I’ve always been kind of an odd duckling at work. “Not one of the boys” as they often say.
I don’t really talk about sportsball. I don’t talk about TV. I don’t talk about Hollywood stars, or movies.
I really don’t have many interests to be honest.
But then again Richard wasn’t known for instilling a love of hobbies or activities in my brother or I.
Anything my father did take an interest in he quickly lost interest in.
He had a camera with all of the doodads and gizmos. Never really took an interest in it other than snapping a few pictures on the television of a hockey game.
He had a private pilot’s licence. And except for when we lived on Canadian Forces Base Shearwater, he never went flying again.
He owned a motorcycle, but rarely rode on it. It was usually hauled out of the garage and ridden just for the sake of keeping the fuel from going bad.
Broomball? Yeah he’d play broomball, but not very often.
Was it his depression or his PTSD that kept him from taking up interests?
And when he did take up interests it was almost like he was being forced to take them on, like he was pushing himself to find an interest that he liked because if he found the interest that he liked then he’d stick with it. But he never did find the proverbial interest. He’d try something new, get fed up, and move on to something else.
I didn’t develop any hobbies as a child. It wasn’t like my father had ever encouraged my brother or I to take on any hobbies. And even if we had developed hobbies, who was going to pay for them? Surely not him.
Richard built a few model airplanes, but that was it.
He didn’t really have any favourite bands or musicians.
The only thing that he really liked was hockey. He seemed to love the Toronto Maple Leafs. But he’d get so angry and upset when he’d watch them on TV. For the entire 7 years that we lived in Toronto I don’t think he ever attended a hockey game at Maple Leaf Gardens. I know that he sure as hell didn’t ever take my brother or I to a hockey game. Even when we lived in Edmonton during the early ’80s when the Oilers and Gretzky were owning the NHL we never once went to a hockey game at the Northlands Coliseum.
Things we never did together as a family……
- Bicycle riding
- Watching hockey games
- Watching football games
- Watching baseball games
- Going to amusement parks
- Going to museums
- Going to movies
- School plays
- Cadet nights
- Cadet award ceremonies
- Working on cars
- Working on electronics
- Working on computers
- Going to parks
- Going to the beach
Yeah, I can promise you that he never took us rollerskating or to cubs. I was in beavers on CFB Namao, and that was it.
Even just sitting down and trying to watch TV with Richard was an exercise in futility. You had to “shut your damn mouth and watch the TV”. You didn’t ever ask him to explain a TV show to you. That could invoke a rage almost as bad as if you asked him how hockey worked or why that guy got a penalty or why that puck was offside.
It was a lonely and boring childhood.
So yeah, I think this is why I never developed any hobbies.