Sunday, January 6, 2008

What we learn from a father.

It has been six years since he died. Six holidays, and birthdays and countless life progressions without his sounding board to bounce. An aisle at a wedding he didn't walk down, a hospital room with his first grandchild he didn't sit with me in, a contemplative lost soul at times that he cannot guide.

It is sad. It is lonely and it is unnatural, as a daughter, to have no one to call in those defining life moments. I could fold into myself like like a piece of paper filled with words and thoughts of moments not witnessed by a father. Or...I could laugh about the things I find hysterically evident as genetic and environmental hand-me-downs from him that are still present within me.

He was a flawless flirt. He would ask random women on an airplane what perfume they were wearing. He would guess, and nine out ten times, be correct. He would compliment a woman's shoes. He would touch a woman's lower back, elbow, or shoulder anytime possible. I have entire reels of 8mm film where he is focusing in on my 5 foot 8 nanny showering in a bikini at the beach, or eating a Popsicle (no joke!) He would regain conscienceness and then zoom back out and pretend to be filming my sister and I.

I would tag along on business trips with him and merely traveling to our destination would fruit with names and numbers. I didnt know at the time, nor did I care. But looking back, I see it as subconscious learned behavior. Some people get a more useful craft, like throwing a baseball, woodwork, or windsurfing. It is what it is, and so be it. Did I learn valuable life-lessons from him? Of course I did. He never fell off that pedistal, and in death, he never will. I minimize it at times to laugh, and his flirtation brings only smiles.

I thought, perhaps, that I was just allotted more testosterone than most women. That my flirtation was just a product of insecurities and the love for attention (and I'm sure it is to some extent). But I care a little less what people think now, and I get no real ultimate benefit from exuded sexuality, yet I do.

So...I will blame him. It fits.

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