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Your parents are supposed to be the only people you can count on to love you unconditionally.

And yet here he was, proposing ridiculous conditions in order for us to even be in the same room together.

I politely responded saying that I appreciated the explanation, but that these were not terms and conditions I was willing to live by.

I left Aaron alone for a while both because I wasn’t sure what else to say and because if it were me, I would have wanted time and space.

About two weeks later I asked him to come over and talk.

Aside from the occasional comment on the freeway my dad never said anything about race. He responded saying and there was no point in trying to correspond with him. There was a pause, followed by “I wish you wouldn’t have told me that so I would still think the world is a cool place”.

More awkward silence, lack of eye contact, blank face.

Our father-daughter relationship was more like a typical father-son relationship. I was also a dancer and heavily involved in the performing arts which attracts a wide variety of characters.

My mom hated seafood so we would often go get fish together and make fun of people at work, school, etc. I always made sure everyone felt welcome and included.

My dad wasn’t a fan, but I knew he wasn’t going to truly like anyone anyway as no one would ever be good enough for me in his mind. He was Italian, passionate, and handsome with dark features. I explained that my parents weren’t coming to California for Christmas because our family dog needed emergency eye surgery.

We had a great run together, but in the end saw our futures differently and went our separate ways. He was on my level: we owned our own homes and cars, were hard working, had good jobs, and were involved in the community. This was true and may have delayed their visit, but not the real reason for their absence.

I grew up in a wonderful and loving home in Southern California.

I had an older brother and sister 12 and 15 years my senior respectively, parents who were happy together, and my aunt and cousins lived one street over.

I’m sure my dad didn’t think he was good enough either. It felt like a fit and I was pleasantly surprised when he invited me to spend his birthday weekend with him and his family in Palm Springs. As the holidays approached, I wasn’t sure what to do. When I told Aaron this, he offered to drive out to Vegas with me at some point during our holiday break to go see them.