This is an activity from the A215 Creative Writing Course that I’m doing with the OU. The idea is to write a first-person narrative from the POV of both a father and his daughter in relation to her choice of husband (7.8).
The daughter’s viewpoint:
I love my dad, but he is making my life impossible at the moment. I’m a twenty-one year old married woman, for God’s sake. Why can’t he just like Mark? After all, mum doesn’t have a problem with him; she thinks that he is a nice lad who works hard and treats me well. Ever since the first time he met Mark, when the three of us went for a meal at Frankie & Benny’s in the Trafford Centre, dad has been aloof. Not even the fragrant aroma and mouth-watering food put a smile on dad’s face. I wish he would stop it; the last thing any marriage needs is animosity between parent and partner. Last week he invited me to visit him at the villa in Spain, but only if I went on my own; of course I didn’t go! What type of wife would go on holiday and leave her husband at home?
Dad has never liked my choice in partner; not that there have been many, apart from Josh and Karl: I could kind of understand him not liking them, seeing as they didn’t work. I know dad wanted me to get with some university educated professional, but I don’t have that great an education myself; besides, Mark works as a mechanic and earns decent money. It doesn’t bother me that he comes home covered in oil and smelling of Swarfega. What really gripes me the most is that when dad was my age he was married to mum, and besides me they had my older brother. Oh, yeah, and he worked in a warehouse for rubbish money.
The father’s viewpoint:
Why ever did Carly marry him? Well, apart from being six months pregnant and wanting to do the ‘right thing’ – but why him, of all men?
She is under the impression that I don’t like Mark because he’s a mechanic and not a professional who wears a suit and tie to work. What do I care if he permanently has oil under his nails and smells of brake fluid. The ideal son-in-law stereotype is all that’s needed: must work, must have a decent character, must treat her well, and most importantly must be younger than me. He meets all of those criteria, but he isn’t a good long-term candidate. He’s twenty-one years old and married, which isn’t unusual these days, but there is a slight blip: he has already been married once and fathered a child. It was while he was married that he met Carly. He also has a five-year old son from a relationship prior to his first marriage; what an absolute winner!. I tried to reason with her before she married him, but she wouldn’t listen to me.
‘But I love him, dad. Why can’t you just be happy for me?’ were the words I distinctly remember her saying to me a week, or so before they booked the registrar office.
Oh well, when it does eventually go pear shaped – and it will – I will be there for her; like any good father. I’m surprised at her mother, actually not taking my side. After all, Mark is exactly what I was like at that age. I think I was twenty-five when her mother divorced me for getting her best friend pregnant.