# # The Necessary Year - Day 15: A Father's Day Epiphany and First Blood

Brother, I Can See Your Skull.

Brother, I Can See Your Skull. - The Coreyshead Blog

The Necessary Year – Day 15: A Father’s Day Epiphany and First Blood


(this post is part of an aborted 1 year experiment in material abstinence I called The Necessary Year)


I had a pretty good weekend – I hope you did, too.

Sunday was Father’s Day and, while my dad was out of town, I was still able to call him and chat for a few minutes. It was great to hear his voice even if it was over a lousy cell-phone connection.

I wasn’t too close to my dad while growing up – much the opposite to be honest – but now, with both of us adults and decades of experience between the was and is of our lives, we’ve grown to not only respect but like each other.

It’s sad that it took us so many years to get here but sometimes it just takes a while for people to find each other; like a game of blind man’s bluff except everyone is wearing a blindfold.

We’re still very different but we make the effort to contact each other at least once a week just to say “Hi” and see how the other is doing. Often there is not a lot to say but it is enough to know the other cares about the link that we have forged together.

Finally connecting with my father has helped me to understand and deal with the reclusive tendencies that have, up until the last few years, been the norm for me my entire life.

Most of the things I love to do – read, write, compose music, twink around with photoshop – are solitary pursuits. I not only do not mind being alone but prefer it and consider said down-time important to my emotional and mental well-being.

Outside the home I can be somewhat of an extrovert and, if anyone ever comes over, I’m almost always receptive – “Come on in, can I get you anything? How the hell are ya?” – but I’ve had a hard time taking the initiative to visit others, invite them over, or even call them up just to chat. It simply doesn’t occur to me to do such things or, if it does, I often hesitate, stifled by self-consciousness.

Getting married and having a child helped mitigate this tendency to some degree but, outside of my immediate family, I have remained pretty reclusive – perhaps even growing more so – until just these last few years.

While I still prefer lots of alone time, I’m finally beginning to realize just how much I do appreciate and need other people in my life. My name, after all, is not “Noman.” Due to decades of insular comfort, however, the change is slow and sometimes stumbling.

Take, for example, a comment I made last week in response to Ms. Sunshine, regarding cutting back on gas consumption: “I think I have the Seattle trip fairly well whittled down but, due to scheduling constraints, the one to Aberdeen is proving stubborn.”

While attempting to cease the pointless hemorrhaging of money remains one of the core points of The Necessary Year, implying that a trip to see a friend – a friend I’ve had for 26 years, the longest of any – on his 40th birthday is even slightly unnecessary or unworthy of personal expense on my part points out a rather startling disconnect in my social thought process.

Sure, it would have been nice to figure out how to take public transportation down to his house (an almost 3 hour drive) but, considering that I’d also promised my daughter that I’d be back home before noon on Sunday – Father’s Day – it just wasn’t a realistic solution.*

The trip was necessary and costs be damned. It shames me to think of how many other trips I have not taken down to see him, how many calls I have not made, how many birthdays missed. Money you can earn back but each day is a one shot deal – and I’ve blown a ton of them.

Worse, my friend read the entry and indicated after I arrived that he was feeling a little bad about me having to make the trip. Isn’t that nice? Wotta a heel I feel (and rightly so). It was my pleasure to be there and, besides, I got nearly 6 hours of solitude out of the drive! =)

We had a good time; kicking back with beer, yapping, watching very embarrassing videos of he and I acting like the awkward goons we were 20 odd years ago. It went too fast and, before I knew it, I was back on the road, this very epiphany blossoming in my skull as I made my long, winding way back home.

So a sidebar to The Necessary Year is going to be learning to let the monetary cost of getting out and being with people be a secondary consideration, if at all. I’ve long treated such behavior as unnecessary, at least where I was concerned, and now I’m beginning to think I couldn’t have had it more wrong.

*I did take a lunch of leftovers with me on my drive instead of relying on fast food, and successfully resisted buying anything during the trip – my buddy and his wife kept me well fed and watered while I visited them – thanks, man!


First Blood

I finally managed to transgress against The Necessary Year.

Given the day and the circumstances, I’m sure many of you would be willing to make it a “gimmie” -but I’m not. I knew it was wrong before I did it and I knew it was wrong as I did it.

I’m not talking about the chips I bought for the grilled burgers I made (dang but we’re porking down a lot of burgers over these last few weeks – must be approaching summer or something), and I’m not counting the $20 gift certificate to a local bookstore I bought for my daughter to give to a friend as a birthday present (I woulda encouraged her to make something, instead but she only received a day’s notice and The Necessary Year is for me, not my daughter), nor am I counting the 12 ounce caramel macchiato I bought for my daughter at the drive-through coffee stand … but I am dinging myself for the 16 ounce, iced americano I grabbed at the same time.

My first iced coffee of the year – oh, yeah.

The excuses I used at the time to justify my behavior to myself was that I was receiving fifty cents off for being a father on Father’s Day and I was yawning-tired after the long drive/short sleep/party-night combination – but we all know I really didn’t need it, so my first transgression is up: $2.71

Pretty small considering the other wrong I am far more concerned with righting, that against the people I’ve so foolishly and somehow unknowingly undervalued all my life.

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5 Responses to “The Necessary Year – Day 15: A Father’s Day Epiphany and First Blood”

  1. KJT says:

    Glad to hear you’ve come to know your father more. Although I got along very well with my dad, he died before I really started to find myself. Would have been nice to have the gift of his experiences once I started to figure out what really mattered. C’est la vie. Don’t waste it.

    • cae says:

      We’ve still a long way to go (what I wouldn’t do to back up about 10 years and get a little into the cups with him – though, at the time, I wouldn’t have dared suggest it or known how to act) but yeah, it’s great finally having a father. Glad we figured it out before it was too late! Phew!

  2. Ren says:

    Nice post, C.
    It’s cool that you two have reconnected. The same thing is going on between me & my dad. As his only biological child, I think he’s realizing that he doesn’t really know me ( and vice versa). We’re trying to remedy that now. It’s awkward and strange at times, but it’s definitely worth it.

    Cheers to diablomonkey! I wish I had been nearby to celebrate with you guys.

    Also, I hope you didn’t beat yourself up too much and were able to enjoy your coffee. As far as transgressions go, it’s pretty minor 😉

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is that really you in the picture? Better yet is that really your hair?

    • cae says:

      Which picture?

      The one at the top is my dad, in the mid to late 1960’s.

      The other is a picture, taken around 1986 or so, of my friend whom I mention in the post.

      I did have hair on top of my head once, a lot of it, too, believe it or not, but it was never quite as … flamboyant as that. =)

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