I am the reason we can’t have nice things.

Remember when I took off my wedding rings and lost them? And my dad, who has never ever ever taken his ring off in the eleventy billion years he’s been married earned the right to be all “I told you so?” But he didn’t? Because he’s classy and always in my corner and I keep a note in my wallet from a conversation we had in 2008?


I saw him not long after that. And in a quiet minute, he told me how touched he was by my essay. And then? I had to make a joke about how dumb I am for inadvertently throwing my rings in the street. Because I couldn’t have a sweet and tender moment.

I ruin everything.

So, I’m going to tell you how this note in my wallet really went down. And if my dad wants to talk about it later, I will talk about it instead of deflecting because emotion is terrifying.

Longtime readers may recall Ex-Wonderful, the narcissistic nightmare of a boyfriend who destroyed my world. When we broke up, he sent me a self-help book. He’s that guy.

I was a wreck. And clinically depressed. And on the phone with my parents a lot.

My dad – insurance agent, notary public, upstanding citizen – told me that if Ex-Wonderful showed up on his doorstep, he’s clock him in the mouth. This cheered me immensely.

In another conversation, we jumped between how everything was going to be OK and what I should look for in a new TV. Because if you can’t sleep and can barely leave your house, you should have a better TV than the one your friends were going to put on the curb but you took instead.

I took notes and tucked the paper inside my wallet. One side read:

  • No plasma
  • 32″ is size of Mom & Dad’s TV
  • Brands: 1) Samsung; 2)Panasonic; 3) Sony

The other side read:

  • Somewhere there is a man just waiting to find you and show you how much he loves you. And when he does find you, you can ask him, “What took you so long?”
  • You didn’t do anything wrong.
  • True happiness is finding someone you love and then focusing on them and making them happy.

If these things were in writing, they had to be true, right?

In the dark depths of depression, I referred to that paper several times a day. And then I didn’t need to so much. But it was … it was my dad. And so that paper is still tucked inside my orange wallet.

My dad is the best. And he was right. Even if he’s never said, “I told you so.”

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  • Reply Ernie November 6, 2019 at 3:22 am

    I am too new here to know about that horrible ex-boyfriend. Yuck!!! My sister married a horrible narcissistic guy and when she went through her divorce (finally) he refused to move out until the divorce was final. He lived in the house with her and the four kids for 2 years, verbally abusing her the whole time in front of the young kiddos. He and his girlfriend then sent her a self help book in the mail claiming to be one of her friends who was sick of listening to her whine about her life. Oh my – it almost sent her over the edge. She has never been the same since she went through all of it and still CANNOT escape his nonsense even though they are divorced. You dodged a bullet!

    I am glad you got away from him and that your folks were so supportive. I hear you on the responding to emotional supportive sentiment without making jokes. Tough stuff to be vulnerable.

    I thought this was going to be a story about how your dogs trashed something with mud or ate something valued. Apologize to the pups for doubting them!

    • Reply Becky Brown November 6, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      No need to apologize. Li’l Frankfurter peed on the floor while I wrote that blog post. Doubt away!

  • Reply melissa November 12, 2019 at 2:37 am

    I’m not crying. I’m not crying. Really glad I already washed my face tonight before I read this.
    That is the positively sweetest dad story I read in my whole life.

  • Reply Lori November 23, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Lovely story about your dad. I wish I had something written from my dad. He was self-conscious about his spelling so he didn’t write notes much. He showed his love by buying us kids practical things and electronics. Things like watches, coffee makers, and rice cookers. Also by making sure I always had a map to find my way around because he knew I got lost easy. Oh and glad you got rid of ex-wonderful. Hope it didn’t take too long. My ex-wonderful took me 12 years.

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