I’m a dark complected, hairy, brown-eyed Italian guy. Like my wife, my 4-year-old daughter is platinum blonde with bright blue eyes and a generally whitish hue. They are nearly transparent. When the three of us are out together, we look like a mother and daughter and some creepy guy walking too close to them. Here are some things that go with being the father of a daughter who is my physical antithesis:
1. That indescribable feeling when you look your beautiful little miracle in the eye, she looks back at you, and you have that magical moment where you think to yourself, “Who the fuck’s kid is this?”
2. When people say how beautiful your daughter is, you feel oddly insulted.
3. When you take your daughter to the playground without her mother, you have that constant feeling that the other moms and dads are wondering what you’re doing there. You find yourself calling, going over to, hugging and touching your daughter far too often to stave off their suspicious sideways looks. When your daughter eventually yells “Leave me alone!” the looks may become more than just suspect, and you feel compelled to say at an inappropriately high volume, “Don’t talk to your father that way, Daughter. You are my daughter. Don’t talk to me, your father, that way!”
4. You learn which of your friends are far too kind, or need glasses, when they say, “Oh, I see a lot of you in her.”
5. You learn which of your friends have no fucks left to give when they meet her and say, “Dude, there’s no fucking way she’s yours.”
6. You periodically examine your daughter like she’s up for “Best of Breed” at Westminster, searching for some resemblance—any resemblance. You compare head shape, eyebrow length, nostril size, ear height, hairline, toe hairs, armpits, knee pits, and foot soles, and still come up empty.
7. When your daughter is acting like a jackhole in public, you can just take a few steps away and no one knows she’s your jackhole.
8. When mobile phones all around you sound an Amber alert, you have a moment of panic, thinking you might be the cause of it.
9. You are secretly thankful that your daughter doesn’t exactly resemble you, because “pear-shaped bonobo” isn’t a good look on anyone.
Now I know what you are all thinking (Hasn’t he seen the Maury Povich show?!) but let me assure you, we are 86 to 87 percent sure she’s mine. I’m happy to keep loving her and taking care of her regardless—as long as she’s not a complete jackhole.