Father’s Day has arrived; another obligatory greeting card holiday meant to single out one group of the population for adulation and kudos. Everyone is waxing poetic about their dads, the dads they know, etcetera, et al, ad hominem. Everyone is feeling the feels: the love, the pride, the gratitude, and in many instances, the loss. Everyone, that is, except me. I can’t express any of those feelings because I’ve never felt them. I lack the ability, having never felt them myself. I’m not alone in this; there are about a bazillion of us bastards inhabiting the planet, and before you get all uppity about the word bastard, please understand that I mean it solely in the archaic derogatory:
a person born of parents not married to each other.
There. Glad we got that out of the way, because I certainly wouldn’t want to offend the other kind of bastards out there. Or bastard. Because he is a huge bastard, of all the bastards there are on this planet. BIGLY. But I digress. I’m a bastard, or illegitimate, as some prefer to coin it. I don’t like that word, because it’s confusing; it can be a noun or an adjective.
Definition of illegitimate. 1 : not recognized as lawful offspring; specifically : born of parents not married to each other. 2 : not rightly deduced or inferred : illogical.
Now, I am not an adjective, and I certainly do not see myself as unrecognized. People know me, capice? Again, I digress. I just wanted to point out why that word is actually more offensive than being referred to as “ye bloody bastard!” in a Scottish burr. I’d quite enjoy that, actually.
My parents weren’t married, no. It would have been impossible for them to be, because one of them was already married when I was conceived, and inasmuch that I’m the bastard, here, it’s pretty obvious that it wasn’t my mother already engaged in a lawful union. They never did get married, despite having two children together, and my father never did all the fatherly things dads do if they’re even halfway decent at the job. Sure, he came around occasionally, but you can probably figure out why, and it had nothing to do with luck, although his intentions rhymed with that word.
There’s no sense going over it. He wasn’t there, he isn’t there now even though he still breathes, and he never will be. I don’t want him to be, and never needed him to be. So, Father’s Day is a big, empty space of time for me, and always has been, except for when my kids were little and I helped them to shower their father with all the Father’s Day worship and accoutroment. I simply do not recognize it as a day of anything for me.
I’ve been thinking, though, that we bastards (not “wee bastards” in a Scottish burr, although AGAIN! That would be lovely) deserve a special day to celebrate our lack of a father. We could call it Sperm Donor Day, or Tadpole Day, or Thank God Mom Didn’t Douche Day.
Too much? Sorry. I didn’t think so. But then again, one has to have a certain, skewered sense of humor in order to grow up a fatherless child during a time when it was not cool. Anyway, since dads are often called Papa, I am going to celebrate Father’s Day by worshipping my current musical God and hottie, Papa Emeritus III of the band Ghost. He’s been more present in my life than my sperm donor, because not only have I met him legitimately, but we have hugged, as well. So Happy Papa Day!