My father sent me a text in the middle of the night and it not only disturbed my sleep, but it gave me a great idea –– I should have my dad on the show! So, later on that day, we made it happen. What I expected, however, is not what I got. My father is a character and I always thought he and I were very much a like. I have always thought we were two peas in a no-fucks-given pod. I thought my father had solid ideas about the ways of the world and especially about the derogatory treatment of women since he does, in fact, have five or six daughters. But during this conversation, I found some things out about my father that needed a bit of reckoning long after the interview was over.
Dad Steffans is comical and he's always late, unless it's something business related. The consummate entrepreneur, my father has never been the best dad, but he's always been real about his faults and flaws. As I have gotten older, our relationship has changed and changed again. These days, I see my father as the homie.
We talk often enough and I have only seen him once in the past twenty years, though he lives just a few hours away. I am not particularly close to my father, but closer to him than to anyone else in my family. At least he and I have a rapport. It's all pretty sad, actually –– going through life never feeling really close to anyone. But, this is and always has been my life.
During this conversation, amidst all the giggles and belly laughs, I realized that my father has no idea who I am, what I do, or what I stand for. I realized that, though he is not particularly patriarchal, he isn't a feminist either. I realized that my father, like most men, mistakes a woman's passion and conviction for anger –– a mistake he would never make with another man. I realized that my dad is over 60 years old and he has both mellowed and surrendered.
Now, I think I am the female version of the man he used to be or never could. I am willful and assured of my beliefs, so they do not waiver. I am vocal and not afraid to be who I am or admit to who I have been. I am more fearless than my father. I am bold and brazen and the sole leader of the no-fucks-given Steffans crew. I am an army of one.
I am the heir.
The Gorgeous Girl's Guide to...Daddy Issues
New York Times best selling author, founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co., keynote speaker, xoJane.com contributor, host of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide to... at Podcast One.