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Monday, June 15, 2015

Dead Father's Day!

I just got an e-mail suggesting I SKYPE with my dad this Sunday for father's day. The ad claims that skype is so easy that even the elderly can master it. Imagine the elderly learning anything!!!!

The ad did not however, mention whether it was too taxing for the deceased. 

Unlike the stereotype of Jewish men being all fumbly and inept at all things mechanical, my dad was a brilliant problem solver and fixer and figure-er-outter of how things worked. It wasn't until the very end of his life that simple tasks began to flummox him. The dishwasher, the computer... the very same ones that he'd formerly understood, began to mess with him. 

He didn't take it well. 

First he raged at the stupid TV, the stupid radio. Then when he watched the dishwasher repair guy simply hit the lock-unlock switch... my dad's anger turned inward. He was furious at himself for being "stupid."

When I suggested he treat himself as gently as he would any other old fart who was losing his marbles, he ignored me. 

I reminded him how sweet he'd been with Milt Levine after his various strokes and what not. "Remember how you drove Milt to dialysis and  played games to get him to remember words like umbrella? Can't you be as nice to yourself as you were to Milt?"


So my dad probably could not have mastered SKYPE there at the end. And the whole futuristic, Jetson's-like wackiness of talking with real-time video from across the country -- might have fucked with his wavering grasp of reality. 

And once dead, I can't help thinking that it would make for less than a cozy Father's day, gathering the family 'round the ole computer to skype with my decomposing dad in his coffin setting. 

It could frighten the children. And really, what would we say?

There's no need to SKYPE with my father-in-law either because he's right here on the bookshelf in the living room, encased in a demurely quilted box that I made for him in one of my homier moments. Plus, skyping with ash and bone-fragments sounds like a sneezy allergy attack waiting to happen. IMHO. 

So, thanks, SKYPE, for the thought, but I think we'll celebrate some other way this year. Perhaps it's Dead-Dads-Get-In-Free at the multi-plex?

Better yet, how about free beer and popcorn for everyone with no father on father's day? And free cookies, and a hug.

Happy Father's Day,
Smooch 'em if you've got 'em!


Unknown said...

I hated my old man. He died in 1980 and has haunted my dreams for the past 35 years. Last year, I become a step-father and my two step-daughters observe Father's Day for me.

Feels strange being on the other side, a beloved father.

SKYPE-Less in San Ramon

Amy Goldman Koss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.