Tuesday, August 10, 2010

men of a certain age

When Han and I were at university we had two classes together, one of them was a media paper called 'understanding popular music' or something to that effect. We sat next to each other and wrote notes back and forth, generally about one of three things:
1. A boy in the class who we hated. He found the music of Moby really profound.
2. A girl in the class who we dubbed 'indie girl' and who had a tendency to name-drop, which was kind of redundant living in Wellington, where everyone already knows everyone anyway. She's famous now though and probably earns quite a lot so I guess that serves us right.
3. How much we loved Roy, our lecturer, and wished he was our dad.
This was probably the beginning of my experience with dad-crushes. Roy had a bushy moustache and a uniform of jeans and sweatshirts. He told us in lectures about buying his daughter an iPod and he had great taste in music.

the young mr darcy
The dad-crush has since evolved and I would say now, at least for me, is not just about men whose daughters we wish we were; my current list of dad-crushes includes men who are certainly too old for me and who, in-person in 2010 would hold little or none of the appeal that their younger selves continue to carry on screen, but who I continue to swoon over while watching repeats of old tv shows and films made before I knew what a crush was. Men like Colin Firth, Emilio Estevez, Kyle McLaughlin, Jeremy Irons, Dustin Hoffman, heck even Patrick Swayze... Men whom my crushes on probably have as much to do with wanting to be like the girls who loved them as the man (or the character) themself.
The updated list still includes men who I could never crush on in such a way, but who I wish I knew in a dadly or uncley way, who I could hang out and drink beer or whiskey with and who I could introduce to my friends. Men like Roy. Bill Murray is a good example of this type of dad-crush, the original dad-crush.

Perhaps the strangest of the dad-crushes are those that we share with our mothers. Han is in love with Daniel Day Lewis*, which forever grosses me out having accompanied my mum to in the name of the father - aged 7 or thereabouts - and sat through repeated viewings of the last of the mohicans (around the same time) on VHS. John Cusack is an embarassing one for me: I gagged at my mother's girlish infatuation with Martin Q Blank but later fell head over heels in love with Lloyd Dobler.

*I s'pose I kind of am too, watching that video, sigh
That photo at the top is of Bill Murray and is one of my favourite portraits ever


  1. Lloyd Dobler is still my most enduring crush You forgot to mention that awful Keanu Reeves in Speed phase (or were you being kind?) My main own dad-crush was Mick Jagger, aged about 12 I wanted so much to be claimed as another of his illigitimate daughters. Sigh.

  2. Dustin Hoffman and Harrison Ford both evolved from the first level of dad-crush (I kind of wish they could be my father)when I saw Tootsie and Indiana Jones as a child to the other level of dad-crush (I wish I was like the girls who liked them/their characters) when I saw The Graduate and American Graffitti. Oh dear!