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Yes, I Still Call My Father Daddy, and Yes, It Makes Him Uncomfortable

I am 39-years-old. I have three sisters and a brother, all older than me by at least 10 years. I'm the baby of the family, I guess you could say. Which means my relationship with my dear father became the most irritating thing about me.

I called him Daddy from the very start. Everyone thought it was cute, and at the time, the sexual connotations weren't associated with the word.

When I reached the age of 20, I still called him Daddy. He would laugh nervously and just say, "Okay, now, Claudia, it's getting weird."

But I continued to call him Daddy. On my 30th birthday, he took me out for lunch. I had the best meal of my life. And like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally, I squealed with pleasure when I thanked him. "This is the best meal ever, Daddy" I said in my little baby voice. Everyone squirmed in their seats. Daddy flushed bright red.

On my wedding day to Todd, Daddy gave me away. I hugged him as I was given over to my groom. "You're the best daddy anyone could ever ask for!" He quickly left the altar.

When I told him that I didn't see him enough after I moved away with Todd, and then took a flight and unexpectedly showed up at his door, Daddy wasn't pleased. He sent me home to Todd. I didn't want to let my daddy go. I was wailing, "Daddy! Daddy, where's my daddy?!"

Todd had me committed. I stared at the walls and cried, "Daddy! Daddy!" for hours on end.

After some therapy, I was able to strike the word, Daddy from my vocabulary. My therapist asked that I replace it with a different word. I landed on Papi.

After I had a conversation with Papi, using his new nickname, he went into hiding. Oh, Papi, if you're reading this, please answer me!


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