Way deep down in her soul, Liza had always wanted to be a Daddy's girl. When she was little her momma kept things covered up on the girl front and her Dad Willy just ignored the whole female element in his houseshold. He worked two jobs and grabbed a little fun here and there bowlin' and playing penny ante poker. An ex-Southern Baptist, he threw himself into Methodism as a servant. Liza and the boys went to that Methodist church every Sunday 'til they were old enough to say no. Willy sang in the choir and was generally everybody's upstanding go-to fella for anything and everything concerning service.
Poverty and hard times during childhood can do a number on a man...and that happened to Willy. His Daddy was a sharecropper who drank a bit too much to suit his wife, but who could blame him. Sharecroppin' is a hard life. In today's lingo, he'd probably be known as co-dependent.
Liza knew that her Dad was everybody's favorite clown and friend when he was in high school. Her momma and the faded black and white pictures told her so. He worked his way through college and came out with a degree before going into the Air Force as a supply man in the Azores.
This was all great stuff for a depression era boy making good. It was also emotional disaster for a fella with a family who needed him to care and show it. Poor Willy just didn't know how.
He's an angry man, to this day. About what, nobody's sure. Maybe it's the childhood poverty or the way he was treated himself. Who the hell knows. All Liza ever knew was that he made her feel stupid. It took a coupla years of therapy and alots of tears for her to realize that who she was didn't have a damn thing to do with what he said to her.
"What are you thinking??? You're an idiot for doing that." It was never quite so much the words as it was the tone of voice that he used that could cut her down to the nub in an instant. Never "I love you" or "I'm proud of you". The absence of the put downs was replaced with total avoidance by reading the newspaper or watching football.
As an adult, Liza found herself still looking for that support. She "loved" many men who weren't capable of loving back and always...always played right into Willy's anger and came out feeling like shit. Emotional unavailability in a man was like a magnet for her.