Tuesday, September 19, 2006

For the Dads (Part II)

Many a man wishes he were strong enough to tear a telephone book in half - especially if he has a teenage daughter. ~ Guy Lombardo


When I was in high school I used to be terrified of my girlfriend’s father, who I believe suspected me of wanting to place my hands on his daughter’s chest. He would open the door and immediately affect a good-naturedly murderous expression, holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like it could squeeze carbon into diamonds.

Now, years later, it is my turn to be the dad. Remembering how unfairly persecuted I felt when I would pick up my dates, I do my best to make my daughter’s suitors feel even worse. My motto: wilt them in the living room and they’ll stay wilted all night.

“So,” I’ll call out jovially. “I see you have your nose pierced. Is that because you’re stupid, or did you merely want to APPEAR stupid?”

As a dad, I have some basic rules, which I have carved into two stone tablets that I have on display in my living room.

If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure as heck not picking anything up.

You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck.

If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.

I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.

In order for us to get to know each other, we do not need to talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is “early.”

I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you.

If you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places lacking parents, policemen, or nuns. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her chin.

Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay.

My daughter claims it embarrasses her to come downstairs and find me attempting to get her date to recite these simple rules from memory. I’d be embarrassed too—-there are only a few of them, for crying out loud!

And, for the record, I did NOT suggest to one of these cretins that I’d have these rules tattooed on his arm if he couldn’t remember them. (I checked into it and the cost is prohibitive.) I merely told him that I thought writing the rules on his arm with a ball point might be inadequate-—ink washes off-—and that my wood burning set was probably a better alternative.

One time, when my wife caught me having one of my daughter’s would-be suitors practice pulling into the driveway, get out of the car, and go up to knock on the front door (he had violated rule number one, so I figured he needed to run through the drill a few dozen times) she asked me why I was being so hard on the boy.

“Don’t you remember being that age?” she challenged.
Of course I remember. Why do you think I came up with these simple rules?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

after reading your rules and comments about daughter dating, I'm even more glad that I have only sons.

Your daughter is a lucky girl. And I hope she knows it.

September 19, 2006 7:06 AM  
Blogger Monica said...

I read these two "parts" and they are quite good although it threw me off so someone is guest posting, right?

My daughter has a very good relationship with her daddy but he lives in Alabama. So her uncle and her brothers are tormenting her these days...you can't wear that shirt, nope not that top, is that your belly button? no, those shorts are too short, we need to google the closest convent...and on and on.

September 19, 2006 7:06 AM  
Blogger itisi said...

After rasing a daughter, I tend to agree with many things of what the Dad said. It will be interesting to watch my children raise their daughters!

September 19, 2006 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah the joys of having daughters Raggedy.
A very good two parter.

September 19, 2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger Ed Bremson, MFA said...

beautiful German shepherd dog on your Flickr photos. I had a German shepherd dog once that I loved very much. Sam. Also had a dachshund once. Daisy. Love those Germans.

Hope ya'll are doing ok weatherwise. I thought I saw some bad weather headed your way recently, but I could be wrong.

September 19, 2006 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


September 19, 2006 10:06 AM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

These are always funny. But...

Every time I come across it, it makes me wish my daughters had a Daddy. Sigh. I don't know if I can be that intimidating on my own.

September 19, 2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Dads are the best :-)

Take care, Raggedy! *HUUUGS*

September 19, 2006 11:25 AM  
Blogger cube said...

We have 2 daughters...

...we are not prepared for dating.

September 19, 2006 11:38 AM  
Blogger Jude said...

These were hilarious! Good job!

September 19, 2006 12:31 PM  
Blogger OldLady Of The Hills said...

Very Very funny and truly, quite wonderful!

September 19, 2006 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that I'm a parent, I give much more credit to my dad than when I was a teenager!

September 19, 2006 5:24 PM  

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