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    Happy Father’s Day (circa 2001)

    “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”

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    Daddy, what’s up?

    There is a reason men are stronger than women, less emotionally driven and more logical. There is a reason for this. There are certain decisions and things that come easily to men that are much more challenging for women. Women are strong because they have to be. Women have to be self sufficient because they are forced to be, not because they want to be. Never in my life have I felt not growing up with my dad around mattered, until now. I am going to talk about this ‘take-charge’ guy who, maybe, should have been in my life all long.

    Protect. Men are suppose to defend women in situations and especially from themselves. As a girl growing up, I would never care about the boys bullying me or teasing me, because to my ‘take-charge’ guy, I would always be the most beautiful and precious girl. With such an affirmation, any childish words or playground banters would roll off me like rain on latex. Instead, I learned to defend myself, establish the right way to see myself, my body image, my everything. I knew who I was because I had to. When it came to dating, my ‘take-charge’ man would make sure the boy who wanted to date me was ‘good enough’. He would make sure he had me home on time, respected me and didn’t talk to me the way music taught them, or expect me to act like girls in movies they have seen. Instead, I learned through experience and had to sift the trash from the treasure through heartbreak, tears and that ‘i just got kicked in the stomach feeling’. My take-charge guy was the difference between “butterflies in my stomach” before a date and “razor blades if you f*$% with me” attitude. My ‘take-charge’ guy protects me from other men. And now I do, probably so much so that the ‘good’ guys find me complicated.

    Balance. Men are suppose to use their logical sense to make great decisions for us both. My ‘take-charge’ man knows that I am steered by my emotions and therefore balances me out by making logical decisions for us. Instead, men use this ability to take advantage – take what they need and then leave. Or manipulate the situation where I am not even sure what I am entitled to when bargaining. My ‘take-charge’ man would know this about me and let me know what’s up, think about and know what motivates and affects me. Growing up without this, I am skewed. I make decisions based on 3/4 emotions and 1/4 logic. My ‘take-charge’ man not being around sort of has me off kilter – but how would I know that, when it has always been like this? I asked this guy advice about auto insurance and he told me to stop acting helpless. He is right, how dare I expect anything when I am clearly self sufficient.

    What does it to feel like to know that no one has your back except yourself? No one is going to stick up for you even if you are right, never mind when you are wrong. What does it feel like when it’s you against the world and trust and mistrust is emotional currency of the day? One day, maybe a day just like today you run out, look back and wonder: Daddy, what’s up? How am I suppose to recognize a ‘take-charge’ man when I never had one around? I wonder if you looked at me and thought, she’ll figure it out, and let me do just that. Damn right I will, but only because I have to.