That was how my dad was raised and that was how he grew up expecting marriage and a family to be like.
So he was frequently angry because none of us, my mom or my brothers and I, rarely conformed to his expectations.
So not only was there a generational gap, there was a two-generational gap between my dad and I.He told me that because of his current age, 60, and his family’s trait of dying of heart attacks before they were even 50 years of age, he never believed that he would even live to see me graduate from high school, let alone that he might have the possibility of seeing all us kids graduate. My dad then went on to tell me that he had had an interesting phone call last week from his cousin, Frank Henry, and that is what he now wanted to talk to me about.My dad’s cousin was another chauvinistic good ole Southern boy like my dad was, only ten times worse.My mom mainly wanted me to get good grades only for the bragging rights with our neighbors who had kids my age who were honor students.Nor was I ever asked about what I would do after high school.” “No, dad, it’s just you giving permission for me to take the tests.Maybe I will do well, maybe I will do awful, but no, signing this slip will not make you financially responsible for anything.” My dad then told me, “Jeneane, here’s the thing.And that’s really just because that’s what YOU want me to do? ” My dad snapped at me, annoyed that I had talked back to him, “That’s different, they are boys, so they have to plan for their futures.They will be taking those tests, with my permission, when their time comes to do so.” I yelled at him, “That is so unfair, dad!He tried very, very hard to bully us to adhere to those expectations but each of us, in our individual ways, rebelled against his rigid, dinosaurian viewpoints.My dad was a good man, with a good heart, but to paraphrase Bob Dylan, the times, they were a changin’, and my dad frequently had a lot of trouble with these new changing attitudes in the 1960’s and 1970’s.