It seems that my recent piece about Daughter has upset one of her exes – for all I know, it upset all of them. It might have been the tactful way I referred to them as ‘losers’, or the endearing way I mocked their aspirations. Apart from the weirdness of Daughter’s exes reading her father’s blog (does my egg in, John) I must say, the point of the piece wasn’t to mock or belittle them – however much it may seem that way – it was actually to explain something about the experience of parenthood.
Discussing this with Wifie as we sipped chardonnay and watched the sun go down this evening, she suggested I write down just what kind of chap I would like Daughter to take up with. Never being afraid of a challenge that doesn't involve scary things and lots of my blood seeping out of open wounds, I herein muster my thoughts.
Firstly, I have to note that I seem to have a powerful genetic tendency to dislike any male companion of Daughter's, real or imagined. This caught me completely by surprise when she first started dating and I find it very disturbing. I am comforted only by the fact that I have been right, so far, to dislike or distrust or dismiss every one of them. Perhaps my reactions are not entirely irrational. That said, this is what Daughter’s beau should be like.
- He should be utterly and completely in love with her. (To help her spot this, I have supplied her with a definition of love.)
- He should be manly, masculine and strong, yet also sensitive, kind and gentle. If you think this is a contradiction you are wrong. There are men in this world with the strength of character as well as the physical strength to care for and protect a woman, with the sensitivity to appreciate and understand her, as well as the gentle, loving nature to treat her well. They are rare – most men are simple brutes (like most women) – but they can be found.
- He must be highly intelligent, cultured, broadly educated and funny. If not, frankly, she’ll be bored in no time flat - and so will I.
- He must have drive but not be ‘driven’. I don’t too much care about success, as long as he is achieving what he feels is important and worthwhile, and obnoxious creeps with petty ambitions for wealth, fame or power need not apply. Any man who feels his success is more important than Daughter’s happiness might just as well hang a target on his arse.
- He must be responsible. I want Daughter in safe hands. I won’t always be around. Yes, of course, she can look after herself. But if she is going to take a life partner, I want her to have one who can make a living, who feels responsible for both their welfare and happiness, and who will take it upon himself to fix things in their life together when they go wrong.
- I suppose, I want to see Daughter’s man as a welcome addition to our little family, someone I can respect and trust, someone who will add to our family, make it better, not worse, bring good and valuable things and appreciate what he gets from us in return.
Surely that’s not too much to ask?