Daisy, I came back this morning to delete my post, because it brought you happiness, so who am I to "Bah Humbug" that. But it's already quoted, so I'll leave it, along with an apology. I'm sorry that I didn't keep my negative thoughts to myself. OH, I like your take much better than my own. You filled in the blanks in a more positive way than my mind did yesterday.
EE, I had clicked the link to read the whole story, because the excerpt itself was nice, but the whole story left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. I lived many years telling myself to appreciate what I did have *instead of* being thankful today *and* looking at what I actually do want in my life and what actions I was enthusiastic about taking in order to get there. Now this stepmom may have done both, but this young man doesn't speak of that, only of being a giver alone. Whereas MB is about finding a sustainable balance between the Giver and Taker in each of us.
I didn't think the guy's mother was talking physical attraction, AS. The guy said his dad was handsome. Attractive is the whole thing, how do I feel when I'm with this person. Dr. H goes into great detail in HNHN for Parents how parents with young kids lose this attraction for each other, because the time they once spent together and the things they used to do for each other to meet their intimate ENs (Affection, Conversation, SF, and RC) gets replaced by stepping up the time spent on DS, FS, and FC, without finding the POJA. With the small kids being cared for by the real mom, the stepmom has lots more time to focus on Affection.
Fortunately there are books like HNHN for Parents to help folks who do want to make it work.
But notice he describes his dad as a giver, as loving, caring, etc.
So I don't think you can say he wasn't.
Why not take him at his word. He knows all three parents. If he says his mom was selfish, his mom is likely selfish. If he says his dad is loving and caring, but flawed, or a loser, then that's probably what his dad is.
Remember, if this guy is a teenager, early 20's, loser could just mean his dad is not cool. It could mean he can't keep a job, was a drop out, etc as well. It's pretty vague. It appears you've taken the most extreme definition of loser and applied it to dad. Really, we don't know what he means by this term.
But since he describes his dad largely as good, I suspect he is more good than bad, more willing to try than the mother he described, etc.