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The parent trap 

When our folks act irresponsibly

While visiting the family, my 72-year-old father informed me that a 29-year-old Russian woman was coming to America to be with him. Dad didn't want me to tell my brother and sister because he knew they would be critical of him being with a 29-year-old Russian virgin. He's correct. They would judge him. But I couldn't care less who he fucks.

I did ask if he had sent this woman any money. He insisted that he had not. Over the next couple days, I got my father to confess to sending this woman more than $3,000 (he won't give me the real number). A few days later, he went to the airport to meet his lovely Russian girlfriend. Obviously, no Russian woman got off the plane.

I have since had some conversations with my dad about the likelihood that a legitimate 29-year-old woman -- or even a 50-year-old woman -- would want to be with a 72-year-old man in bad health. There is nothing exceptional about him. He is overweight, basically lives on social security with enough left in retirement savings for some luxury in life, has no special talents that would make a much younger woman attracted to him, i.e., he is not Jack Nicholson, etc. I encouraged him to think about more age-appropriate partners and did some Internet searches for him on legit dating Web sites. He's not interested in anyone close to his age. Those women are "old," he says.

Dad says he's lonely without female companionship. I don't think this is about being lonely. He works on occasion for my brother, goes out with family and friends. I think it is about an old man who wants to recapture his youth by being with a younger woman. Which is fine. But as his son, I feel obligated to protect what little my father has. He has already been scammed once. We have always had a good relationship. But he confides in me less now because I "lectured" him about his Russian girlfriend and the age difference.

Should I help him with the dream of finding a much younger woman? Or, do I continue down the path of convincing him to seek out women who, if not age-appropriate, at least have similar life experiences?

No Fools Like Old Fools

If your dad admits to sending this woman $3K, NFLOF, he probably sent her 10 times that. Explain to your father that he can have a hot younger woman whenever he wants -- by renting one, an honest pro, a decent whore, someone who only wants to take him for her reasonable, hourly rate. Yes, he'll be paying for it, but he'll be paying a lot less and actually getting it. With a little effort, you and your dad can find a kind, understanding pro, someone he can see regularly, and he can establish a "relationship" of sorts, one that involves a little companionship and affection, real or simulated, and not just sex. It may not be legal, of course, but it's the only way a man who isn't rich and famous -- like Donald Trump or Fred Thompson -- can land a 29-year-old bride.

And finally, NFLOF, you need to discuss what went down with your siblings and talk to your father's doc, if he has one. If he's dangerously out of touch with reality -- like Donald Trump or Fred Thompson -- you may need to step in and take over his finances before his next mail-order bride takes him for all he's worth.

On my 21st birthday, my mother got so drunk that she had to buy a pair of pants off a gas-station attendant after she pissed her own. She dropped her giant bag of pot in the limo. We put her to bed and she got up and tried to screw my roommate. Then she fell out of the top bunk of his bed and hurt herself so bad she grabbed her car keys and left. She got a DWI on the way to the hospital where they found out she broke her rib. What does all of this do to my psyche?

Please Answer Me

Nothing good, PAM. But I can't imagine that your mother's behavior on your 21st birthday did more damage to your psyche than your mother seeing her behavior recounted in a nationally syndicated sex-advice column is going to do to hers. So you're your mother's daughter after all, PAM.

To ask Dan Savage a question, write to mail@savagelove.net.

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