I always wanted a dad and I never really got one. I’ve had men in my life that provided surrogate for part of the role, but none that ever really filled that hole. I remember meeting other kids’ dads and always being a little jealous. They always knew more about life than I – my mom didn’t really teach me much about it, and everything was second-hand from her. For example, learning to play baseball was hard. My first experience throwing, hitting and catching all came on the practice field. Eventually my brother helped me out a bit, but I always, always felt behind the other kids. I never got that love of a father to his son. I always felt an interloper, when a man was teaching his son something and I needed to learn too. As in the Boy Scouts, a dad would have to take time away from his son to teach me, and it often felt like I was intruding on their special time together. Sometimes they’d give me a look full of pity, and that was the worst; it always made me feel pathetic and sad.
Eventually I got a big brother, as in Big Brothers and Sisters. He was cool; was an actor and private investigator. I had a lot of fun with him, but eventually things became distant as I got older.
My mom never remarried, never really dated either. I think at one point she might have had another relationship with a man from church, but she was always quiet about it. I so desperately wanted her to – maybe as I was younger when my Dad died (I was 5) I never felt a strong connection my father. I thought if she got married again, I could have one. I have few memories of my dad, one of him sitting in his chair watching, “My Fair Lady” the other of him buying me Pac-Man cereal. I cherished them as a kid, but now they feel so distant, almost as if they happened to someone else.
I find myself, even now, seeking out attention from men who are old enough to be my dad. I always feel a little put off – a little like a kid – can they tell? So strange. Another area where I always feel completely out of touch with the rest of society.
I have not wanted a mom-replacement – I love my mom. I lost her at 16, so I was older, more established and I have a lot of memories of her. I don’t feel I need a replacement for her.