They say most women somehow gravitate towards relationships with men similar to their fathers. I did not though I now wish I had.
I was never a "Daddy's Girl"-that would be my baby sister. And my sister did in fact marry a man very much like my father. She is the smart one out of us obviously. I spent much time trying to avoid being anything my parents were. It seems I was too busy rebelling against my parents that I never realized they actually have the relationship I always wanted yet never achieved. I wonder if my stubbornness is what set my life in a most opposite direction as I tried in every way to be different than the people who created me.
My parents have that elusive fairy tale; however, it's disguised in the whirlwind of an ordinary life. I grew up thinking they were boring and square, not exciting and glamorous as I intended to be. They are good people. They are honest people, and they love each other as each of us hopes to be loved. They are constant and have always been a constant in my life.
Little did I realize that my father was a true romantic while I was growing up. As a young woman, I had no idea what real romance actually was. He only sent my mother flowers once in their marriage and she had no idea they even came from him. She thought my grandfather sent them to her because my father had never sent any before.
Yet, my father had a sense of romance that I crave now in my life and have yet to find.
My father does the dishes every night.
What? That isn't what most women would find to be consistent with the truest of loves?
My father always felt if my mother took the time to cook for him, he would then take the time to clean up. I was of the frame of mind when I was a girl, to think that this was unimportant when in reality it was the genuineness of a simple gesture that proved his love for my mother each day.
I didn't learn until later in my life that it is the little things that count. My mother has no idea how to pump her own gas since my father has always kept her tank full. My mother did not have to worry about having to attend any function for us kids on her own; my father was never too busy. My dad played with us to get us out of my mother's hair at the end of the day. My father worked and came home each night and ate dinner with his family. He still takes my mother out to dinner once a week. He remembers every birthday, anniversary, holiday and each special day in their lives. He did not forget that she was and is the most important thing in his life.
My father treated my mother with respect at all times. He made her laugh but didn't seem to ever make her cry. My father would sulk when he was upset or angry, and it frustrated my mother, but he got over it quickly. A mood never lasted longer than a day. They did not have a perfect marriage or an easy life when I was a child. They simply had and have a good one, a lasting one, a loving one.
I wonder now why I never sought a man like my father. I am ashamed to say I always knew he was a good guy and I took it for granted. I didn't realize that the most ordinary man could possibly be so truly extraordinary. He is not superman but instead a "super" man. He isn't a hero in the world. He is just a hero to those of us who love him and those he loves.
I wish I were that statistic, that typical woman marrying someone like her dad. I would be in the middle of the fairy tale right now if I had. But I am not giving up hope. I am sure in my future, there may someday be-a man with beautiful dish pan hands.
Monika M. Basile