Jonand Kate Gosselinbrought this on. They won’t go away, and they’ve dragged their bad parenting blame game so far into the bright center of the media spotlight that it doesn’t even matter I never watched the show. I know who they are and occasionally find myself taking sides, which I shouldn’t. They both seem crazy. Poor kids are so “Truman Show”‘d, there’s probably no hope. But, they did get me thinking about all my old fantasies about having famous parents. The old “I’m really adopted, but one day my real parents will find me, and then everything’s gonna change around here … ” fantasy. You know what I’m talking about…I was blessed with great parents of the loving, supportive, in-love-with-each-other variety, so I think that’s why my fantasies tended towards the familiar. First and foremost in my young parent-replacing heart was Harrison Ford. He started out as a carpenter, just like my dad. Of course, my dad remained a carpenter, and Harrison Ford has been saving artifacts as Indiana Jones, Princess Leia as Han Solo, and America as Jack Ryan. I liked watching him on repeats of Letterman over the summer, listening rapt as he spoke about getting an earring at 50. My dad used to have an earring. Handsome in that older dude way, quiet, and soft-spoken, Harrison was just so cool! Plus, he was safely free of any angsty anger over kid arguments about whose turn it was to wash the dishes and not being allowed to watch R-rated movies.
Second and nearly as important was Mel Gibson. Oh, Mel. You used to be awesome. In the dad-category, it was an easy fantasy to slip into as he already had a horde of children for me to be friends with and a long-loved wife to be mommy. And the roles he played! He was the protector of Scottish women and the discoverer of murder plots, and God I loved him. The blue eyes just called out for old-fashioned filial love because they conveyed that with him you were safe, no matter what the bad guys did.
Harrison has aged well regardless of what I thought about the latest Indiana Jones debacle, but Mel is something else. He’s become a crazy man. My dad would never call someone “sugar tits.”
So, maybe I owe a thank you to Jon and Kate and all their nonsense for dredging up my old imaginings — the sweeping out of the bad, keeping the good for old times sake, and remembering just how incredibly awesome my real parents are. But, I know I’m not the only one. Who were your dream parents? Did they hold up, or have they been Gibsoned?