I got an email from my father this morning and am now translating that other narcissist's novel. Some similarities stand out eerily now for the first time.
They gladly talk about the men they know, turning casual acquaintances into good friends, if these are powerful or high-ranking or wealthy or educated or possess whatever quality will make the narcissist look better by association.
This does not apply to women. The women around them are something like accessories. Objects. Something they possess and dominate, but unworthy of mention, especially in relation to "qualities" they can brag about.
My father wrote about a "friend" - a former landlord they went out on one outing with - a sailor, naval officer, now retired and vice-whatever, who knows everyone and is very respected and well-liked, a very good friend of his, whom they see every time they go to the summer resort where he and his girlfriend are now. The entire email was about this man. There were photos attached, in which two women were also visible, the man's wife and my father's girlfriend. Not to my father, they weren't.
The author describes every casual male acquaintance in detail, listing his excellent qualities, brags about him as a good friend who'd do anything for him, and this goes on for 400+ pages. Somewhere between the lines, you can make out he also has two children with a wife (?), but this is in no way clear. He also mentions a former girlfriend who he physically abused (!), but only as part of a story about how his "good friend" who is the son of a famous politician and a rich and influential man, helped him track her down once. Sick stuff.
My father will not only never love me or see me for who I am. He will also never see me as a potentially respectable human being, simply because I'm a woman. Nothing I accomplish will change that.
His sleazy displays of affection for my husband, though, show that he's intimidated by him. As irony would have it, my husband, a musician, is actually pursuing my father's dream career, which his horrible parents talked him out of, as it didn't sound prestigious enough at the time.