You still think about Dewey, your boyfriend from when you were seventeen, the one who made you feel as rare as a diamond, as light as a breeze, as free as a supermarket sausage sample.
You now know that you settled for your husband. As you grew older and you dated more men you gradually accepted that no one would love you with the strength that Dewey loved you, so you settled for less.
“All through this divorce,” you tell your Dad. “All the time, I keep looking back on Dewey, and how even though it’s ridiculous, I wonder what would have happened if we just kept on loving each other. I wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t chased him away.”
Your Dad and Mom share a look.
“Tell her,” your Mom says.
You ask what she’s suggesting he tell.
“Tell her,” your Mom repeats.
“I didn’t exactly,” your Dad begins. “I didn’t chase Dewey away, if we’re speaking literally.”
You burst out crying. Of course. Your parents only told you that Dewey was chased away to spare your feelings. Because not even Dewey loved you. No one ever loved you the way you dream of being loved.
“No, no,” your Dad says when you stop crying long enough to listen. “I didn’t Chase Dewey away. I paid him to go away. And I’ve been paying him ever since.”
“Your father pays Dewey $71,500 per year,” your Mom says. “All to keep him from ever dating you.”
“But why?” you ask.
“Never liked that long hair of his,” your Dad says. “Or that car he drove. Too fast. Not letting him drive around my daughter.”
Over the course of fifteen years your father has paid your high school boyfriend a middle-class salary to prevent him from dating you. His starting payment was $46,300, but your father continued to give him increases commensurate with the average cost of living inflation.
“He’s still not dating anybody,” your Mom says with a smile. “Never did move on from you. Just lived off your father’s money and waited for the day when—”
“When the checks would stop coming,” you say.
Your Dad looks unsure of this.
“Please Daddy,” you say. “Cut off the checks.”
Your Dad doesn’t know what to do. He doesn’t know how to stop being a Daddy to his little girl.
“I know the love I’ve settled for and the love I deserve,” you tell him. “Dewey can give me the love I deserve.”
Your Dad thinks for a second, then says, “I’ll send him just one more check, so he has the money to cut that hair of his.”
You throw yourself into your Dad’s arms then you Google Dewey and find out that he won’t be needing that extra check to get a haircut after all because Dewey’s completely bald now.
Happy The Boyfriend Your Dad Chased Away Day!