Daddy Issues? Brainy-Types and My Sex List Checklist

4 Apr

I never thought that I had a “type.”  When recounting my gentleman lovers, I never thought they shared any particular physical attributes, clothing and music choices, even interests. But I’ve been lying to myself all these years. With the exception of a few outliers, my type is decidedly anyone of perceived higher academic intellectual ability than myself. You know, Brainy-types.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that a simple utterance of “Oh, I’m getting my Masters/PhD in XYZ” is all it takes to get me to consider spreading my legs.  It doesn’t really matter what the guy looks like.  He could be a Michael Cera knock-off, a nebbish Benjamin Braddock type, a sharply dressed foreigner, or a meathead. If there’s even a whiff of academic pretension, my heart starts to beat faster, and I nervously start to fidget with my hair in an attempt seem demure and coy.

There are a number of factors for this.  The guy I lost my virginity to a guy who seduced me in a seedy Brooklyn bar with words of political philosophy as he bragged about his Libertarian Legacy cred that led to his place as the Harvard University Young Republicans President.  In college, I decided against transferring to Boston University because it meant that I would no longer be able to take classes from Mike Brown, a man who I admired for his straight-up approach to teaching political philosophy and history. He was a terrifying professor, but when I caught him during office hours, he was the coolest cat and offered sage life advice on how going to law school was a terrible idea, and anecdotes about being multiracial in the segregated south.  In high school, I had the largest unrequited crush on Jesse, my best friend.  He was tall and lanky, with a sharp nose punctuated by a mole on his cheek. Jesse stood awkwardly in a way that always made it seem like one shoulder was higher than the other, and he would rest his chin on the top of my head whenever he stood behind me. He also played the piano, was in the jazz band,  did school plays, and wrote short stories, and when he was done doing all of that, the two of us hung out in his bedroom offering advice on the troubles of being a teenager.

Although these guys all looked different and had different intellectual passions, there was one thing they all had in common.  An acceptance of me, just as I am. Our relationships were symbiotic. Where they would teach me history, or science, or philosophy, I would share with them my favorite collection of Pablo Neruda sonnets, mix tapes, a short story I had written, or a Cornell West essay I had come across. We’d discuss, debate, agree, disagree, have coffee, give life advice, tell stories, etc. For whatever moment in time, we equally enriched each others lives.  It was a feeling that I had never really gotten from  my dad. For him, I was always, somehow, well … lacking.

Be it because of the Machismo nature of Latin American culture that binds him to keep fatherly praise inside, or that I’ve always known my dad to be an intellectually frustrated and unfulfilled person — or a combination of both — but Pops has never been the most accepting person of me, just as I am.  While I excelled in school in the humanities, my dad always focused on my average math grades.  Others praised me for performances in school plays, but he would continually point out his disappointment at my permanent position in the second heat during my swim meets.  I completely lied to him about my dismal score on my Chemistry SAT II — too scared to see how he would react at the reality.  With my father, it was never that I could do better at something, it was that I should be doing better at something.  It’s a slight, but important distinction.  While the former implies aspiration, the latter implies constant disappointment.  My father always seemed frustrated that while I inherited his pervy sense of humor, boisterousness, and here’s-my-heart-please-don’t-break-it attitude, I never really got the right-brained gene.

One of the few times that my father took pride in my academic performance was during an evening when he was helping me with my AP Calculus homework (I scored EXTRA bonus points with him for that!) during my senior year of high school.  After he finished explaining the theory behind sines and cosines that I needed in order to complete my assignment, he flipped towards the end of the textbook — to a section that I would never get to during the course of the semester — where there were theorems relating to 3D cylindrical graphs. His eyes went wide with excitement, and he took my pencil and started making little notes as he explained why these graphs were so important.  Suddenly, my dad was the young, smiley, civil-engineering student that he was back in Chile — with a cushy government job building bridges and infrastructure in his future.  I only understood every other thing he said, but I nodded my head eagerly, and made sounds of exclamation at all the appropriate intervals.

“Some other time, I’ll explain it more,” he said as it was getting late.  He closed the textbook, squeezed my hand, and we left the kitchen table and headed to bed.  In that moment, I think my dad had a fleeting sensation that I’d learn to love math as much as him. That there was a slight hope that I could become Marissa Mayer. But for now, he was OK with my just getting by in AP Calculus. He was ok with me, as myself, just as I was.

It made him so happy to tell me about 3D graphs.

So, you see my affinity for Brainy-Types, I suspect has always come from my admiration and fascination with my dad’s crazy knowledge of engineering and math. In our basement, I found old notebooks from college, where his handwriting was delicate and always in script — nothing like the crazy Doctor scribble he has going on now.  In pictures from when I was a baby, and he was still in school, he’s always wearing suits, or white button-downs tucked into his slim-fit jeans — and always smiling.  It’s safe to say that I have developed quite the romanticized notion of those that pursue a higher, higher-education. I imagine those PhD’rs are fulfilled and happy in a way that my father once was. Maybe by hanging out with them, I could finally know this one part of my dad that has always been a mystery.

Thinker Boyfriends: they remain at the top of my Sex List Checklist. But while I wait for him to possibly appear, and share with me his enormous organ (the brain, duh!)  I will continue checking off the following other species of man-candy from my list:

  • Swimmers (Divers count)
  • Red-Heads
  • Black Hipsters (see: Donald Glover)
  • Desi Hipsters (see: Young The Giant)
  • Brits
  • Boston Dudes (see: Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting)
  • The Male Equivalent of a Southern-Belle
  • Pretty-but-Dumb (see: Levi Johnston)
  • Musician (preferably a drummer)
  • Actor (straight theater — no musicals)
  • A Latin Lover (I really just want to call someone that)
  • A Lumberjack
  • A tall, muscled, and sleeve-tattooed hipster-esque dude
  • Someone much more well-dressed than myself
  • Yoga instructor
  • Young Republican

Maybe one of these male prototypes will help me get over my Daddy Issues.  Do y’all have a list? I know everyone has Daddy Issues. And if you don’t — well … then … AREN’T YOU PERFECT?! But honestly though, I’m totally jealous.

GLASSES. Andrew Garfield crosses off two from my checklist at one time! Brit, and then glasses, which obvis means "THINKER."


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