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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jas…)

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

(Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gre…)

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 http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjec…)

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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