed into giant paint bucket shoes.
We drove home and my dad said, “I don’t really eat at Denny’s much. Almost never, actually. But you know what I like? Applebee’s.”
Me: Oh really? Why?
Dad: They have some very good salads. Including a good spinach salad. And it’s reliable. When you travel a lot, it’s good to know that your food is going to taste good.”
Me: That makes sense.
In my mind I had some objections. But I at least can shut up about it sometimes even though it shaves years off my life to wrestle with trying not to be the asshole I am so deeply driven to be. I am trying to imagine my dad is someone I barely know, with whom I would be generous and find his antics interesting, charming, or easy to ignore. I want to be a good daughter. But it’s so freaking hard.