My sister and I always knew when dad wasn’t happy with us. He never showed his anger by yelling or raving or anything like that. His approach would be more subtle. He would get very quiet. It wasn’t his usual quiet nature, you could tell these instances were different. Conversation would be reduced to the essentials and he would spend time alone in the basement building a bookshelf or an airplane or something. He’d come up for meals and sleeping and other required family interaction, but otherwise he’d retreat to his own space, be quiet for a while and get his head where he needed it to be, coming to his own terms via his own space. We would rarely talk about whatever he was upset afterwards. This has probably made me ask folks on their current well being a lot over the years.

I inherited this quiet approach from him, but to keep it all interesting, I also inherited my mother’s more demonstrative ways. I kind of have this hybrid approach. If something upsets me and it’s something fairly trivial or minor on the hysteria scale, I’ll rant and rave about it, slam a few doors, throw a boot and consider the matter resolved. It’s out of my system and let’s move on to the next thing. But if something really disappoints me or bothers me, I’ll take like dad and go quiet and build a computer or edit music or something. And because I analyze the crap out of stuff, I compare, contrast, weigh symbols and scrutinize between every line to the point of what may seem trivial to someone else ends up being a big deal to me. I believe that most everything means something even if it falls into the nature of a Freudian Slip.

Did I ever mention that I was complicated?

These traits of mine are not something that I am proud of. Earl keeps telling me that I shouldn’t have expectations when it comes to people because folks rarely live up to our own expectations. My rosy view of the world is often clouded by reality and that’s because it’s MY rosy view. I know I have control issues and I know I have expectations but even after 44 years I’m still learning to let these things go and once in a while something disappoints me and I can’t help but go silent and figure my own way through my feelings. This is how I get through it.

I guess one of the days I might get it all figured out.