While mom will likely teach the girls about the birds and the bees one day, and that time of month, and those other secrets only discussed in the mom and daughter sisterhood, there are some things that dad may be more qualified to teach. Yes, dad.
We’re not the dorks you see on TV.
Well most of the time we’re not. My life has often resembled Everybody Loves Raymond. And I do have an irrational fear of the word vagina. But for the most part, you need to know we are not like the dopey, zany, can’t even put together a bike, or clean the kitchen, dad like you see on TV. We’ve come a LONG way from Mister Mom holding his baby’s butt over the blow dryer in the bathroom. That’s funny. But that’s not real. Those guys in the commercials are the butt of the jokes because it is a quick and cheap laugh for the audience. The danger of seeing that stuff repeated over and over is that people start to believe it must be true. I am clumsy. I am not svelt. But I work hard, I take pride in what I do, and yes, given enough time and 437 pages of instructions, I too can put together a successful IKEA bedroom set (and then hide the extra pieces). I need to prove the TV dad is a myth.
We have NO idea what women are really thinking.
If I took my cues from Lifetime TV, I’d think most women looked like Meredith Baxter Birney and were out to kill the guy harboring a deep, dark secret in two hours time. Most of us don’t have deep, dark secrets. And most women don’t want to kill us (most of the time). But truthfully, any guy who is so pompous, and arrogant, and full of himself that he assumes to know what women are thinking, deserves to get blasted with a full tank of Axe body spray. Women are complex. You are complex. The best I can do is try and be a good listener and pick up on the signs. As I spend more time with my wife, your mom, I’ve learned (been properly trained) about what she is really thinking. I can complete some of her sentences and can sometimes pick the restaurant she’s thinking about, or the movie she’s wanting to watch, or the day when I know she’s going to want to grab a cookbook and bake. It is the wisdom of experience. When I repeat the story about how when mom and I got engaged, I found a violinist from a local college to play for us at a special private dinner, it’s because I THOUGHT mom would like it. I Nailed it. For once.
We DO know who your future love interest should be.
I know you’ll grow up thinking mom knows everything. But I know a thing or two. No matter who you fall in love with, they should never hit you, hurt you, demean you, or abuse you. Those folks may say they love you, but you’re too good for them. When I was in college, a top wrestler would always say “what’s up baby” and give the pervy eyes while trying to pick up your mom right in FRONT of me. She picked me. He’s still a loser. I haven’t been a perfect dad, but I’ve tried to live up to this ideal..respect. A guy who hits a woman is no man. A celebrity caught hitting his girlfriend who is still adored by thousands of fans is no man. He’s a domestic abuse suspect with fans who don’t think. Find a partner who complements you -and- compliments you. Know that dad will be there to cast a disapproving glance at any new significant other, not because I believe they’re bad for you, but because I want to instill the fear of god in them. The best I can do here is teach by example so you see how your mom and I get along even when we fight sometimes. Everyone argues. Find someone you’d be happy to grow old with and not someone you want to abandon in a crowded store. One day decades from now, when your significant other has taken their teeth out for the night, and unplugged their hearing aid, will you still be happy you spent all these years with them… I am.
We have a penis.
OK that may not be a shocker. But that means we often think with the wrong head. Maybe I’m stereotyping here. But speaking from experience: we are basic.
We don’t like ties for gifts. We don’t like sweaters. We don’t like new socks and underwear as gifts. We like simple things: time with the spouse, time watching our favorite football team, a good beer, a comfortable pair of boxers. This is where guys resemble captain caveman more than Mister Big from Sex And The City. Carrie spent years looking for Mister Big and he kept letting her down over and over again. She finally got her guy… And then the sequel jumped the shark anyway. Captain caveman let his hair grow out, he carried a club, and he yelled “captain cavemaaaaaaan” to get people’s attention. It was much more basic. Why am I saying this? Simply because you need to know guys are different. Women are inherently emotional and feeling and nurturing. Guys are.. Well.. Cavemen. It doesn’t mean we’re bad or uncaring. We’re just different. Sometimes we’ll surprise you with a little caveman Casanova, bring home some flowers or a bottle of wine, but the caveman is still in there. They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. You may think we act like Uranus every once in a while but just don’t treat us like Pluto. Not all guys are dogs.
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