My So-Called Life
Father Figures

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Wing Chun: D | Grade It Now!
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Father Figures

Patty closes up the print shop, turning off lights as she goes. When she gets to the door, her dad is standing there checking out some piece of paper. She says, "Daddy!" in surprise, and he mutters, "Patricia, you want to give me another heart attack? What are you doing working so late? [indicating the paper in his hand] What is this?" Patty says he's holding her master plan, which involves the company's moving into the "world of high-speed copiers." She breezily asks what he thinks. He starts to caution her that it seems like a lot of money to spend at once, but before he can get too far into his free advice, she cuts him off: "You know that's exactly what I thought, Dad, and then it came to me -- lease it! That way it only costs about eight grand a month." He starts to speak but she stops him again: "Yeah, I know that's not peanuts, but, oh, Dad -- it looks like offset! People won't have to go to an offset printer! They can come to us! We can keep more stuff in-house." Dad bitterly remarks, "Well! I see you've got it all figured out!" He starts to walk off, adding a bitter little chuckle as punctuation to his speech. Patty looks stung, and declares, "You know, I could work sixteen hours a day and it wouldn't be enough. You know how late I work. I know you came here to make up with me." With his back still to her, Dad snorts, "Me! I'm still waiting for an apology." "You'll be waiting awhile," Patty tells him. Dad turns abruptly, as though wondering where she got the stones all of a sudden. Allowing the tears to creep, just a little, into her voice, Patty says, "Dad, I have opinions. I have to have them, stick to them, make decisions. I have to. You asked me to when you --" "I didn't ask you to bankrupt us!" he interrupts, and she storms over and says, "NO, Dad, you have to hear this!" Dad looks wary. Patty barrels ahead: "When you asked me to take over -- when you asked me to run this business -- maybe you didn't know what you were asking. God knows I didn't! And sometimes I miss how it used to be, when I never questioned you. But I've turned some sort of corner with this, and I can't go back."

Dad doesn't really know how to respond to this, so he rather impotently huffs, "Yeah, well, that's your -- that's your own business." He takes a few steps away from her, and Patty starts crying in earnest: "So why does there have to be this distance between us?" Dad announces, "Well, that's not my doing." Patty looks like she can't believe her ears. They stand apart from each other for a beat. Dad watches her crying for a moment, and then takes a step, puts his hand on her shoulder, and says, "All right, now." She turns to hug him, and he warns her, "Careful, now. I didn't shave today. Didn't have to, that's the good thing about retirement." I guess Glark's retired, then. (Okay, so am I.) Rebuffed, Patty folds her arms and breathes, "I don't care." Dad says, "When you were a little girl, I'd go to give you a kiss goodnight. Boy, if I hadn't shaved, you'd push me away. Say my whiskers were too rough." Dreamily, Patty replies, "Well, they were, then." Dad says, "That's what it is to raise a girl: walking on eggshells half the time. You hungry? Come on, I'll buy you a piece of pie." Stone-faced, Patty watches as Dad turns off the rest of the lights. Because he's still possessive about the business. Get it? Do you get it? Okay, who here doesn't get it?

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My So-Called Life

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