A Father’s Bounty on His Daughter’s Heart

It is common knowledge that dads don’t often like their daughters’ significant others — I know my dad didn’t like the first guy I brought home (he was right not to). But when is it considered going too far? If you were Hong Kong socialite Gigi Chao, it would be when your father started offering money to make your significant other go away. 

US Dollars Money

Let me explain… Gigi Chao married her longtime partner Sean Eav after eight years together. The problem? Sean is a woman, and Gigi’s father, Cecil Chao, was none too pleased with the arrangement. He was so put out by the idea that in 2012, he offered a dowry of 500 million Hong Kong dollars to the man that could come in and steal his daughter’s heart. According to the initial report in the South China Morning Post, Cecil Chao also offered the lucky man a business deal, saying the dowry was “an inducement to attract someone who has the talent but not the capital to start his own business.” It’s great that he wants to start a new business venture, but wouldn’t it have just been easier to look for a business partner and leave his daughter out of it? It sounds like dear old dad is in denial.

Chao, who is in his 70s, probably doesn’t mean to sound like a bigot. Though he’s never been married, I’m sure he comes from the school of thinking in which a couple can only be a man and a woman. Honestly, it is okay to take issue with the person your child loves; but, if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that the more you rail against change, the more you get left behind. It’s been two years since the initial offer, and word on the street is that daddy has upped the price on sweet Gigi’s heart. Like any good daughter, she’s tried to play off her dad’s craziness, but now she has finally had enough. After Cecil’s initial offer from 2012 was doubled, Gigi wrote an open letter to her father, in which she states, “I will always forgive you for thinking the way you do, because I know you are acting in my best interests.” Of course she’ll always love her dad, but it has to be frustrating to have him not fully accept who she is. It’s not even that she’s asking him to like Sean, she’s just asking him to stop making public declarations about his feelings on her personal life.

The relationship between a father and daughter will always be complicated. I have older sisters, but I’m my dad’s baby girl, and I know that he is twenty million times more protective of me than he was with them. It took him time to realize that I was going to eventually find someone and leave him. I did find someone, and we moved across the country. He didn’t like it, but he accepted it, and he accepted my boyfriend as the new man in my life. So, while Cecil went about the whole thing in a completely backward way, I can understand where he is coming from. He just wants his daughter to be happy — except that he wants her to be happy in a way that is easy for him to wrap his head around. Sure, Gigi is probably embarrassed by her father’s public denouncement of her partner and life choice, but in the end he is her father, and of course she loves him…she probably just wishes he’d keep his mouth shut.

While she may have swapped her dream of winning a Tony for winning a Pulitzer, Sa’iyda Shabazz has always been a creative person. She abandoned her dreams of becoming a Broadway star when she began writing her first novel fresh out of college. She has yet to find an agent who realizes how awesome she is but in the meanwhile she has written another full length novel and never stops exploring the ideas swimming in her head. She is also an avid pop culture junkie and a random fact machine who should be on Jeopardy. Follow her social media and check out her cooking blog!

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