Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Party of Three

Cabo, Part 2

Cabo is no longer the bargain it once was. It’s pretty much like being in an American colony. It’s like Palm Springs with an ocean. Price-wise, you might as well be in Tokyo.

My boyfriend joined my dad and I several days after our bumpy arrival and we were horrified to discover that our lunch of two quesadillas and two margaritas cost us $70. But then Dad’s favorite trip pastime is to moan about “how much more the food costs this year.” Thanksgiving traditions are important. This year saw some shifts in ours.

This was the second time I’d brought a boyfriend with us. But this time was vastly different from the last time. Last time, dad and I had known the guy was on his way out. That time Cabo was a final try in a relationship that had been sliding downward for some time. Dad had known that, despite the presence of a boyfriend, he was still my number one guy.

This year – this boyfriend - was different. This one wasn’t sliding. This one wasn’t making me miserable. Dad knew this one loved and adored me. Like he did. We three sat on the beach where silence and book-reading replaced the engaging, get-to-know-you conversations I had envisioned. It was, in a word, uncomfortable.

Despite my best efforts to get things rolling with conversation topics of things I knew they had in common, it felt like we were all floundering, wondering how we all fit. And the truth was I didn’t know the answer.

In the past, I’ve been fortunate enough to go on many exciting jaunts around the world with my dad.

“I’m sure lucky you’re still single and can go with me!” Dad always chirps.

Yeah. Me…too. Of course, I’m grateful for the travel opportunities and to spend time with a wonderful individual like my dad. But like any single girl who dreams of marriage, it feels like a back-handed compliment; ‘good thing you’re still such a loser!’

At the same time, it’s been the prevailing dynamic for the better part of my life. My parents divorced when I was three. At five mom remarried. At nine I moved to San Francisco to live with my dad. It’s pretty much been the two of us ever since. Through the teen years I was naturally convinced he was the biggest asshole on the planet. But as I finally matured through college and after, we developed a very close friendship. I know I am his number one girl and, one engagement aside, he’s always been my number one guy. Faced with the real possibility of that dynamic changing, we’re all a bit off balance.

Dad left the beach on our last day feeling like a third wheel despite my best efforts to set aside time just for us two. I was wracked with guilt for somehow failing to be a dutiful daughter, a good girlfriend and get my two primary men to be best buds.

Safely back in LA where the quesadillas cost a few bucks like they’re supposed to, I moped around my boyfriend’s house.

“Honey, it’ll all work out,” he comforts me.

While I feel it’s partly up to me to create a new dynamic that works for everyone concerned I know it’s up to dad to come to grips with me leaving the metaphoric nest.

As for me, the best adjustment I can make is grounding myself in that there is no number one. There is just love. And plenty to go around.

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Blogger Sarah said...

Change... it's gonna happen. It's that damn adjustment period. But like Charlie says, it'll all work out. You have a lot of love to give.

3:19 PM  

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