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Ok Hypocrite: My Dad Tells Me To Study Hard for Finals After Failing His Paternity Test


Photo by Kec45 / CC-ASA-3.0

Late at night I sit at my computer, slaving away at a paper about little red schoolhouses–that didn’t actually exist—and their impacts on ethnic minorities (none) in the mid-1800s. My roommates' gentle snoring no longer soothes me the way that it did that one split second I thought she had died and the gentle “HAH SHOO” proved my worries unwarranted. No, now I can only think about the ads for sleep apnea medication that I watched ad nauseam as my apneic stepfather refused to switch the channel from CNN to Food Network because “debates were happening.” How I wish to be my roommate. She has the pleasure of having me as a roommate. How I wish to be keeping her awake with my whimpers, as she tries unsuccessfully to figure out where it all went wrong (Horace Mann.) But alas, I am still me, the great witness to apnea. My mind wanders to Passover circa 2012 when it was not Elijah who came through the door, but instead, a choked up Matzoh ball that, with many tears, wheezes, and gags, came hurling out through the doorway that is my mouth. In my delirious state, I see a light. Jehovah? Is that you?

No, it is my blue iPhone 12 circa 2020 with an alert, “Good Morning Justine. You have not met your move goal since ‘SkiBT PARTY OF A LIFETIME.’ It’s never too late!” But I fear it is too late. My innards have rotted to a gefilte-like state. Alas. Alas. I swipe up to access the notifications hidden as a result of my automated Sleep Do Not Disturb setting. A text from “father.” 

“GM Justine. How are you? Hope you are studying hard for finals.” Consider my day–it’s day now?–ruined. Why you might ask? Well how does it feel when an abortionist tells you to lead a good life? It feels hypocritical. My father had recently failed a paternity test (and an elders on-the-road test but this has less impact on my life.) This failure had the audacity to tell me, an Ivy Leaguer (he also went to an Ivy League, but not this one. I didn’t get into the one he went to. Make of this what you will.), to study??? Forget it man. That’s right. He’s just a man to me. I always wondered why I looked Wasian despite having a white dad. Well now I know, this fool failed the test.  

But of course, none of this was conveyed to my dad. Instead, I said, “Thanks dad. Top of the mornin’ to ya! I’m up early to go on a run with my boyfriend.”