Monthly Archives: January 2014

Letting Go


Every little girl’s dream while growing up is to be Daddy’s Little Girl.  We strive to be the apple of our daddy’s eye.  We idealize them and are completely unaware of any of their faults.  In fact, a lot of us, as little girls, even somewhat blamed our mothers whenever our parents would get into arguments.  Our dads could do very little wrong.

Personally, my dad was quiet and reserved.  He rarely spoke, and I never really heard him yell.  My mom wore the pants in our house, without a doubt.  I always thought he was a gentle spirit, and I knew I wanted to marry a man just like him someday.  A lot of little girls end up looking for men who remind them, perhaps even unknowingly, of their daddies.  And in this case, that wasn’t a bad thing. 

Sure enough, I did grow up a daddy’s girl.  I remember many times throughout my childhood, even into my teens, when he and I would stay up long after my mom and sister went to bed and would watch the NBA Finals, a football game, or even all seven long games of one World Series or another.

Things in my relationship with my dad were great, in my jaded world at least, up until I made a poor decision to date the future father of my children.  The bottom line is that my dad hated him.  For good reason or not, my 16-year-old inner know-it-all was determined to prove my dad wrong.  He said there was no way in heck that I was allowed to go out with this guy.  What did that mean to me?  That there was no way in heck that I wasn’t going to go out with this guy.  As you can imagine, my relationship with my dad quickly spiraled downhill at that point.  I was on a mission from that point forward to spite him because he didn’t trust me.  Because he wouldn’t let me make my own decisions and mistakes.  Because he wouldn’t even listen to my side of things, and he was set in his thoughts that I would fail. Oh… and because I was 16, and did I mention I knew everything?

Anyway, my relationship with my dad struggled over the next couple years as I worked my way through high school.  I did my best to stay his little girl, however, by making the honor roll every semester, getting accepted into a good college, and graduating in the top seven percent of my class.  He had to be proud of me, right?

Of course.  That is, until he found out I was pregnant.  That’s right.  I found out I was pregnant only a few weeks after graduating.  Sure, I was still on track for college and my future plans, but the bottom line is that I was pregnant by the guy my father couldn’t stand and forbid me from seeing.  To make a long story short, I moved out of my parents’ house and in with future sperm donor the day after graduation.  I started college, had my baby, and we ended up getting married.  As you can imagine, my dad did not see me that day.  Or for many, many days after, I might add.  My mom and sister would drive all the way to Charleston every weekend to see the baby and me.  Every once in a while, I would go there, and those are the only times my dad had even seen his first grandson and oldest daughter. 

As you all already know, my husband ended up being a monster.  Every time I would hear someone say that a lot of women end up marrying men like their dads, I would laugh.  Not me, I would say.  My dad didn’t drink or scream or abuse my mom.  My husband did drink and scream and abuse me.  The studies were wrong this time.  I ended up with a husband far from a man like my dad.

Or so I thought until recently, as my kids have gotten older. 

They don’t see their dad anymore really.  Generally, over the last couple years, he would see them for a week around Christmas and maybe for a few days over Spring Break.  This past year, though, he didn’t see them for either of those.  If I recall correctly, he saw his kids for maybe four days total all year.  Four.  Out of 365.

When that fact first dawned on me, it made me a little uncomfortable.  At first, I thought the uneasiness came from the fact that my kids don’t have a relationship with their dad.  But really, when I thought about it, that was actually a good thing.  So why the depressing feeling that came with it?  Suddenly, it dawned on me.

He was like my dad.  He had little desire to see his kids, and unless someone else did all the legwork to make a visit happen, he could go a very long time with no contact with his children.  That was my dad, too.  He had more important things to do than to see his oldest daughter and had excuse after excuse as to why visits had been so few and far between.

I recall a woman my dad had dated for a few years after he and my mom divorced (which was shortly after I left for college).  She would often “nag” him into meeting the kids and me for dinner or in coming to visit us.  Sure, she had her share of issues, but my sister and I always agreed that she was great at keeping him connected with his daughters.  They eventually broke up, and now that push to see the “apple of his eye” is gone, too, I guess.  Other than seeing him at my sister’s wedding a year ago and her housewarming party four months ago, I haven’t seen my dad in years.  Nope – not even for Christmas.  I can’t recall a time he’s ever seen his grandsons (even the one who’s named after him) play a sport, even though they excel at several.   

Sure, he tells me that I’m welcome at his house anytime, that we can come for dinner whenever we want, but that’s the extent of the warm and welcome attempts at spending time with his little girl.  Don’t get me wrong – I do get a text on Christmas and my birthday (if my mom reminds him), and in some ways, that’s more than my kids get from their dad, so I guess I should be a little thankful, at least. 

No, I don’t want him to beg to spend time with his daughter and her family, but a little indication of forgiveness would be nice.  Yes, I was wrong when I was a teenager, and yes, he was right in that my first husband was a jackass.  I may have even been wrong to have kids and get married so young.  But the fact remains that I am a well-educated, college graduate with two beautiful and intelligent young men, a loving husband, two stepchildren, and a job that I love.  I made a ton of mistakes growing up, but I’ve turned out pretty damn well.  It is, after all, those mistakes from which we learn, right?

I’ve been praying that my owns kids will eventually learn to let go of their unrealistic and idealistic hopes for a future with their father, when after all this time, I finally see that I should have been letting go of the same myself.  Maybe this memory I’ve been holding onto from childhood was nothing more than my wishful thinking all along. 

My dream of being Daddy’s Little Girl is over. 


Someone Please Pinch Me


I’ve been out of high school for nearly 15 years already and out of college for 11.  So why is it, then, that my worst (and recurring) nightmare is centered around my school days?

Here’s what happens every single time:

It’s the morning of a major test, and I get to school with enough time to spare to take a trip to my locker to get the materials that I’ll need in order to take said test.  My hands are overflowing with books – wait, why don’t I just have a bookbag? – and I manage to balance them all in one arm while fumbling with the lock on my locker door.  Only, crap… that’s when I realize that I can’t, for the life of me, remember my combination.  27-6- uh… 32?  No, that’s not it.  14?  Nope, that’s not working either.  I start to get nervous as I look at my watch and see that I’ve got to hurry if I’m going to make it to class in time to take my test.  Then, relief hits me.  I wrote my combination down on the inside of one of my notebooks!  I dump my pile of books on floor, and I can finally start to feel the blood rush to my lower arm and hand again.  I hadn’t realized just how heavy those books were.  I sort through the pile, and it dawns on me that the notebook I need is one of the ones still in my locker – right there with the things I need for my test.  Ugh!  Why is this happening to me?  I don’t have time for this today.  I start to feel hot, and I start to get nervous about the time.  I decide I better just go to class and just forget the stuff I need for my test.  It’s better to be on time and just take the test rather than be late or skip it all together, right?

So I stack my books back up in my arm – here we go again – and as I top off the pile with one last notebook, the one underneath that tumbles to the floor.  I have the sudden urge to just throw them all on the floor and stomp on them, but I can’t if I’m going to make it to class in time for this test.  It will, after all, make or break my entire grade in this class.  I bend down ever so carefully and stack the books back up, balancing the pile on my chin for support.

I turn the corner from my locker and start down the hallway to my class.  Room 217.  Only now I can’t find Room 217.  What in the world is going on?  I go to this class every day.  Why can’t I find it now?  Silly me – It must be the next hallway, after you turn left at the end of this one.  As I finally near the end of the hallway and turn left, I’m confident that I’ll still make it in time.  I only had a few more doors to go.  But wait – Room 217 isn’t down this hallway, either.  What the heck??  I decide that maybe I’ve got my schedule all mixed up, and I’m supposed to be on the third floor instead of the second.  Maybe it’s Room 317.  I start up the stairs, still barely holding on to my teetering pile of books.  I make it to the third floor and down the hallway that looks identical to the one I was just on.  I frantically race past classroom after classroom, and there’s still no sign of my room.  I begin to panic, thinking of how missing this test is going to ruin my entire year and all hopes of getting into my favorite college.  By now, I’m in tears and wake up in a cold sweat, heart pounding out of my chest.

The funny thing about it is that, for some reason, I never think to stop and ask someone where my classroom is.  Instead, I panic and wake up a nervous wreck.  It’s so odd to me that all these years later, I still stress out about school and my grades.  I’ve always been a perfectionist, and I’ve always said that it’s my best and worst trait all in one.  I guess this is one of those times that it really is my worst.

What about you?  Do you have any odd recurring dreams (or nightmares, as is the case for me)?


First World Probs


Over the last week, I’ve heard an exceptional amount of complaints from the kids, the hubby, and even myself.  This Christmas season has really opened my eyes to the fact that, in reality, we’re all spoiled, despite our usual beliefs and whining that we’re barely making it.

Here are a few of the complaints I’ve heard in this last few days since Christmas, in a post I’d like to call…

Source: YouTube

Source: YouTube

1. Mom, we don’t have enough room on our Xbox 360 hard drive for all these new games.

2. Honey, I can’t get my new iPhone 5s activated until tomorrow since AT&T is closed on Christmas.

3. Aww, we don’t have enough sockets in the living room to plug in our video games and our laptops.

4. Dang, I can’t believe I have to wait five days to get my two new pairs of Nikes in the mail since I refused to pay extra for expedited shipping.

5. Dear, it really sucks that your mom’s internet is out.  What are we going to do for two whole days without it?

6. I really hope Meemaw got me the Sperry’s I want for Christmas because those were at the top of my list, before Madden 25 and NCAA 2014.

7. Hey, should I wear my new running shoes or my new basketball sneakers today?

8. Dad, I forgot my coat inside, and I don’t like driving my new motorized scooter without it because it’s cold and windy out here.  

9. Where the heck are we going to put all this new stuff?  We don’t have any more room in our SUV.

10. I don’t want pizza for dinner again tonight.  We’ve eaten out all week.

11. Oh, come on… This line at Starbucks is ridiculous!

12. [Sigh.]  I have to return these size 4 pants that I just got for Christmas because they’re way too big.

I hope you all had as great a Christmas as we!*

*And that you know this post is just a joke.  Relax – we know we’re blessed and have a lot more than a lot of other people.  We’re very thankful for all we have.


Tiffany Kleiman ~ Author

“I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as s/he finishes the book.” ~ Roald Dahl, WD

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