The other night I somehow found myself wandering alone through the seedy underbelly of San Francisco’s Chinatown district trying to kill two hours. I happened upon a bar that I hadn’t thought of since the last time I was there over four years ago. I take a seat next to some handsome older gentleman in town on business from San Diego, when his even older and rather obnoxiously outspoken business partner walks in. I scoot down a seat so they can sit together when the outspoken one, who I can only describe as a shitfaced version of my father, turns to me and with all of the confidence of a man out of town who has had one too many shots of imported 94 proof Chinese whiskey, glares at me with sex eyes and spits out perhaps the best pick up line I had ever heard up to that point in my life. “So, is this where you come to cheat on your boyfriend?” As I choked a bit on my club soda, I couldn’t help but wonder: Why, despite having a pretty firm grasp on the psychology of absent fathers, and even more in depth, MY issues, was I actually considering going back to their Holiday Inn Express?
The older I get, the more I seem to be attracted to deviant situations rather than credible people. The differences between the men I want to date, should be dating, and actually are dating—are staggering. It occurred to me recently that the majority of women I’ve known in my life have had unhealthy relationships with their fathers. This can only make me question the evolution of attraction. Is an abnormal love affair the new norm? AND, if you’re aware that you’re just another statistic, wouldn’t that in some way allow you to change your journey? As I continue to meander through life, constantly second guessing my decisions, or rather being hyper aware of all of the bad ones that I continue to make, I can’t help but feel like I’m just perpetuating the stereotype.
I pounded a few more club sodas while exploring the perverse mind of a salacious grandfather and decided it was time for me to get to where I was going. As I walked to my car alone, I couldn’t help but recall a time in my childhood when my father brought home a 24 year old; he was in his 40′s. She had curly red hair and I can only assume a somewhat absent old man also. Is love possible between such different generations? Or are we all just trying to fill a leftover void? Perhaps that’s a question I should ask my 49 year old neighbor the next time he offers me candy and tries to give me a breast exam. In the mean time I guess I’ll just sit back in solace knowing that I’m not alone and hope that I never give birth to a daughter someday.- California Casual