Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who's Your Daddy?

Mollie writes:

I had to laugh out loud when I read a comment made by Maggie on Facebook this morning. She made the observation that, one, her husband was a guy, and, two, that guy wasn't her father!

I'm constantly apologizing to my hubby that HE didn't marry another man, he married a chick, and a very girly one at that. I think all spouses make that same mistake, even in same sex marriages. No matter WHO we marry, we are going to wake up one morning and not recognize who we've been sleeping with all these years. Case in point, John still doesn't get why I care so much about clothes and grooming. But it's a girl thing, and John doesn't speak girl.

While we chicks all know we didn't marry our fathers, it still comes as a complete shock to me when my husband manages to veer from the well chosen paths my father chose. My dad golfed with a passion, my husband doesn't know a nine iron from a wood. My dad had a people-oriented profession (sales), my husband is more object-oriented in engineering. None of this should surprise me, but I still react to my male relationships based on my first male relationship, my dad. So I thought I was walking on the wild side when I married a non-golfing engineer.

My dad made a point of golfing on Saturdays. John, when he wasn't serving in the Naval Reserves, did projects around the house, wrote his doctoral dissertation, hung out with his kids and occasionally delivered furniture for his dad who had a furniture store. My dad liked things tidy and nice, John pursues a more relaxed style. My dad bought new cars every year, my husband gets a new car when maintaining the old one is more expensive than buying a new one.

And the list goes on.

Things they had in common were their personal ethics, from honesty to work, and a sense of duty. I can't remember a time when my dad wasn't selling something, but I also can't remember a time when my husband wasn't serving in the military, delivering furniture for his dad, instructing at a university and all while working as an engineer for our regional power distributor. Neither man was ever idle, even my husband in his so-called retirement. Both men served in the Navy during war time, and both men put their children and spouses first.

And neither man lied. I can't remember once when my dad lied to me, and, although my husband is a dooms-day predictor, he will admit when things work out better than he expected.

So it is no surprise to me when I wake up in the morning and find that I'm married to someone who is just like my father AND nothing like my father. But that's not all.

It seems to me that although I didn't marry my father, my husband did. In many ways, I'm much more like my dad than my husband is. I'm more people oriented and couldn't build a mousetrap if my life depended on it. I'm obsessed with keeping things tidy and nice, and poor John has the callouses to prove it. I like a nice car more often than every ten years, although I'm happy with a new car every five years.

And so it goes. So maybe the question isn't if we married our fathers, it's did our husbands?

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