*Except for my cheerleading video and the 6th grade school picture. Those have been mysteriously misplaced.
I couldn't stop rambling about my debate and speech trophies. Or showing him the trips I went on with the OFEA (Ohio Future Educators of America) and the Recycling Club (I'm such a dork!). Or how I was an editor of "The Matrix" a.k.a. The Coolest High School Literary Magazine This Side of the Mississippi, Sucka!
It wasn't until we got to the bottom of the box of trophies that I realized that he hadn't made a sound. Not one.
He didn't ask one question.
He didn't comment on one picture.
And even though Mom didn't say anything either, I knew she had picked up on it, too.
I was disheartened to say the least. I wanted him to be proud of me. I wanted him to fawn over my accomplishments. I wanted him to look into the face of a Salutatorian who was granted a Presidential Scholarship and tell her that he was proud. I wanted him to at least pretend like he gave a damn.
The realization that his approval was not forthcoming hurt me to the core.
I didn't do these things for him, I did them for me. But what would it hurt for him to notice, right?
This is where I have trouble drawing the line. Because even though I knew I wasn't getting a reaction from him, I didn't stop. I kept telling him about my adventures to other countries and my dreams for bigger places. The verbal diarrhea was overwhelming but I didn't care.
It stopped being about sharing my past with him and started being about every father-daughter dance, every boy who broke my heart, every argument I had with Mom, every game he didn't attend, every phone call he didn't make, and the day I finally called him. I had turned it into a contrived effort to force him in to wanting to stick around for my future. Even when I could see the sadness in his face I didn't stop. I didn't stop because I didn't care.
I love my dad. I really do. But there are some deep-seated issues that need to be resolved and until they are, I'm not sure I'll ever give a damn about how he feels because for so many years, he didn't give a damn about me.