Deconsructing Father’s Day

June 19, 2012

I know I’m way late with the Father’s Day post, but since my dad died in 2002, Father’s Day has been a navigation, with reflections coming later. Here are mine this year:


For a long time I thought my dad had died on the birthday of my friend Laurie White. The coincidence gave me much comfort because my dad loved Laurie, said everything stood still when she walked into a room; she made him laugh and flirt like no one else, and he was an inveterate charmer. But a couple of years ago, when I called on the anniversary of my dad’s death to wish her a happy birthday, Laurie surprised me by saying, “Thanks—you know it’s tomorrow, right?”

I thought she must be confused. Dad’s dying on Laurie’s birthday had become family lore, as we imagined him led to the afterlife by the same spirit that had brought Laurie to this life, her bawdy humor and dry wit easing my father’s passing.

I would not let it go easily. I actually argued with her, reminding her I’d called the day my dad died with birthday wishes I’d had to temper with the sad news. But logic finally prevailed: Why would she lie about her birthday by a mere day if she was already copping to being over 50?

Father’s Day in Heaven

Speaking of my dad, click here to read my brother John Cave Osborne’s popular post about our dad’s last martini—approval of which was actually noted in his hospital chart. Who says you can’t get good health care in America anymore?

 My Father, My Brother-in-Law, My Father, My Brother-in-Law…

Finally, TMZ reported on Woody Allen’s estranged son Ronan’s Father’s Day tweet: “Happy father’s day–or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day,”  a  transparent reference to Allen’s marriage to Soon-Yi Previn, Ronan’s step-sister, for whom his dad left mom Mia Farrow when Soon-Yi was barely a teenager. According to the Daily Beast, mom punctuated her re-tweet of Ronan’s post  with a resounding “Boom!” Indeed.

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