The Story Lives On
My father passed away around Father’s Day a year before Assisted Loving was published. I’m sorry he wasn’t around to enjoy its success and all the nice reviews. But as I travel around the country talking about him and telling … Read More
My father passed away around Father’s Day a year before Assisted Loving was published. I’m sorry he wasn’t around to enjoy its success and all the nice reviews. But as I travel around the country talking about him and telling the twin stories of our desperate dating derbies, I find he remains with me, a gift I never expected. And apparently, he reminds lots of people of their own parents. I thought he was the most peculiar and iconoclastic of fathers. But apparently, he’s Everydad. No, it isn’t every dad who wears a ski parka around the house instead of a bathrobe or soaks raisins in orange juice to pour over his cornflakes. No, it isn’t every dad who in the 1970s, would ask a neurotic college bound son (me) if he was gay, then tell him it was fine by him. And of course, it isn’t every dad who would forget about the veal chop from dinner left rotting in his tennis bag or decide to schedule hip replacement surgery on Yom Kippur. But what is universal about him, I guess, is his total lack of pretense and unchecked enthusiasm for life. And I guess what’s universal about our story is how hard I had to struggle to learn to accept his embrace.
Touring with this book, I get to hear from readers around the country. They email me at AssistedLoving.com too. These days, there are many befuddled boomer kids with parents on the prowl for new love. One senior mother wanted her son to score her some Viagra so she could give it to the man she was dating. Another, after her husband died, took up with a man she loved as a teenager in Europe. Several middle aged children told me about lists left behind by dying mothers or fathers with names of potential new spouses. (Considerate or controlling? Who knows?) One woman had a father who, after seven days of mourning her mother, declared, "I can’t live this way anymore! I need a new wife!" Then there was the bemused middle aged son in Saint Paul who told me that when his mother died, his father, after 50 years of marriage, decided he was gay. He was eighty, and went online and met someone nice who was twenty years his junior. Men!
And what was I to do but laugh when, after cleaning out my father’s junk strewn sedan to sell after his death, I reached into his glove compartment to give the new owner of the car the title, and found a recently purchased Trojan that would not expire for years.
"My father," I said, "was always a very hopeful man."
I’m hoping that readers of this book won’t only get a new view of their parents, but a new view of themselves too. That’s why I wrote Assisted Loving. It’s about never giving up on the idea of love, whether for a parent or in the quest for a significant other.
Love is a decision. I learned that from my father.
But only when I was ready to hear it.
Bob Morris, author of Assisted Loving: True Tales of Double Dating with My Dad, spent the past week guest blogging on Jewcy. This is his parting post. Want more? Buy the book!