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9:44 pm EDT        49°F (9°C) in Dexter, MI

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Far, far too much shit has happened in the five-plus days since my last update. I'm going to try to catch up here.

As I mentioned last Friday, I spent most of Friday helping Marc with the moving of the stuff his mother had left for him. After getting dinner, I spent Friday night at his place, where I would hook up with my parents and two aunts on Saturday to head to my sister's graduation at the Big House. The atmosphere was almost like one would expect at a football game; members of the graduating class were seen playing with a beach ball and doing other things usually seen on fall Saturdays. The highest interest level seemed to be shown when legendary football coach Glenn E. ("Bo") Schembechler was presented with an honorary degree. Following that, parties and an extended-family dinner engagement ate up most of the rest of Saturday.

Not a whole lot happened with Sunday, except that I started feeling more and more ill as the day went on; I tried to go to sleep around midnight, but a sharp pain in my abdomen kept getting worse and worse. By 3:30 am Monday, I could no longer bear it, and called a cab to take me to the U-M Hospital emergency room. I was wondering if it was kidney stones, but not long after they got an IV into me, I discovered that couldn't possibly be the case; the doctors eventually came to suspect gallstones, and ordered an ultrasound for me on Monday morning. When that came back negative for gall-bladder troubles, the next suspicion was appendicitis; they decided to start me on an IV antibiotic and morphine (for the pain), and that really helped a lot. By yesterday afternoon, I was more or less feeling fine, except for a bit of left-over pain on my right side; at this point, they decided to let me go, and whatever pain that was left has been slowly disappearing ever since.

While all of this was going on, I ended up winning an auction for a 1998 Saturn SW2 on eBay Motors. This vehicle was being sold by a dealer in Louisville, KY; I will end up paying $2,900 (plus title fees, etc.) for it. It is a five-speed manual with 118,000 miles and most every power option available on 1998 Saturns. Fortunately, it looks like it won't be obscenely expensive to insure — $275 for six months if I go with State Farm, and that's even with a $1,000-deductible comprehensive policy. I will have to work out a few details regarding payment, paperwork, and either (a) shipping or (b) getting down to Louisville, but those shouldn't be too difficult to work around.

Based on what I wrote in my last update, though, I should have predicted that my father was going to piss himself about the whole thing. On Saturday, in between some of the functions surrounding my sister's graduation, he and I had to take a ten-mile side trip out to my truck to retrieve some of my nicer clothing for our later dinner. At one point, he asked me, "So, what did you think of the graduation?," which is really code for "when are you IMMEDIATELY quitting driving a truck and getting back into school [so I don't have to act all ashamed of talking about my son]?" As always, I evaded the question, and the inevitable discussion of my future plans came up. I had mentioned here on April 16 some of the things he had said about the possibility of selling me his 1999 Ford Taurus; to make a long story short, he kept coming up with reason after reason why he wouldn't or couldn't sell me that car. In any case, I presented much the same argument to him that I did in that post: that I was not going to be able to make a deal for what was probably the best car easily available to me, because one other part of the deal was going to be letting him call the shots on my employment (as he had previously hinted).

I felt I had basically gotten nowhere after that talk, and given the months-long history of excuses for not selling me that Taurus, I figured I had exhausted my last chance to try to get him to make me a fair deal. I said "screw this," and proceeded to bid on two vehicles on eBay, one of which was the aforementioned Saturn. Both of these bids were placed on Sunday afternoon, roughly 12 hours before I ended up in the hospital. Finally, once I let my folks know about my hospitalization on Monday afternoon, my father gave me a half-hearted "well, I talked to your mother, and she says yeah, we could go ahead and sell you that car."

Now, had somebody out-bid me for the Saturn on eBay, this would likely not have been an issue. However, my bid was the only one placed on that car, and as anybody who knows a thing about eBay will tell you, bids are binding commitments to buy the item. Knowing what was going to happen, I didn't even bother telling him directly; I told my mother what I had done just after I was released from the hospital. Her actions showed just how dramatically my relationship with her has improved in four years; basically, she took the attitude that it was my money, I'm entitled to spend it as I wish, and she's not going to judge me or my choice. A few hours later, my father called me back, ostensibly to do nothing but bitch me out: "Why did you buy another car when I was going to sell you that Taurus? That's too many miles [on the odometer], and I just 'know' you're going to have big problems with that car. You know why nobody else bid on that car? Because nobody wanted anything with that many miles!" Showing a gross lack of knowledge about eBay, he suggested, "You can just back out of that deal now" — and wouldn't accept the fact that I can be sued for failure to go through with this transaction.

Somebody please tell me where the logic can be found there: I'm supposed to take a deal that was only there for a day, after months of indicated unavailability of the said deal? I can't find any logic there. To say it bluntly, Jesus fucking Christ, I'm 25 years old now and I have sufficient intelligence to make my own decisions. If my father can't accept that, I'm going to have no choice but to cut him out of my life entirely at some point in the future. I mean, he keeps asking when I'm going to get off anti-depressant medication, and then he goes and pulls shit like this. I think that's one sure way to cause one's son to be depressed — that is, to deny his unique personality, individuality, and adulthood, and continue treating him like he's about 9.

Am I angry? Hell yes I am, and I have every right to be. I have honestly had about enough of it, but in all honesty, I know that you can never expect another person to change. Even worse, I'm not sure I know the best way to bring him to be able to see things from my perspective, short of doing it in a way that would probably cause him a coronary (as I am usually pretty straightforward and blunt with my feelings, and he is the type to mope and withdraw when confronted in arguments with others' strong feelings). As much as my folks would probably like to say how full of hate I am, and tell me what an ungrateful kid I've been (or at least it seems they would have done in the past), I really don't think a person that is full of hate would try to keep improving things years after most other people would have given up.

"And that's the way it is," as Walter Cronkite would say.