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Coming to Terms with Your Daddy Issues

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Okay, actually, I mean my daddy issues.  And I don’t mean all of that psychological hoo-ha about abandonment and male authority figures or whatever.  I’m talking about having the hots for guys in khakis and Hawaiian shirts.  As soon as I see a strapping twentysomething in the same outfit that suburban dads wear while perched atop their riding lawnmowers, or cursing under their breath about being unable to jumpstart their Volvos, it jumpstarts my Volvo.  Okay, be grossed out if you want to— I realize that I should probably be in therapy instead of writing this right now, but I don’t have health insurance, and that stuff’s for rich people anyway.  The point is, for whatever reason, I get the lust sweats for men in light wash Levi’s and hiking boots.  Since I can’t afford a therapist, let’s analyze, shall we?  By the end of this, maybe we can make some sense of my buckle-back baseball cap fetish.

I’m pretty sure that the primary reason I like boys who dress like men-of-a-certain-age stems from my theory that all guys in cargo zip-offs possess the coveted Tom Hanks Factor.  I’ve written about the THF before, but for those of you who haven’t yet been turned on to its glories, I’ll sum it up with the wise words of my dear friend, Leyli: “When you know you’re cool, you don’t have to try.  Just look at Tom Hanks!”  I mean, right?  Guys with “Dad” style aren’t concerned with following the latest trends, or looking dangerously hip.  In fact, they’re not concerned with looking dangerous at all, but rather discerning which pair of elastic waist shorts will allow for maximum comfort, and beer belly growth.  These guys are typically unassuming, approachable, and just well, nice.  They’re interested in things like: wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, lighting design, outdoor grilling, and unbuttoning their shirts and putting their ties around their heads while dancing at wedding receptions.  They like to take their tops off at baseball games, and on the water rides at Disneyland.  They make eye-rolling bad jokes… but you can’t help but smile at their adorkabilty.  Guys who are total “Dads” might not be edgy, but these days it’s actually more unconventional to be super friendly and into nature walks, than to have tattoos and a greasy slick-back ‘do.  And personally, I’ll take the underdog any day.  “Dads”: they’re the true rebels!

I know what you’re thinking.  “But, Carrie” you say, “Tevas are so ugly!”  Yes, “Dads” may not have the most visually-pleasing taste in fashion, mostly because they usually shop from those giant bins in the middle of Costco.  But as someone who’s maybe a touch too obsessed with personal style, there’s something really admirable about a dude who cares nothing about aesthetic value, and views clothing purely as scraps of fabric that cover his ding dong.  It’s kind of… primitive.  It’s the Neanderthal way.  And you know what else is primal?  Gettin’ down.  Don’t let those hideous Tevas fool you!  As an experienced girl with daddy issues, I can tell you– “Dads” have a wild side, too.  Underneath those pleated front chinos lies a sex machine just waiting to let loose.  For me, that’s a major part of the “Dads’” allure– like a Catholic schoolgirl to some 58 year-old greasy guy in sweatpants, “Dads” are my innocent-on-the-outside, cray-cray-on-the-inside crushes of choice.

“Dads” make great boyfriends for broke-asses, mostly because you don’t have to worry about spending tons of money just to seem hip for your “Father Figure” in the George Michael sense of the term.  “Dads” typically like to shop at Trader Joe’s, eat at inexpensive-yet-delicious holes in the wall, and drink at chilled out neighborhood bars— they’re not all in a tizzy about waiting in line for the hot new club that serves $14 cocktails.  “Dads” don’t give a shit if you’re wearing designer clothes or get weekly manicures or go to gallery openings or not— they just wanna hang out and talk to you about their new projector, or book about architecture.  So basically, “Dads” don’t have status anxiety and are content just doin’ them— what quality could have “BOYFRIEND MATERIAL” plastered all over it more than that?  Nada.

In summary, “Dads” are modestly-dressed, hot-to-trot cool guys, who are small on ego, and big on niceness?  I guess that I just confused “Dads” with “dorks.”  Maybe I’m onto something— brooding, heartbreaking James Franco in Freaks and Geeks look-a-likes might be fine for the flings of my youth, but I wouldn’t let those unreliable d-bags anywhere near my future Carrie, Jr.s.  Maybe my sudden attraction to smiley guys in Tommy Bahama is a sign that I’m growing up, and looking for someone I could eventually settle down with.  Or maybe I just have daddy issues, and should put on my sluttiest outfit and go prance around in front of my local Home Depot.  Hello?  Therapist?  Life coach?  I don’t have health insurance or money to pay you, but I’d be willing to trade a really nice pair of orange bell bottoms, and maaaayyybe my prized Elton John poster for your services!

Happy Father’s Day this Sunday!  I love all the dads out there… a little too much.

Photo credit: Lose That Girl

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Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she
lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food,
but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends
to have a flair for the dramatic.