Okay. Before you read any further… if you are expecting a post about sexual exploits with older men, you are going to be so very disappointed. I am quite cognizant of the fact that my grandfather reads this blog. (Wait, you are insinuating that there may be exploits to write about!) But, that is absolutely not the point. This is a blog about the weird daddy fantasies I have had for as long as I can remember.
Hehehe. See what I did there?
So, to put some context to this I should probably explain that I do not have a relationship with my father. It’s okay. I don’t mind all that much. I have had lots of therapy, and I realize it has nothing to do with me yadayadayada. Frankly, it is his loss. I am awesome. However, I would be completely disingenuous if I pretended that I did not wish I had a relationship with him. So, for most of my life I have been moderately obsessed with the fathers of pop culture. (Oh, one important thing, I have not been lacking in the male influence in my life- I have lots of people who have selflessly stood up and assumed that role. I have a wonderful loving family, and it’s not like I have been deprived of male attention.)
I am obsessed with TV shows and movies that have a man who is excessively paternal. Rick Castle (Nathan Fillion) is the best dad. He has a teenage daughter (well, I think she is in college now) and they have a really cool relationship. I have always wanted that kind of relationship with my father. You know, the guy who frets over me, and is seriously protective and proud of me. So, it’s quite entertaining to imagine that this fictional character is actually my dad! This is common for young women (ok, almost middle-aged women who did not realize the teenagers were no longer their peers.)
More about this style of dad. He is fun. He loves to play games and keeps up with what the cool kids are doing. He is not afraid to take his daughter to see a boy band. He has a relationship with his daughter on her level. Why? He likes her as a person! She is not a piece of property that he owns. He plays laser tag IN THE HOUSE! Decorates and dresses up for Halloween. This is a cool dad. My inner kid loves this guy.
Now, what about the girl who is closer to my age? Maybe even a little closer to my own experiences?
Elizabeth Keen and Red Reddington on The Blacklist. There is some controversy as to whether or not he is actually her father, however he is so paternal and I am convinced that he is her dad. Which is probably the goal of the show’s writers anyway. (Side note: I just learned that paternal and paternalistic are not at all the same thing. Paternal is fatherly, while paternalistic is bad. Like dictator bad. hmmm.)
This show does a phenomenal job of demonstrating that even strong women are drawn to father figures in their lives. I mean, this chick carries a gun, and has all these smart FBI agents following her around, yet she still seeks the approval of the one guy who seems to actually be protecting her. Although, I would think that he could have done a better job protecting her by leaving her alone. Until you factor in the fact that her career went from zero to hero in about one day due to his interference. This is my greatest downfall, I can see way to many sides to situations. I never should have been a debater in high school. It has destroyed my decision-making abilities.
So, the point is not whether or not Red is her father. The point is that their relationship reminds me of the relationship that I imagine my father could have had with me. Your father should be your first mentor. The first man who offers you guidance and advice with your best interests in mind. With this imaginary father, I know that he would never encourage me to do anything that was not good for me. A dad has no ulterior motive, he only wants to see his daughter thrive and to reach her fullest potential. This is the fantasy that I have. This understanding of the fictitious nature of my fantasy is what allows me to know that it is okay that I do not have a relationship with my father. He is not that kind of man. I am better off with my imagination, and borrowing characters from cheesy crime shows.
Now, in the real world the relationship I have with my mentor at work (whom I fondly refer to as Work Daddy- although rarely to his face) has been instrumental in my success professionally. When I was a baby nurse, I had to call him in the middle of the night. I was terrified. I had heard horror stories about the perils nurses face when they wake him up…
*So… I have Daddy Issues. I figure there are lots of women who do. It has nothing at all to do with sex or romantic relationships. I think that people are drawn to the ones who have their best interests at heart.