For many years my type of man was short dark and angry – a Prince Charming who turns into an impossible-to-please toad with heaps of unresolved issues, prone to “male” PMS any day of the month – the kind of guy with whom I could dance fervidly, while one foot stayed out the door at all times.
I’ve often wondered what kept me in a boundless cycle of epic battles, passionate reunions, hopeful reconciliations, and repeated promises? What was it that time and again seduced me into a scorching yet intoxicating heaven and hellhole of crazy-making? Now that the storms of my past have blown over (and I have a few years of therapy under my belt), I’m beginning to see what attracted me to the DRAMA of particular relationships in the first place…
To further illustrate, lets take a little look-see at my relationship with dear ol’ dad…
Any well-analyzed adult knows the most powerful of infatuations often involve a good dose of emotional and/or physical unavailability. Of everything left behind in New Orleans, all paled when compared to the absence of my father. For surely I would’ve given up The Carol Burnett Show, ballet class, even Mawmie’s meatballs to have him back in my life. But alas I couldn’t bargain these childhood chips when pleading to god since those precious perks were no longer available for negotiation. Mom’s new transportation, the Mars Hotel bus, came complete with a make-shift stove, port-o-potty, and a couple of tie-dyed covered chunks of foam…but left little room for anything from my former life in the Big Easy.
As soon as the bus rolled out of Cajun Country, my father became like a rock star to me. Each day that we traveled further and further West, I longed for our eventual glorious father/daughter reunion, most often while staring out of the back window singing Hopelessly Devoted.
Once we arrived in California, I began concocting elaborate fantasies (a crucial element required to keep dreamy dramatic fairy tales alive: a firm refusal to accept reality). As a child, I could, for instance, convince myself that through the power of my love and desire to be with him, the haystack I was sitting on would suddenly fly like a magic carpet from the barn of our next-door neighbor’s horse ranch, and transport me back to New Orleans, where my Dad was waiting for me with open arms (and a case of lemon Yoplait).
Dad and I had this special relationship that, like any great romantic drama, involved continual cathartic confessions of love. I remember walking down city streets, arm and arm, as he puffed on cigarettes and pointed to various landmarks along the way:
“You see dat streetcar?” he’d ask, “I would dive in front of it to save you.”
“You would?” I’d respond.
“I sure would. You see dat building? I would jump off the top floor, if I had tah save you.”
At which point I’d usually gaze in amazement at said skyscraper, praying to myself that his loyalty would never be put to the test.
“You’re gonna to miss me when I’m gone,” he’d continue.
Then with worried brows I’d plead, “Dad don’t say that. If you died, I would die!”
After a few moments of envisioning his funeral, tears would fall.
At which point he’d pull up his shirt with one hand and punch his flexed abs with the other fist, reassuring me as he said, “Feel THIS!”
When we weren’t playing Romeo and Juliet, we were having FUN (another key component in any high Drama: the exhilarating climax before the inevitable crash).
Dad was like a big kid. With HIM, life was an adventure and felt like a party!
One Christmas, he picked Frankie and me up at the airport in New Orleans dressed as Santa. As soon as we reached him through the large mob of eager kids, he twirled us around in the air, then tackle us to the floor and tickle us til we screamed.
On special occasions, he’d ride up in a shining Cadillac, popping in unexpectedly and whisking Frankie and me away from our commune life in California to The Happiest Place on Earth.
We could barely contain our excitement as we had unbridled access to junkfood and other glories of commercialism!
Wherever we traveled in the world, Dad exposed us to culture…
We got to gamble under-age in Vegas, and drink under-age in Europe!
Granted my father was a bit slow to get going in the mornings (unlike Frankie and me who had youth on our side, hence no hang-over)…
But as long as there was room service and videogames, who cared about starting the day in the mid-afternoon?
Just as my Dad saved me from a depressing dairy-deprived childhood, I too eventually acted as his rescuer… While I wish I could say our story ends Happily Ever After, like most great dramatic tales of love, our plot thickened with heavy heartbreak… And so this Drama will continue…
Wow! This one really gave me goosebumps. I too had a very similar experience with my own biological father. It is no wonder that we seek out similar relationships to give us the same highs and lows. Thank you again for sharing photographs that really pull the reader into your world. The way you write is so entertaining, fresh, and full of vulnerability. Thanks lady!
I would like to speak to you about your father. Mostly positive things because I loved him. We were fairly serious in 1991. I was 29 and he was aged 41 and for 6 months we were besotted. Your father took you and Frankie and me out to a lovely lunch. I went to the palatial home of the lovely Adele twice. Had dinner at Mark and Connie’s several times. Actually went to Honey’s palatial over the top home. He scared me to death. I have funny and sweet tales of your father, and would
like to share them with you.
Damn Girl, this just keep getting better & better.
I'm on the edge of my seat!
Thank you so much Sundevil, and for sharing your own experience. Yes, I too am continually amazed by how the past can so profoundly impact the present.
And thank YOU PB for your wonderful continued support!! There's much more to come…so stay tuned and in that seat! 🙂
well, the first notice i took was of your pudgy little legs in that first photo. probably the only time that was the case. then i actually cried because your dad was such a character and that one photo of him is so sexy and i remember him that way. isaac loved him and so did elon (and me too!) all those memories for me also by just seeing a couple of photographs. thanks so much for bearing your soul. it's not easy to do. i admire and respect you adele. father/daughter issues. it seems we all have them.
I appreciate you saying that A. I've been emotional all day. I think writing about my 'first love' brought up a lot of sadness.
Wow! This post is my favorite so far. So moving, so real, so entertaining! I get a loving picture of your relationship with your father and I also get your astute awareness about it all. It's all here. The pictures are incredible. This HAS to be a book. I'm sure it will be. Brava!! More more more!!
OH MY GOD!!! Outbursts of laughter combined with sweetness and bitter sadness. And those pics of Little Deli makes my heart swell… including the one with the cig – OMG is all I can say as I am taken on this marvelous journey in your full self-expression, self-revelation and glory.
I agree with Comedy Karma!! This HAS to be a book. But all these pics HAVE to be included as well. (I am in awe of all the pics you have BTW – wish my childhood was as well documented. Who took all these pictures?)
I can't thank you both enough!! Writing something so personal made for a rather sentimental and melancholic day. I feel better now 🙂 xo
Just saw your last comment/question Lynn… The pictures come from different family members, mainly from my mom and dad's stash. I highly recommend getting a good scanner so your precious family archives are saved forever!
i remember he loved to drive fast. And he loved Genesis. And we would take those small town turns purty fast in the fancy leather seats of some new top o' the line car and he would tell us, with that cocksure grin that he had a cop detecting device. A radar thing that would sound if there were any police in waiting, or in the vicinity…i thought that was pretty nifty! phil collins singing, "i don't care anymore."
Your dad WAS sexy.
in retrospect considering who he was..Sebastopol, when he chose to live there to be with you and Frankie~that musta been HUGE.
i am in awe of you deli. i love your passion, your ability to recognise beauty, and nurture it. Your fiery strength, but your soft soft feminine side…all these qualities..well, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.
I've got to agree, I love how the "blogs" are starting to connect and a larger, more intimate picture is forming. It's easy to see why your dad was such an epic force in your young life…and the photos round out your story beautifully.
Adele, thank you for allowing me a window seat on this pictorial journey with you and your family memories. From pecan pie (the sweet) to the relationship with your father (the bittersweet), I am enjoying the ride. It should be parents and not so much the medical profession that come with the mandate, "first, do no harm". To have written this honestly about your father couldn't have been easy, but even so, keep going. I look forward to the next stop along the way.
Adele….sigh….this is the most glorious painting of your memory. Your ability to capture and write the truth is inspirational.
Wow, I'm so humbled by these comments. Thank you ALL so much for the beautiful support. You give me much to continue the journey…
I've always been envious of the adventures of a daddy's girl. My father was emotionally absent from his girls most of our lives. Perhaps he was just running from my mother's wrath. LOL.
But it's interesting to me, as the grass turns greener on the other side, how your story turned to heartbreak and mine, well, while my dad never turned into a rock star, we have managed to develop a relationship where we can at least talk to each other..and laugh.
As everyone else has already expressed, thank you for sharing your stories. I always support and champion those around me who can story-tell with honesty, vulnerability, and humor, to take the leap. You're no exception.
Very interesting Randi, thanks so much for sharing and for the kind words. Yes, while my dad was a rock star to the little girl, he's certainly been "absent" for the adult. I look forward to hearing more about your relationships in time… 🙂
Adele… I'm so in awe of your blogs. I should be crunching numbers a work, but instead I'm steadfastly reading about your colorful past. As previous comments suggest, you MUST publish a book.
Really glad to find your blog. Great pictures and some undefined great way of telling the story. I'll dig further in the future days. So far I came to Mawmies attitude/comprehension of food. I live in a neighboring country to Italy so it sounds so familiar. Food is God and more – it is the only safe way to express love, so don t you dare to refuse it!
Anyway, you have got yourself a new follower, wish and your parts all well, FoodLover
I'm so glad to hear from you FoodLover! I love that you live near Italy where food is "God" and a "safe way to express love" (sounds very familiar). Thanks for following and tuning in!
Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your most intimate self for you do it beautifully. Speaking of beautiful…you are both inside and out.
sooo awesome, I am enjoying this and have joined, I love it for many reasons, cuz its funny, cuz its honest, cuz its crazy, cuz its sad, cuz you have done the work, cuz your so friggin adorable I want to put you on a biscuit with sausage gravy and swallow you whole!!!
i think you are great
You both have made my day (and my appendages blush a little). Really, I'm honored and very grateful to have you two on board for the ride!
Yesterday, anonymous. Today, TC. Just want you to know how much I love your writing. How much I love you. How much I look forward to more, more, more!!!
Having just finished reading your entire blog series I can only say: Brava!You manage to entertain while teaching…a wonderful, delicious offering!!
What a privilege to witness your unfoldment…..
TC, your support means so much. Thank you, I promise there's 'more, more, more' comin!
And Nicki, I'm touched by your words. You've certainly been an integral Part of this 'unfoldment' process.
Deli You are such a hoot .I must have the girls at The Harwick House get a dose. They will stop crying and start laughing!!!
Jema, if I can get those gals to crack a smile, my hand-job is done. Seriously, that’s why I keep at this sh*t -trying to open hearts (including my own). Love back x
You’re writing is so terrific Adele and gets better all the time!
Deli…I miss you! I love looking at the photos of you now and also during the time I knew you–when you were about 6-9 years old. It was a special time in Sebastopol, CA. Sending you lots of love from Vermont, where I now live.
Ahh Emma! Such a treat to hear from you ❤️ I’m sending LOVE to you too. I hope you and Jesse are well. Please give him a hug from me.