You know how they say that women are prone to choosing partners who are like their fathers? I have a theory that men are prone to choosing fashion that reminds them of theirs. Growing up, my dad worked a lot. The kind of man who worked until the job was done. I remember thinking of my father as this giant, this great man I hoped to be some day. He was naturally athletic and enjoyed sports and drinking whisky; a real man’s man. He had a solid build and would walk through town with such confidence. People loved his fantastic sense of humour and appreciated his kindness. I was a decade away from growing facial hair myself but my father’s gorgeous, full beard epitomised masculinity to me. I distinctly remember him driving me to school when I was quite young. He would wear knitted ties under a pullover to work and combined with that beard and his aviator Ray-Bans I thought he was something unstoppable. On weekends short-sleeved shirts and shorts were customary but his gold signet ring remained on his pinky every single day.
Of course by the time I was a teenager I rebelled, and in searching for my own personality, clashed with his. I was in no way athletic and we battled to relate to each other. My brothers are both much older than me and there came a time when he decided to make them their own gold ring with their initials on it. Knowing everything at the time I scoffed at the idea of ever wearing one, but there would come a time when I would change my mind. Both my brothers wore them for a while and before long left them in a drawer and forgot about them. My father figured I would go the same way, discarding the tradition he hoped to start, and never made one for me.
While this was happening I had started to grow a beard and experiment with my own personal style. I tried it all (and I have years of style posts to back that up) but nothing fit quite right (I have even more posts about skinny jeans than I care to think about). At 30 years old, passed the phases one goes through to find what it is they really like, I arrived in a pretty good place. I learned a lot from observing my father, such as how to be a gentleman and the value of your word.
My father passed his ring on to me this year before he and my mother immigrated to America, he said I could melt it down and make something I would wear but I could never do that. It means far too much to me. I figure I would not feel the same way about this ring if it carried my own initials. In a world of selfie-awareness and the need for validation I feel pretty darn great wearing a ring that reminds me what I really want to strive for as a man; hard-working, smart, reliable, strong and kind. Often you grow up hoping to be the furthest thing from your father or mother, but I embrace our similarities and hope I wear them well.View Comments