This is a periodic discussion feature here at Snuggly Oranges about the bookish things that steal my heart.
#10. Father-Daughter RelationshipsThis is a topic that I’ve been saving up for a rainy day, but the time has come. I like my fair share of contemporary reads. I not only like them for the romance though – character growth and family dynamics are just as important. But nine times out of ten, what can absolutely slay me is beautiful father-daughter relationships.
On A Personal Note
My dad is honestly my hero. It was decided by a mediator during the divorce that I should live with my mom, but that was, simply put, not the best arrangement for my mental health or happiness. Dad came in and saved me, and he’s saved me plenty of times since. He’s seen me at my worst, at truly shameful parts of my life, but he never judged me – just supported me in any way he could. And he knows just what kind of support to give. I could tell him anything, and he would be able to give me good and meaningful advice. We never run out of things to talk about – whether it be our family, politics, news, TV series, or my personal struggles du jour – yet, at the same time, we could sit in perfect silence together and not be bothered.
Regrettably, my dad lives in Texas still, while I’m over here in the land of tulips and windmills. I’ll be the first to admit that that isn’t easy. Sometimes I miss him so much I just can’t help but cry – but this is also why we have Skype. We try to make an effort to talk regularly, but with time difference and different schedules, it can sometimes be a few months in between contact. But again, this never feels weird, because we get each other, and if we do really NEED to talk, we’ll make time for each other. And we always have Facebook and Whatsapp, so it’s not like we’re not in touch. When we do finally Skype, it doesn’t matter if we last talk one week or one month ago – it’ll be more than an hour. Like I said, we can keep going for ages.
It’s no doubt easy to see his influences in who I am as a person as well. He’s a marketer – I studied marketing. He’s a sci-fi geek, and I am too. Sometimes we can easily finish each other’s sentences. And he’s a social media geek, like I am. He’s not as active (particularly on Twitter) but he’s tech savvy and likes being in touch, even if it’s just by lurking (hey, that’s where my lurking comes from!). He likes knowing what I’m up to – not in the creepy stalker parent way – but mostly because he’s proud of me. Which is how I know that he’s reading this post, because he’s subscribed to my blog. Hi there, Dad. I love you ♥ Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. I don’t think I can ever repay you, but I’m sure as hell going to try.
PHEW. Now some examples in BOOKS.
Catching Jordan and All Lined Up have a similar kind of father figure: a professional athlete and coach, respectively, who seem really distant and gruff, but in the end come out as overprotective softies. Both have really touching scenes where that perceived distance is revealed to be hiding such deep love, and they did give me some feeeeelings.
Stealing Parker wins points in the awesome dads book because of Parker’s dad and Will aka Corn Fritter. Teasing your daughter about potential boyfriends just comes with the territory. Likewise, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet (and its source material, Pride and Prejudice) gives me life because of the father-daughter banter. Perfection.
Magnolia is also a nice example, though the father-daughter bond was not a central focus point. But the dad is a Trekkie (like mine!) and they also have this kind of understanding of each other – knowing how to support each other, even if it means just silently being by each others’ sides.
Fangirl is a really touching story, though way different from the previous examples. Here, the father is more fragile, and Cath is the one who takes care of him, more or less. She worries about him constantly, and, when necessary, puts everything aside to help him. If that doesn’t make you feel major feels, I don’t know what will.
The star of the whole show, though, has to be A Midsummer’s Nightmare, which depicts a divorce where the main character has a complicated relationship with her father. I don’t want to go into it too much, because spoilers (also, ha, my memory), but there’s a confrontation scene between the two of them that seriously had me bawling. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that I’ve only cried at a handful of books in my life, so this means a lot.
Elsewhere in Media
What’s funny about my love for Lie To Me is that when my dad came to visit a couple weeks ago, we were talking about the show to my aunt, and he immediately said that that was one of his favorite elements too – because their relationship resembles ours. (Awwwww ♥) We generally have the same taste in TV series anyway, so he recommended me to watch Eureka, which also has a strong father-daughter relationship. I’m on season 3 now, and I love it. Seriously, when Carter says he NEEDS Zoe, my heart just completely melted. He’s an overprotective goof who doesn’t really know what he’s doing, but everything he does he does out of love.
And because I can’t NOT, I have to mention the song “Dochters” by Marco Borsato. He’s a Dutch singer, so *cough* it’s maybe not the most accessible example. Basically in the song, he sings about how his daughter is growing up so fast – depicting different situations at different ages, culminating in her wedding day – but that ultimately she’ll always be his little girl. Basically, it’s a song that has made me cry multiple times and probably always will. Lucky for you, I found a video with the English translation. Enjoy 😉
Oops, I’m crying again.