Deano’s answer to: “What does it feel like to grow up without a father figure in the family?”

I learned the rules of basketball mostly by fouling out my own 8th grade team during critical moments. It’s more complicated than it looks, folks.

(Photo courtesy of…)

My best friend taught me how to wet shave. In college.

(Photo courtesy of…)

All those times when your mom said “ask your father” as a lazy way to say no, my mom just said “no”. If she didn’t get it/like it, it just didn’t happen, including things like seeing Star Wars in the theater, at a time when movies stayed in the theater for half a year or more if they were doing really well.

(At least I got to see this cinematic gem as consolation…)

And honestly, even figuring out exactly how to not be killed or courted in the Men’s Room was a bit of trial and error I’d sooner forget…

(Where was this app when I needed it?!? Image courtesy…)

All grown up, I still find that I have an absolutely alien experience meeting someone’s dad, that simply doesn’t exist when I meet their mom. It’s hard to explain, but it’s there.

Perhaps the best part of growing up without a father actively in the picture, is that through massive overcompensation and the lowered bar of my own experience, I tend to feel that I do a pretty good job as a dad myself. Really, it’s about the only thing I’m not massively fucking up in my life on a daily basis. So, you know, that’s nice.

This answer originally appeared on Quora: What does it feel like to grow up without a father figure in the family?

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