('Sexy Dads' Animation by @roundkatepopkatshouse)
When you become a parent your social circle can become thin on the ground. There are a few baby groups here and there (rarely sexy places). And then there are the tea and coffee mornings in the church (again not a spot of sauce in sight). And then out in the real day to day world (if you've actually got dressed and are not flopped on the sofa like a deflated paddling pool), there's basically the postman (bit on the old side for me). Or the checkout man at Lidl (not my type either). Maybe the Ocado guy (but it's a different one each time and besides we shop at Lidl because I was made redundant in March but THAT'S A WHOLE DIFFERENT STORY (not sexy either)) And then there's the men on TV BUT NEWSFLASH LADIES! THEY'RE FICTIONAL and NOT REAL! (aside from LUTHER because he is REAL and not Idris Elba and IS IN LOVE WITH ME OKAY?)
And I should preclude this rant on fanciful things by saying that I LOVE MY PARTNER AND FANCY HIM MUCHLY...but everyone needs someone to look at now and then in a ladylike manner. It doesn't mean anything. It's just human to look now and then. This is especially true when you feel very unattractive and have memories of the labour room and your hormones are still out of kilter. So that's where Dads come in right?
Now when I say DAD, I'm not talking about OUR OWN DADS (unless your Dad is like A SLY SILVER FOX OF DREAMS) no I mean Dads who are in our peer group. Dads of children but not partners of your mates because that's wrong.
Them. Those ones.
In the early days I had as much interest in men as macrame and playing the flute. Men were indistinguishable from chairs or cats. They broke up the monotony of people with high voices talking about sore breasts and feeling tired but that was all. Then things changed and life got easier, and I realised I didn't work in an office anymore. Didn't do the commute. Didn't go anywhere aside from Lidl or a Mum's pizza night and that's when Dads became the ONLY option when it came to fancying people. They were the ONLY men I came into contact with you see.
The thing is some innocent Dad fancying is a safe and tame activity. As long as you never reveal the Dad you fancy, then it's not dissimilar to a teenager lusting after Harry Styles. Nothing is actually going to happen. This isn't about having an affair...or at least it isn't for me...no it's just about regaining a bit of sparkle in your life when it's severely lacking. It's about a small frisson that makes you check your lipstick isn't on your front teeth and you haven't got twigs in your hair.
Some women have a soft spot for the celebrity Dad and I can see the attraction in David Beckham or Tom Hardy but I prefer to have a moment to actually peruse the Dad in person. I was listening to a podcast recently, and they were saying that a fireman rescuing a kitten is probably the biggest turn on in the world and yes I can see that too. There is something about strength and vulnerability that is very appealing. It's no secret that many of us love the film - 'Three Men and A Baby,' even though the plot is ludicrous and the flat they live in cost millions and their lifestyle is totally unrealistic (I am a Tom Selleck fan but am also partial to a bit of Danson by the way are you?)
I like a Dad with bags under his eyes, a bit cynical and jaded, not too enthusiastic and definitely not someone who yawns on about sleep routines and the benefit of oat cakes. A Dad who is a good parent but now and then throws his arms in the air and shouts into the hills - JESUS CHRIST I AM LOSING MY MIND RIGHT NOW!
Every now and then I might spot a Dad, and I might just notice his twinkly eyes and catch a whiff of classy aftershave, and I'm rapidly transported into a crowded bar. It's 2002 and I've just ordered potato wedges and a glass of plonk (or more likely a Breezer as I thought they were sophisticated at the time). It's after work on a Friday, and I've got a luxurious weekend of doing JACK SHIT, and my vagina is still functioning, and I pee when I want to and not when I run/laugh/get up from a chair, and this non-chino wearing dude of dreams is clocking me in my Next polyester pencil skirt and SWOON... I'm no longer an ageing Mum with a wet wipe covered in fox poo scrunched up in one hand (our park has a real problem with fox poo and it's definitely NOT SEXY.) The Dad is coming over and is going to chat me up. He is coming over and is going to comment on how sexy I look and how he likes the fact I'm a career woman and a feminist and also have nice hair.
Then I blink and see the Dad as he continues to wrestle his toddler into the buggy and he checks the wheels of the buggy and the fantasy of us in the bar is disappearing rapidly and he looks up and I'm standing over him and he slowly sniffs the air and then looks at my scrunched up wad of brown wipe and says the words;
'Is that fox poo?'
And I reply hesitantly;
'Yes it is. It's everywhere. It drives me mad.'
And he appraises me with more than a tinge of pity in his eyes, and rapidly pushes the buggy away.
I'm left standing on my own, and it's cold, getting dark and the damn smell is awful.