Pieces of Me: Father’s Daughter

At some point after seventeen, there was always a pair of fitted jeans, a tight black top, and ballet flats that seem too adorable for my feet, but somehow always work. If I am too thin, if I am too large, if I am weak, if I am strong, if I am together, if I am a mess, this is my uniform. Kind of surprising, I would have picked a dress or some pulled together pixie at a ladies’ lunch outfit for a Daddy’s girl, but I am my Father’s daughter, which means I am often practical, and this look is both polished and casual, comfortable and confident, and I can adjust it by upgrading or downgrading the jeans and the shoes as needed.

I am ridiculously like my Father, which meant that for most of my life we fought. Incessantly. About everything. Stubborn and relentless. Hurt feelings and charming smiles, and dammit, if that man couldn’t tease me into or out of a mood (usually into). But somewhere in the decades of fighting, moods, anger, boyfriend hating, wife loving, mother divorcing, grandparents hating, food shaming, slut hiding, Daddy-issues from space, I managed to turn out just like my father.

Isn’t it ironic?

With the exception of equestrian sports, I genuinely do not follow any sports teams; however, if any game, of any sport, in any country is playing and anyone is interested, I am as well. If anyone every mentions the University of Missouri athletic system in ANY way, but especially football, I have an opinion, and god help you if you like Nebraska, because I will shun you. I might only watch one football game a year, but if you like Nebraska, you are dead to me.

I am a ridiculously picky eater, but I will try anything (anything – I’m half Scottish, it’s a necessary rule) once and if I like it, I will want to cook it, even if I will not eat it. For years, my Dad suffered through two vegetarian daughters, so as punishment/luck, I learned how to grill from him.

Naturally, since he liked to do it, he had to compete and win (duh?) at it, and so did I – secret sauces, secret sides, secret rubs, secret cuts. Do I eat pork? Like once a year. Why? Does that matter? I’m good at it. Which means people like it. Which means I like it.

I am snarky and I love to laugh. To entertain. To please. To delight. Of course I have to win, but trying to explain why that matters is like trying to explain why I need oxygen. I have since spent a lot of introspective time digesting this, but some core part of me thinks, obviously.

Even as I am writing about him, I am thinking differently, mentally pushing back some of the darkness, smiling more, ready at any moment, to flash teeth. I feel myself become slightly more superficial, slightly less tortured. I hug fiercely, I hand shake firmly, I cry easily. All like him.

It is not Christmas and will never be Christmas until I watch It’s A Wonderful Life (which is how I have successfully rescheduled Christmas three times).

If I have a religion, it’s literature; if I have a system of belief, it’s the Allies versus the Axis; and if I am dark, well let’s just hide that because we don’t tell strangers our secrets.

Or if you must, fine, but then be entertaining about it and be better at it than anyone else.

I’m a Daddy’s girl. And yes, I would love a gin martini, thank you so much!!


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