ShouldIInfoMyDad: Is my dad a steaming

Hi, Am I missing something?

Dear ShouldIFaceMyDad,

Here’s some support for you:

I’m going to issue my support without even reading your letter. Here’s the thing, though: Your dad will like this. Because right now he’s cool with most of your family and is fine with you and he thinks you should “face” him with some information. You probably won’t get very far even if you did … but I did see one intriguing exchange from a similar letter I read in a newsletter.

Last month the newsletter featured an article with a writer named Elizabeth Szold called “I Denied the Question About Dad’s Steamy Past, in the Name of Loving, Married Son.”

In the article, Szold tells about the impossible choice she faced when it came to confronting her father about their close relationship while she was a teenager:

“I thought about what a fresh experience it would be to formally confide in my dad about our relationship, whether physical or otherwise,” she said. “But what if he confronted me? Would I or would I not be able to handle it?”

For those of you watching the article, that’s the crux of it: What if he confronted you? She knew what he was probably thinking and prepared for his answer, which was probably going to be, “Well, we’re getting to be an old family, and we tend to pretty much stay together even when we’re not living together.”

And why does that matter? It matters in the sense that when you make the decision to accept your father’s relationship with you, you are accepting the idea that his sexual history is a part of who he is — including some of the negative and negative-ish aspects, as well as the positive and positive aspects.

But you have to make that decision in a mature way. If you chose to give it a try then you’re going to be tested in ways you probably won’t want. Even if the conversation pans out and the ramifications are positive and work out for everyone involved — which is probably — that doesn’t mean you should do it.

No, I don’t have any advice for you in that case. You’re the one who has to decide how comfortable you’re going to be with this truth, how helpful it is, and how much it bugs you — or how much you prefer to let the person who gives you the most loyalty and love in the world remain the father of your kids, who is still your choice.

What do you think?

And now for something completely different …

Dear ShouldIFaceMyDad,

What’s your take on high-tech Christmas presents? From a master thief …

Dear Harrison,

I’m glad you found your way to “ShouldIFaceMyDad.” I loved that idea.

When I was growing up, Christmas gifts didn’t really matter to me. Sure, my brothers and I got to unwrap tiny presents that somehow miraculously survived the kitchen sink. But my parents didn’t really do anything memorable. (The silver mirror and steel band that they gave to me back when I was probably 10 is really the only meaningful thing I recall from them.)

But as I grew older, I started to pay more attention to how my parents reacted when I opened my gifts. In high school, for example, I had an awesome pair of slippers from my older brother. At first I was thrilled — but then I felt a little guilty. I felt like I’d bribed him, like he’d granted my wish for some special stuff.

So I suddenly looked for gifts that hadn’t really seemed like asks. If I got something that was a request, it could seem petty. If I got something that wasn’t even a gift, I felt like I had nothing to give back.

After all, wasn’t the point of asking for things like those special slippers just to be polite?

I’ve always loved that idea. Here’s why.

Instead of promising — as I often did — the coolest, most hip, most over-the-top present, you instead hint at the difference between the expected present and the awesome present. Maybe your dad could put a magical display in his yard for your special day if you didn’t ruin the show with your traditionalness. Maybe he could record a short story for you that really would have made for a different way to unw

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