On Being A Daddy’s Girl
Unfortunately for my father, he didn’t have much of a choice. Blessed – or not blessed – with a first-born daughter followed by two sons, there always has been and always will be only one girl for my daddy to choose from. If he wanted to have a daddy’s girl, which I imagine most fathers desire once they get over the idea of breeding a tribe/rec. football team, then he had one crummy choice. Go me or go home.
I guess it is possible for a choiceless father to maintain his right to choose by not having a daddy’s girl at all, forming tighter relationships with his sons than he does with his lone ovary holder. Daddy’s girl becomes daddy’s boy, or daddy’s boys, and mom takes the princess under her wing.
Though everyone believes that fathers are the ones who spoil their daughters, I’d beg to differ. A girl’s taste in everything from shoes to eyebrow shape comes from her mother. My mom likes Payless when she doesn’t indulge in a new pair of Birkenstocks or Dansko clogs. She also has incredibly uneven eyebrows, which I inherited from her, and which she inherited from her mother.
But when a father decides to water his little seedling until it grows into a tall, thin, communications student in very ripped jeans, a daddy’s girl is born. This relationship isn’t what it looks like in corny insurance commercials – oh, look, she’s big enough to borrow Daddy’s beamer! – nor is it about entering the gates of college on the first day and walking out through them on your last. Being a daddy’s girl becomes an understanding of the very strange and incredibly difficult male species.
If you’re a daddy’s girl, the chances of you finding yourself attracted to men equally as short, equally as Jewish, and equally as good at barbecuing as your father become exponentially larger. You learn what you like from the one guy who’s always been willing to bare it all from day one.
Ok, so this is cute, but when you think about it…it’s also pretty weird.
Looking for the qualities you love about your father in a beau is natural, normal, and common. We love our dads – especially if you’re a daddy’s girl like I am – but not like that. No no no no. No.
I’ve caught myself doing this — seeing a quirk in a guy that prompts me to literally whisper to my friends, “That’s just like my dad” — one too many times. Or, maybe, it isn’t one too many times at all. I admire my dad unlike anyone else. He’s the perfect balance of cool, professional, and totally weird. I know everyone says that about his or her dad, but I actually mean it. And if you know my dad, then you know I’m right. It’s indisputable.
When I was in kindergarten, my dad came in for show & tell to play “Twist and Shout” on his guitar. Everyone was standing on the A to Z carpet, dancing and bouncing and doing whatever else you’re supposed to do to that song. I was absolutely mortified. I don’t remember it well, but I remember the hatred.
My house is a hundred years old. My dad has told me over breakfast that the walls are very, very, very thin. This has made me uncomfortable many, many, many times (if you know what I mean). So sometimes, I hate my old house. But when I’m upstairs and I can hear my dad talking to the dogs like he was talking to a baby, or when I hear the Drake & Josh theme song emanating when I know he’s the only one still awake, I’m glad. I fucking love those paper thin walls.
As an English major and a high school literature snob, I’m pretty familiar with the Oedipus complex. I don’t really think we have it. That much. I just think that we see something beautiful, like my parents feeling scandalous for being in the bathroom at the same time, and want it for ourselves.
Though my dad is one of the most multifaceted people I know, managing to be a little of everything good, I describe him to people pretty simply: “He cried at the end of Finding Nemo.” But he also introduced me to Death Cab for Cutie, The Shins, and breakfast foods. He cheats on my mom with Siri – and he does it in front of her face at the dinner table sometimes – but we let him get away with it.
If any or all of the qualities I sneakily embedded about my dad into this piece apply to you, email/Facebook/tweet/text me immediately. Esp. the part about the guitar. Balding not required. Thanks.