The most complicated relationship I have is the one I have with my dad. I never truly understood him and his ways. Sometimes I wonder if I did not try enough or if he never let anyone understand him at all.
I do not have a lot of fond memories with him in the twenty-three years I lived with him. I was mostly scared of or angry at him. No family is perfect and mine was far from being a perfect family.
Dad loved to eat. So, it’s no wonder that when I have to think of good memories I had with him, I end up thinking about food. Corndog, in particular.
Despite finding pleasure at eating, Dad disliked eating out because he found it an unnecessary expense. But from time to time, we went out to eat in fast foods like McDonald’s. But because Dad was more on the stingy side, my sister and I would have to share one meal. He would rip the lid of the styro container and divide the food in half. He would order a la carte for everyone except for one meal that came with a drink that he would upsize to the largest size. Then he’d ask for extra cups and divide that drink among all of us. Mom would feel so embarrassed sometimes at how stingy he could be.
So what’s with corn dogs?
When I was around eight or nine, we always went to Festival Mall in Alabang every Sunday because that is where we went for groceries. In the food court was a store/stall that sold corn dogs called Hotdog on a Stick. Nope, it’s not the Purefoods Tender Juicy stand. The store sold freshly-made corn dogs that were really yummy!
Dad never made my sister and I share one corn dog. He would get one for each of us and bought us our own drinks. He and Mom would wait for my sister and I to finish them and then we’d go to the grocery.
Eventually, the store closed and there were no more corn dogs on Sundays.
These days, it’s difficult to find corn dogs. I know Purefoods sell them in their hotdog stands but nothing could ever top that store I loved as a kid where I could watch it get prepared and cooked. The closest I could get them is from FamilyMart but it still is not as yummy as the corn dog from that store years and years ago.
I have long given up on having the father-daughter relationship that I used to wish for as a child. And these days, I do not see him or talk to him anymore. I’m still not ready to.
But from time to time, I buy corn dogs and remember the good times I had with him whenever we bought them before. I would remember him asking the store attendants to coat mine extra thickly because he knew I loved the coating. We would watch as it cooked and he would remind me to blow on it before taking a bite because it was too hot having just come from the fryer.
I have not sealed shut any door. I know that one day, I am going to have to see him again. I am not yet close to being ready for that. But, who knows? Maybe, when that day comes, it’ll be over a snack of corn dogs. Maybe, that time will also be a good time.