The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, June 16, 1994, Summer, Page 5, Image 5

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    No presents for deadbeat dads
Right now, fathers across Amer
ica are eagerly awaiting for
tacky ties, cheap cologne and
mechanized shaving kits to be be
stowed upon them this Sunday —
Father’s Day.
However, I have long since dis
pensed with this tradition since I will
not admit to having a father anymore.
What I have had for the past five years
is delayed child support checks and
the haunting memory of someone who
made my life a living hell.
That’s all over now. The only thing
my beloved “daddy” and I have in
common is a last name — and that’s
not even permanent.
It’s not worth pouring over all the
nasty incidents that led up to today. I
have control of my life. I don’t regret
not having a father.
This is why Father’s Day comes as
no great loss to me. However venom
ous I am, in a nation where more than
60 percent of marriages end up in
divorce, I’m not alone.
I spoke with a 14-year-old Lincoln
girl this year about life after her par
ent’s divorce. Her story was almost
parallel to mine.
This young girl, who should be full
of memories of her first kiss, summer
carnivals and family pets, told me
something that really struck home.
She said she vividly remembers only
three things from her childhood —
knee surgery, a tonsillectomy and the
night her dad left.
According to statistics from the
Nebraska Department of Social Ser
vices, out of their 115,000 child sup
port cases, with court orders, 250 mil
lion dollars is owed in delinquent
support. This is only half the picture.
Nationally, only 50 percent of fami
lies who receive support receive the
whole amount.
There are men out there, married
and divorced, who don't fall into this
category. They are loving, faithful
and devoted fathers and husbands who
deserve all the tacky ties they can get
this weekend. Kudos to them, but
unfortunately these Ward Cleavers
aren’t always the norm.
And although there are also moth
ers out there who have abandoned
their families and refused to pay child
support, there remains an overwhelm
ing male majority—an estimated 90
So many children — too many
children — grow up without a
decent, loving father and
therefore don’t know what a
male role model should be.
I just don’t understand how these
men think they can depend on the
continual support of their wife and
children and one day just up and leave
because they can’t handle the respon
sibility anymore. Worse yet, many
then take on a new wife, start another
family and go through the whole sce
nario again.
The tales of child abuse run much
deeper than this. Too often a beaten
child will suffer years of agony under
the belt whips and beating of a father’s
scornful hand.
If you can’t handle raising children
and remaining faithful to your spouse,
you’re not fit to be a father and
shouldn’t expect much in return. Rais
ing children shouldn’t be a sacrifice,
it should be an honor.
So many children — too many
children—grow up without a decent,
loving father and therefore don’t know
what a male role model should be.
A young boy without a father may
make up for that void in his life through
isolation or seeking acceptance with
his “friends” who often take the shape
of a gang. A young girl may encounter
problems while dating or trying to
start her own family with fears that
her husband will walk out on her.
As stereotypical as that may sound,
too often it’s the case, unless there is
a remedy to this void—such as a good
Obviously, the void of my father
doesn’t hold a great deal of weight
over my head. My life is just as whole
and complete without that father fig
ure present.
I’ve done well in all aspects of my
life and am a generally happy person,
contrary to tne belief that a single
parent family or “broken home” was a
bad influence on me. And, like me.
I’m sure that 14-year-oW girl I men
tioned will succeed in her life, too.
Why? Because her mother picked
up both ends of raising her daughter
and worked day and night at the local
discount store to make sure her family
had food, clothing and shelter. She
looks toward her mother for full sup
All those fathers out there who
abandoned their families for their own
self-serving needs should take a look
at themselves and wonder what their
children will think of them several
years from now when those children
themselves are parents.
I hope these children will learn
from the mistake their fathers made
and rebel against it. It’s the most
tactful, yet powerful way, to seek re
This is why, on Father’s Day, my
father deserves no credit. He wasnft
there to teach me how to drive. He
didn’t clean up after me when I had
food poisoning. He didn’t take me on
endless college visits. He forgot my
birthday a long time ago. He hasn’t
done a lot of things for me a normal
father would.
And honestly, 1 don’t want him to.
He, and several other ex-fathers out
there, blew their chance for a cubic
zirconium tie tack and hedge trim
mers many years ago.
So, on this upcoming Father’s Day
I’d like to honor the person who sat
through endless banquets, ceremonies
and concerts, baked cookies for hun
dreds of school functions, and helped
me carry all my belongings up 10
flights of stairs in my residence hall
when 1 moved in an out my freshman
One person did all this and much
more and I owe her a lot. Thanks
Mom, you’ re great—and I don’t need
to give you a weed whacker to prove it.
Paula Lavigae It a Fretbmaa News-Edi
torial major aad a Dally Nebraskaa columaist
Parking hysteria
In my four years at NU it has
certainly been tiresome to hear all the
constant whining and bellyaching
about parking. In fact, except for the
brief but brilliant protests against the
Gulf War, parking has always been
the number one political concern
among UNL students. Therefore, it
came as quite a shock to me to see a
serious proposal, coming from the
usually hide-bound regents, of all peo
ple, that tells these obnoxious parking
activists where to go.
Investing in free busing is a lot
cheaper than investing in a $4.5 mil
lion parking-garage eyesore. It also
sends over-pampered students the
message that they don’t have to all
have their own cars. Parking is not the
only problem on this campus. Cars are
a major one, too. Cars aren’t just
responsible for esoteric problems like
increased air pollution (although from
the anti-smoking hysteria on campus,
one would think the emission of fumes
was a cardinal sin). When you have to
walk past two football fields of parked
cars in order to get to the next building
this is an inconvenience—one which
bicyclists and bus-riders do not cause.
The proliferation of parking lots on
campus also contributes to a sense of
disorder—the feeling that the campus
is simply a hodgepodge of buildings
and vehicles (and perhaps disciplines
as well!) strewn haphazardly here and
there without any forethought or co
Since the very word “university”
comes from “universe”, which is a
translation of the Greek kosmos—or
“order”-—the opposite of chaos—this
is especially troubling. And in any
case, when did students quite being
idealists? There are people in Bosnia
dying for what they believe in and our
biggest worry is that we have to park
four blocks from class?
Chas Baylor
Graduate Student
Provides FREE FOOD
for pregnant women,
infants, and children
under the age of five.
IT 1 . I
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