If you had asked me if I would want to end up with a man that was like my father, I would have recoiled in horror. “I would never want to end up with someone like my father,” I would have told you. It’s not that my father is a bad person. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. He’s an amazing man. He’s worked his ass off to support and provide for his family, he tells us he loves us all the time, he sacrifices himself for other people, and he’s always been fantastic to my mother. It’s just that we’re very different people. My father has strong opinions about things, and they’re often very different from mine. He’s casually racist, homophobic, sometimes misogynistic, and considers people with piercings and tattoos to be “freaks.” He doesn’t realize that he is a bigot, and I know that it comes from a place of ignorance and generally not knowing any better, but it’s hard to change beliefs that someone has held for over 50 years.
He’s also very set in his ways, and very much a creature of habit. His schedule is the same every. single. day. He goes to the same restaurants repeatedly and has no desire to try anything or anywhere new. He’s had the same haircut for over 30 years and in my parents’ almost-30 years of marriage, my mother has never seen him without a mustache. He dresses the same way that he did 15 and 20 years ago. He is selfish in many ways, too. If something is not his idea of fun or isn’t something that he wants to do, he won’t do it. And if he does do it, he’ll complain the whole time. This often results in everyone else taking a golf vacation or eating at the Corner Restaurant for the 17th time this month just so my father won’t bitch the whole time.
And so, I was quite surprised when my mother, after meeting Jesus, told me that I’d found a man just like my father. I was baffled. What was she talking about? Jesus is the most open-minded and accepting person ever. He loves trying new things and new places, and loves to be spontaneous. He’s more than willing to do things that I want to do, even if they aren’t things that he necessarily wants to do. But then my mother pointed something out. She said, “Dad is not a man of very words, and he doesn’t vocally express his emotions very well, but you always knew that he loved you. Dad is a nurturer, and so is Jesus.”
And the more that I thought about it, the more I realized that it was true. My father has always showed his love for me with his actions. We don’t talk much, and never really have. In fact, I’m not sure my dad even knows that much about me as a person. But he’s always been a caretaker. When I was little, he would drop everything to “swing me” around the room. When I was sick, he would bring cold compresses for my head. When my muscles ached from intense workouts, he’d rub Icy Hot on them. He’d bring home my favorite foods because he knew I liked them. To this day, he buys me PEZ dispensers because I used to collect them as a child. He would go get me food at midnight if I said I was hungry. If I needed money, he was always the one that I went to.
And as evidenced by my relationship with Profligacy, I like to feel taken care of. I like to be nurtured and even babied sometimes. I tend to regress, especially in times of stress, and having someone willing to take care of me is something that really appeals to me. And Jesus is very much that person. Beyond the fact that he’s decisive and will make decisions for me when I’m unable to (which is often), he does things for me. He’ll bring me breakfast in the morning. He bought foods I liked for his apartment when he went grocery shopping. He gives me massages at will. When I was in the hospital, he brought me a pillow and went and filled all my scrips for me before I woke up the next morning. He will bike over to my work (which isn’t exactly close to him) to bring me dinner if I’m having a late night at work. Basically, he takes care of me, just like my father did.
Jesus possesses all the best aspects of my dad’s personality, yet lacks all the things about my father that I hate. It’s like I got the best of both worlds. And I guess it turns out that on some level, I wanted someone like my dad all along.