The tell tale signs that I'm turning into my father

A survey released yesterday found that most men morph into their fathers by the age of 38. The similarities between between my father and me are numerous and particular.

Share

I don't have a shed, or my own special armchair. I do, however, know the names of top 40 artists and I have never been excited by a sale of appliances. Nevertheless, I betray enough of the tell tale signs that I'm turning into my father - and some other ones, beside - to make me ponder seriously matters of heredity, conditioning and, of course, mortality.

In The Importance of Being Earnest, Oscar Wilde wrote: “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.” It would indeed be a step too far for a man to turn into his mother: it takes all a man's energy to turn into his father. A survey released yesterday found that most men morph into their fathers by the age of 38, and helpfully provided a list of the behavioural traits that can be regarded as evidence. It's true that I have a penchant for telling jokes that only I find funny, and I have been known to have an afternoon nap, but the similarities I have noticed between me and my father, who died almost 30 years ago, are both more numerous and particular.

For instance, an unwillingness to queue in an orderly fashion. It used to embarrass me as a child that my dad would refuse to get in line like everyone else. He'd always seek a queue-jumping dodge, sometimes by befriending the official in charge, sometimes by pretending he had special privileges, often by simply looking like he knew where he was going in a way that brooked no questioning. Without even thinking about it, I've become that same person, impatient at the sight of a queue and with an ability to get in places I wasn't strictly allowed (valuable for a journalist). About 20 years ago, I got into Wembley Stadium on Cup final day without a ticket, and I once ended up pitchside at an American football match among the Philadelphia Eagles players, so confident was I about my right to be there.

I have an identical sense of humour to my father - I still tell some of his jokes - and I am just as bad at driving as he was. Bizarrely, I even noticed myself a few years ago descending a flight of stairs in exactly the same weird, staccato way as he did. But don't we have children so that we can establish a human imprint, and impose our own likes and dislikes on them? 

I felt this myself particularly keenly last weekend. I have brought up my daughter as a Manchester City fan, and it has been a largely positive aspect of our joint lives. We've spent a huge amount of quality time together, and, of course, had the bonding experience of sharing triumphs and disasters. Last Sunday, Manchester City suffered a rather painful setback in our quest for the Premier League title. My daughter was inconsolable. I just felt guilty. What right have I to burden this poor girl with so much potential for heartbreak? Hasn't she got enough to worry about without this extra load I've given her? They do f*** you up, your mum and dad. And not just when you turn into them! Happy Easter.    

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: PPC Executive - Manchester City Centre

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This forward-thinking agency wo...

Recruitment Genius: Artwork Design Apprenticeship

£7200 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Artwork Design Apprenticeship is avail...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web design and digital age...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Why it won’t be the i wot won it – our promise to you

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
A relative of dead Bangladeshi blogger Washiqur Rahman reacts after seeing his body at Dhaka Medical College in Dhaka on March 30,  

Atheists are being hacked to death in Bangladesh, and soon there will be none left

Rory Fenton
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor