Monday, March 28, 2011

All the World's a Stage

At least for my narcissistic father's dramatic performances.

He'll use any cue to commence a tragic soliloquy.

Once when he dropped by, a colleague of my late maternal grandfather had come to visit us. We were talking about my favorite Grandpa, anecdotes related to him, his feats, his adventures, his eccentricities.

I hadn't realized he had NPD at the time, but I saw my father grow noticeably uncomfortable. Now I understand - it was very difficult to turn himself into the focal point and topic and expert of that conversation. But he did it. He got it.

- "Oh. My poor father-in-law. He died. Everyone I had died within five years. My mother, my father, my sister, my wife, even my father-in-law and mother-in-law." Deep sigh.

Awkward silence. No one knows what to say now. I'm the only one in the room who knows he never even liked his ILs, especially my Grandpa. But any cue will do.

And who can confront a man who lost everyone within five years? Certainly not me. Sure, I lost all my grandparents, my aunt and my mother in the same time span, but I'm cold and unfeeling and unloving. I truly wasn't devastated by those losses, at least certainly not as much as he seemed to be.

It doesn't even have to be anyone related to him. Anything can be overdramatized.

Today, for instance, he told me how he and his girlfriend had lunch yesterday with her uncle in another town. Well, that's what a normal person would have said. What he actually said, theatrically, was:

- "My girlfriend wanted to see her uncle. He's 84. It might be the last time she sees him. He's her last remaining relative. We had lunch together."

I reply nothing.

- "She also saw her cousin." He adds.

- "Wait, I thought the uncle was her last remaining relative." 

- "Well, the last of that generation. Apart from her aunts."

- "So she has aunts as well? How is he then the last remaining relative in the generation?"

- "Well, the last remaining male relative in that generation."

- "The last remaining male relative in that generation with his shoe size and hair color and head circumference?" I can't resist adding (see how I'm cynical and cold and unfeeling? It's a reaction to this kind of crap.)

This is where he gets uncomfortable and hangs up.

I don't know why he does it. I'm sure his girlfriend didn't come up with that narrative for their little outing and lunch yesterday. He's the author. Is it a "subtle" way of telling me that he's my last remaining male relative in that generation and that I should behave appropriately and appreciate him while he's alive, because he might die any moment now, as he's been announcing for years?

Is it any wonder that I've become really insensitive about death in general?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for aNother laugh. Shall I YAWN really BIG for both of us:D They're ALL such a BORE areN't they? HEE hee hee:D:D


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