Monday, March 28, 2005

No Pressure

Do you ever get to a point in your life where you're comfortable with who you are? 'Cause I think I have. And then this happens.

The other day, I'm standing in the kitchen talking with my dad and he tells me I need a girlfriend. I laughed and asked why. He then said 'cause I need a wife. All of this because I need to have kids. And now we're down to it. Grandkids.

My father is a man of declining health. He is the reason that I would vote for any candidate promising real health care reform. I mean real reform, not just a campaign speech that would get votes. I think I'd need a guarantee. About 7 years ago, dad had quad bypass surgery and was deemed disabled and unable to continue working for the railroad. However, he was never granted full disability. Flash forward a few years... my mother divorces him, leaving him without any health insurance whatsoever. Thus, despite the fact that he is a diabetic with an obvious heart problem, he refuses to visit a doctor under most circumstances. Wouldn't you if you had no way to pay for it?

Last summer, he finally reached a point where he needed to see a doctor and my sister and I forced him to go. After spending two weeks in the hospital (a bill which cannot be paid), he came home with a permanent oxygen apparatus tethering him to the house. Why do I go into this detail after the "I need a girlfriend" story? Because I think the reasoning behind this sudden interest in my love life is his fear of not being able to see his own grandchildren.

I don't like to think about my dad in terms of his health. But it's always there, looming in the back of my mind. I know that things are not great for him, but he has seemed to be okay recently. Why the sudden urge to have grandkids? Do I need to feel this pressure? And now I can't help but worry about my dad and his state of mind.

So maybe I should start dating. I figure the first step toward this process would be gaining the ability to meet women. For example, I usually make a Sheetz run on my way to work every night. I grab a newspaper and a Coke, pay and leave. So often I will see gorgeous women in there, probably from the local college that's just up the road. They're standing in there alone with no rings on that important left handed finger. And do I speak up? No.

I'm not sure what it is. I guess that being in the presence of a woman that I'm attracted to is like being exposed to kryptonite. And in this case, we'll just say that my power is the ability to string together thoughts and phrases into coherent sentences. Usually what does come out is some kind of gibberish that only small children and possibly raccoons can understand. Any suggestions? That's what the comments section is for. Please, share.

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