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Desert life by an Eskimo
by Lee Thorkhill
2008-03-11 07:54:37
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An old man, weathered by a life that he has lived quickly and without regard for the feelings of others. Gifted from birth with a silver tongue and rugged looks he has left broken hearts and promises across the world. He is quick and free with words, in many languages, which has got him in and out of trouble through the years, though probably not in equal proportion.

He is the archetypal rogue: lovable, entertaining and generous with the truth. He takes 110% of the good times and will happily walk away from the bad. His moral compass has been skewed by the magnet of women and money and, as he passes 60, I am eager to find out whether the image I have built in my mind is accurate of the man today.

Meeting your father-in-law for the first time is always a nervous occasion and when you've already been married for eight months it certainly focuses the emotions. My wife hasn't seen her father for over ten years and this weekend we are going to Germany to visit him and his young family for the weekend.

I am conscious that I shouldn't let the opinions and thoughts of others affect my attitude or behaviour but it'll always be in the back of my mind. You can never be certain what the effect of a broken home is on a child and I have no experience from which I can comment.

I travel as support for my wife during what must be an incredible mix of emotions and I want to take my opportunity to find out which half of her character comes through her father. I wouldn't say that I was angry with him; it is more disappointment that he has been satisfied not to have his daughter in his life.

I am certain that during the span of the weekend we will almost exclusively see the silver tongued father who enjoys the good times, but just maybe I will glimpse the other man who has notoriously placed himself above others.

Essentially I wonder whether the leopard can change his spots. All of this is at the forefront of my mind at the moment because we are expecting our first child in June and I am trying to understand what is required of fatherhood.

What can you learn about desert life from an Eskimo?

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Emanuel Paparella2008-03-11 10:28:23
The eskimos have fifty or so words for snow and probably none for sand. The Greeks had it on target: the language Man uses reflects the inner outer (and inner) reality he, willy nilly, attempts to express. Sometimes,almost as an act of grace, that same language can transcend itself and change the spots on the leopard. But I wouldn't bet on it. Narcisists usually remain stuck looking at themselves in the pond.

Asa2008-03-11 10:29:48
Good luck this weekend! Just be the rock that we all know you are ;)

MIL2008-03-11 20:58:22
Go with an open mind and I am sure you will have a good time

Clint2008-03-11 23:41:38
Encouraged by Paps mutterings on snow its seems to me that you've been raised to be strong but fair so I would guess that whatever judgement you make will be the right one. Your wife will need all the love and support you can muster but that will come naturally as your concerns already show that you think the world of her. To vacate your childs life by choice is the act of a selfish git so your new wife's generousity of spirit in allowing him back in her life is the sign of a lovely personality. I'd be very proud of her if she was my daughter. Best wishes.

Lee2008-03-12 09:23:07
Thanks for your support guys, it is most appreciated.

Päivi2008-03-12 21:33:47
Must be so hard for you (both) to do this, I´m amazed you´re doing it to tell the truth. Thinking of you this weekend!

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