I was a Mummy’s girl, and my older brother was a Dad’s boy. This is how it was for as long as I can remember. I wanted to hang out and do things with Mum, while my brother was all about doing things with Dad. I was that little girl who relentlessly climbed all over her Mum so that she could always be close to her. My brother was the opposite. Dad worked long hours, and my brother couldn’t wait to spend the weekend with him.
When my Mum died 20 years ago, my relationship with my Dad changed. We grew closer as the years went by, and today I’m as close to my Dad as I ever was to my Mum.
My Dad and I have many differences. He speaks gently, softly, and not very much. I have a loud voice, and to quote my Dad, “Angélique is a great talker, and cannot whisper.” I’m fiery, extroverted, and very social. My Dad is mellow, introverted, a loner, and the King of understatement. He NEVER exaggerates. He will tell you things precisely as they are, or downplay them. As a chartered accountant, he’s a numbers and books person, and I am neither. Dad has a knack for languages and I don’t. Dad is a night owl, and I’m a morning person. Where I’m bouncing with energy, my Dad is reserved. I LOVE shopping, and Dad has always viewed it as punishment.
We also have some strong similarities. We are both hard working, disciplined, organized and tidy. We are global citizens who enjoy travelling and living in different countries. We are similarly fussy, practical, prompt, independent, stubborn, and set in our ways. We really look after our things, keeping them as pristine as possible. We enjoy outstanding food, both at home and in restaurants. We have an extremely sweet tooth. Cake, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate, pastries, dessert — we love it all, at any time of the day. We are house-proud and homebodies, thriving in a cosy atmosphere at home. We love dogs and horses.
At 87 and living alone in the Netherlands since Mum passed away, my Dad is a uniform dresser with a very minimal wardrobe. He’s not into fashion, but enjoys looking classically casual and dapper if someone helps him shop and put his outfits together. That used to be my Mum, and now it’s me. He’s very smiley, which matches the way he dresses. He has always been fond of wearing happy colours and hectic checks. To wear orange, coral, bright green, bright blue, yellow, and all shades of red feels very normal and makes him happy. Dark blue, chocolate and cognac are his black, and tans and stones are his white. Dad wears red specs like I do, which he chose on his own.
He has an appreciation for aesthetics, and for the styles of others who dress well to his eye. He has strong opinions on what he thinks looks stylish. He’s quick to compliment others about their outfits, especially when they wear the colours he likes. He is the most gentle and charming man I know.
I visit my Dad regularly and feel fortunate to be able to do that. Here’s an old photo of us in the Netherlands 16 years ago, before YLF started. This was my first trip to see him after we moved to Seattle from France.
This photo is recent, taken in April 2019 on the same street in my Dad’s hometown of Velp. Dad had all sorts of nice things to say about my colourful outfit because he likes bright colours! That’s why I make sure I wear them when I’m with him, along with skirts and dresses, which are Dad’s favourite.
We at YLF wish all Dads, including Dads who are no longer with us, a happy and peaceful Father’s Day.