My dad is getting under my nerves! Plus, how do I search for a condo? (long)

*You can just skip to the question at the end if you don’t want to read all of the background. It’s in bold. *

So my mom died in April, and my dad, who has been passive most of my life, has pretty much indicated that he thinks things are going to go on just like we’ve been father and daughter all our lives.

He calls every other day and while I talk to him often, I have taken to ignoring his calls because there isn’t anyone, other than my SO, I want to talk to that often. I feel pestered and cornered, like I can’t get away from him. And if he doesn’t get an answer he will call over and over again.

I hardly know him, to be honest. Talking to him feels like talking to a stranger. I don’t know his likes or dislikes. From what I can tell he doesn’t have any. We had him up here a while ago for a day and he bored the piss out of us, telling us long-winded, pointless stories with no end, for the whole time. Hours straight, no TV on or anything like that. Just him talking, and us, eyes glazed, staring. I felt so bad for my SO. He didn’t ask us a question, just on and on and on. Seriously I cannot tell you how bad it was unless you were there. It was awful. Fine, we did it once, good karma, it is not going to happen again.

Eventually I will have to tell him that I only plan to talk to him once a week or so and even that is really too much for a grown daughter - I’m 34, and don’t need to check in with my father once a week.

All of that won’t happen - me telling him to back off a bit - until he gets into his own place. He’s staying with some cousins right now. He desperately wants to move in with us but I put the kibosh on that toot sweet. He is not even seventy and very healthy and doesn’t need anyone to take care of him, he just wants someone to be at his beck and call all of the time and I don’t intend to do that.

I think he should stay there until he goes to India in October and washes away my mom’s ashes. And then when he gets back he can look for a place in leisure.

There is a lot of water under the bridge here. If I need to get into it I will but mostly I just need to rant a bit. He just doesn’t get that he needs to attempt to rebuild a relationship and it doesn’t just magically happen. When did I get to be my father’s keeper? He has never helped me with a thing in my adult life and when my mom said for him not to talk to me, he obeyed her completely. I resent being put upon like this.

So he has asked me to look for a condo for him, in Albany. I don’t want him to move to Albany. I know he will be bored out of his mind here. I don’t associate with the Indian community at all and I don’t plan to see him every week or anything like that. He will expect us to dance attendance on him and rather than shooting him down when the time comes, I’d rather just have him in the right place to start with.

There is a huge Indian community in the Poughkeepsie area, and I think he should move there, or at least in-between. That’s not far from us at all, within driving area, and he could still go to temple there and see lots of people - my dad wants to be around people all of the time.

I have even thought about the right way to say it. I have already hinted about this plenty, but I plan to drop it cold. I will say, “Dad, I don’t think you should move to Albany. You will be completely bored here. We are not terribly social people and we don’t even see his parents more than 3 or 4 times a year, and they are happy with that, and that is the way it’s going to be with us, too. We don’t go to Indian parties or hang out with Indian people either.” Only, I have to say it all in Hindi.

His English is terrible, so it’s not like he can really have any non-Indian friends. I mean, terrible to the point that people lose their patience with him. And the long-winded stories and stupid jokes don’t help.

Sigh. It puts me in this low state of constant irriatation, much as I try to be calm about it.
Ok, so for the question - he wants a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom condo that runs about $150K. (See? He’s got money, too!) He asked me to ask about HOA and taxes and fees.
Why he thinks I’d be any good at this I don’t know. I am a lifelong renter up to this point and haven’t the least clue how to buy a house or condo. I am trying to think of this as good practice for the future, when I do eventually want to buy, but this is seriously disturbing my serenity.
Anyway, I looked online, in Kingston and New Paltz so far, and saw a bunch of stuff, and guess I have to start calling, but I don’t even know what to ask. Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? **

Your best bet is to find him some nice Indian widow to marry. That’ll take him off your hands.

As far as calling - I call my stepfather every evening as I’m driving home from work. A 5 minute conversation that ensures he’s not dead on his kitchen floor, with the dog starving to death.A few minutes until I say “Gotta go - I"m getting on the interstate!”, and he doesn’t feel abandoned.

As for real-estate shopping - get a realtor. Give her your parameters and let her do the weeding out. She can show you what’s available.

Good luck!


Or maybe you could introduce him to some single real estate agents, and perhaps they’ll hit it off. Then she can help him shop for an apartment while he gets to know her (and/or bores her with his stories).

I’m a couple of years older and talk to my parent’s 2-4 times per week. I don’t check in with them. I call to say Hi and see how things are going, or they call and do the same.

  1. Find a copy of India Abroad (it’s an English-language newspaper for NRIs, mostly full of matrimonials and boring articles about Western governments sending trade delegations to Chennai or passing resolutions honoring obscure Indian potentates).

  2. Find a Hindi-speaking real estate agent in your area, or wherever it is you want to send him.

  3. Pawn Dad off on him.

  4. Profit!

Oh, and you’ve got a mixed metaphor in your title - it should be on your nerves or under your skin.

ETA: what Dewey said.

How old is he? Are there any Senior Living-type apartment complexes in the area that are predominantly populated by Indians? I don’t know what his monthly income or savings is, obviously, but if he can afford it, it sounds like that would be a good fit for him. He would have people to socialize with, organized activities every day, all meals taken care of, et cetera.

Good luck to you.

Yeah, I do too, and I have dinner with them at least once a week when they’re in town, but I like my parents. I have a relationship with them that has two sides to it. I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have somebody I didn’t have that relationship with trying to chase me down!

Seriously, let the realtor do the work. In Poughkeepsie, where I’m sure they have Indian realtors if there’s a big community! Single ones!

ETA - people posted when I was typing, obviously I was responding to other people who keep in close touch with family.

I don’t have a close relationship with him. Once upon a time I wanted one, but at this age, I’m well past wanting a dad who was never there for me. I have no interest in talking to him weekly. I haven’t talked to him for years and years. I have nothing to chat with him about and he has nothing to say.

I know what India Abroad is, and I am liking the widow idea. But so far the realtor idea is the best. Hey! My cousin is a realtor! I’m going to call him up and recruit his help.
Seriously. You can’t dump your daughter out in the world at twenty and expect to come back into her life fourteen years later without a how-do-you-do. Relationships need to be built. Respect needs to be earned. Love, too. And right now he really has very little of all of that from me. And he doesn’t have any respect for me. I am simply the “daughter”.
As to the thread title, that is how much he is irritating me - that I am mixing metaphors. :slight_smile:

Oh, and I meant to say a big thank you to everyone for helping but mainly for letting me rant a bit.

I think this is a really good suggestion, my parents moved to a retirement community a few years ago (all single family homes) and I’ve never known my mom to have this many friends. It’s all older people with money and time on their hands, and they all moved there from somewhere else so in general people are eager to meet the neighbors. She’s always off doing stuff, she’s in the garden club (or something like that) and practically has a part-time job at the library.
That said, this is general advice, and your situation is unique to you. I can totally understand the feeling of “Oh know you want to get to know me?” If it were me I think I would just say sorry, I can’t help you but here’s a realtor reference I found. And most likely, if this is mostly an attempt to “get closer”, he’ll drop it when he sees it doesn’t work. But it’s easier to say I’d just wash my hands of in on a message board, I know it’s not that easy in real life, especially if there’s a whole set of cultural expectations that I don’t have to deal with or understand.

Re: the condo, just tell him to find a realtor and the realtor will explain everything. To speed up the process you could just look up a few relators in Poughkeepsie and give him the contact info. Good luck.

Have you actually said any of this to him? If not, I think it needs to be said, both for his sake and yours.

If I understand it correctly, he doesn’t even want to get to know her… he has no interest in 'Mika-as-a-person, he’s interested in Daughter-who-must-take-care-of-me. If he wanted to know her, he would ask her questions, instead of rattling on and on…

No ideas that haven’t been offered yet, just my sympathies and good wishes.

What did your poor cousin ever do to you?

And to mix threads - maybe you could play Bioshock while your father is telling his long & boring stories. I’m sure that would wipe out the horror factor.

I third or fourth the idea that he needs a new wife. Or not even a new wife (that does sound sort of harsh against your mom, sorry) but more like…girlfriends. Companions. Dates.

Posit to him that he must be bored with you. He would be much happier socializing - in person or on the phone - with men and women who are from India and of the same generation.

No. And I want to say it but there’s lots of factors here. One is, in our culture, all of this is expected. There is no “emotion” allowed from a child, or personal feelings. I am simply to do what he wants, without question. Well that ain’t happening.
Certainly not everyone believes this but he definitely does. It would be a rude awakening for him at the least…I don’t think he has the faintest idea.

Two, mom died in April. I don’t think he is ready to hear this stuff from me now, and if I want him to hear and really listen to it, I need to wait until the right time. Plus, he’s still grieving.

I agree with the idea that he needs a new wife. I don’t have a problem with that at all.
But also another horrible thought occured to me at my lunch break. What if I do this, and find him a lovely condo? He’s going to think he can come to me for everything! He may even put me in charge of his finances. :eek:

Better to ‘fail’ now, by saying something like "I looked at a bunch of condo sites and didn’t understand anything, it would be better for you if you got a Hindustani realtor’. Which I know there are plenty.

All the real estate search websites I’ve seen let you select the type of property you’re looking to buy (land, single-family, condo, etc.).

You’ve mostly talked about your mom here until now - she sounds a helluvalot like mine, other than that whole “being dead” thing - and now you’re telling me your dad was/is ultra-passive, doesn’t care about his daughter as a person, and tells long rambling stories no one wants to hear?

Damn, girl - we’re different colors, but we coulda been switched at birth.

I sincerely wish I had something more useful to offer you than more sympathy. If I were in your shoes, I’d pawn him off on someone else, too. How much do you like that poor cousin of yours? :slight_smile: And as far as that part about stuff you wish you could say to him … while I completely sympathize with that, truly, I highly doubt the message would sink in, even a tiny bit. Sorry. It’s probably not even worth it. Just play the part as much as you can stomach, as much or as little as that may be. (Sounds like: little.)

Tell him Albany has a horribly corrupt muicipal government and now the property taxes are through the roof. Talk about how happy this one friend in Poughkeepsie is with their new home.

You can’t scare an Indian person by telling them about corrupt government. It’s like telling them they won’t like Mexican food because it’s spicy.

I’ll take the sympathy, sister. :slight_smile: And quite happily, too.

My dad is exactly like that, except abusive and not Indian. I feel your pain.

He will likely get remarried ASAP. Men who were that dependent on their wives do not stay single for long. I am friends with an estates lawyer, and that’s the way it goes down with her male clients, time and again. You just need to stay strong until that happens.

I definitely think you should tell him, politely, that you have not been close in 14 years (if ever), and you don’t see that changing without a lot of time and patient effort on his part.

I know it’s really hard to be that cold to someone who is grieving, but you reap what you sow.