Thursday, February 16, 2012

“Get Thee To a Nunnery!”: How I Will Reasonably, Rationally, and Maturely Comport Myself With Dignity and Grace When My Daughters Start Dating

Is there some sort of best-selling book I’ve never read that teaches people how scare the living heck out of new fathers everywhere?  Have I consistently glossed over 101 Fun Ways to Make Young Dads Wet Themselves while perusing the shelves at Barnes & Noble?  Or is there some sort of evolutionary advantage to keeping a man in such a state of constant fear that he starts to think, “You know? Maybe the Dursleys were on to something, keeping Harry Potter locked under those stairs.”?  I only ask because, for the first three-plus years of my twin daughters’ lives, total strangers have seem to find a sadistic joy in joking about that which terrifies me most of all:  “Oh, they’re adorable!  Wait until they’re teenagers.  You’re in trouble.  What are you going to do when they start dating?

Trying to laugh it off, my usual, only half-joking response is “Well, they’re going to be 25 and living on their own when that happens.  So, I don’t think I’m going to be able to do much about it.”  In contrast, my typical thoughts are THEY ARE BABIES!!!  MY LITTLE ANGELS!!!  WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!!  DO YOU LIKE SEEING ME TREMBLE WITH FEAR?!!  IS THERE SOMETHING ENJOYABLE IN WATCHING A GROWN MAN CRY?!!   ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT I WOULD LOOK LIKE BALD?!!  I’M PRETTY SURE IT WOULDN’T BE A GOOD LOOK FOR ME!! SO, WHY?! WHY?! WHY?!

I’m absolutely certain this will be the first of many posts I will write about how raising daughters is easily the most terrifying experience of my life, with the possible exception of being dragged to that Nickelback concert.  THE HORROR.  THE HOR-ROR.  Truthfully, I’ve been afraid long before they were born, from the very moment my future ex-wife and I found out we were having girls.  Since that time, I’ve been secretly dreaming they would come home one day and tell me they are lesbians.  Is this sexist?  Absolutely, and I don’t care one little bit.  I have fairly extensive experience with guys, being one myself.  I wouldn’t want my daughters to come within 30 feet of me as a teenager…AND I WAS A GOOD ONE.  I will spare you the bone-chilling stories I could tell you about the bad ones.  It keeps me up at night thinking about them bringing home some teenaged d-bag who rides a moped and smokes clove cigarettes or someone even worse, like a brooding, sparkly vampire or a member of Nickelback.  THE HOR-RORRRRR.

Heeeeere's Daddy!
But I have to admit:  This fear of mine?  It makes me act a little crazy at times.  Not long after my daughters turned two, I took them to a playground we frequented regularly.  A little boy, maybe 3-years-old, walked up to one of my daughters and handed her a purple bunny eraser.   I swear that is the dirtiest look I’ve ever given a three-year-old in my life.  “Aww, that’s so nice.,” I said to my daughter, “Say ‘Thank you,’ honey.”  Then, to the boy, “Okay, now why don’t you go find your parents?”

And keep your stinking erasers to yourself, you little punk!  Yeah, you, in your adorable, baby blue “Mommy’s Little Man” t-shirt.  You may have fooled everyone else here, but not me.  I’m onto your little game.  First, it’s the eraser.  Then, you’ll be sharing a juice box.  Next thing you know, you’ll be giving her rides on the back of your tricycle.  Yeah, I’ve got you on my radar, “Little Man,” and my missiles are locked and loaded.  So, I suggest you change course before this shit gets real.

Part of me even wants to go all Tyler Durden on these boys: The First Rule of Dating My Daughters is YOU DO NOT DATE MY DAUGHTERS!!!  The Second Rule of Dating My Daughters is YOU DO NOT...DATE...MY DAUGHTERS!!!

Still, one of the few advantages of this particular brand of crazy is creatively imagining new ways to impart my fears ten-fold onto the young men my girls will one day date or to ensure that my girls never meet these boys altogether.  Discussing all of these ideas right now would make this post entirely too long, so I will share just a few at this time, and save the rest for later.  After all, my girls are three-years-old.  I’ve got at least the better part of a decade to create new plans and refine old ones.  Muuuaaaah-ah-ah-ah-ahhhhhh!!!

1. I’m inventing new weapons.  I thought about buying some guns, breaking them out and cleaning them every time a boy comes to pick one of my girls up for a date.  However, I thought that might be kind of trite, sort of your average, everyday crazy.  Then, I thought, You know? A really sick individual would invent new weapons of torture and show them off with a sense of self-satisfaction when these boys come over.  I’ve come up with a few already.  My personal favorite is the batchete: part baseball bat, part machete.  I figure I can make that sucker about 5 feet long.  Then, I can show it off to my daughter’s “gentleman” caller, brag about how I’ve made the blade extra sharp, and ask him something like “Ain’t she a beaut?” as I beam with pride.  Then, after he nervously agrees, I’ll change my mood abruptly to one of disappointed sadness.  “It’s a shame, though,” I’ll say, “I’ve never really had the opportunity to use it.  I’ve been looking for just the right moment, you know?  Between the sharpness of the blade and the centrifugal force created from swinging such a long weapon, I probably could cut a cow clean in half with this. What do you think?”  I figure that pretty much ensures he’ll keep an empty seat between my daughter and him at the movie theater.

2. I’m considering the nunnery...for them, I mean.  Around the girls’ 12th birthday, I could send them off to a nice, quiet convent, where they can train for the spiritually-uplifting and celibate life of a cloistered nun.  If TV and the movies have taught me anything, they will either (1) marry a rich, Austrian widower who already has seven children of his own; (2) obtain the power to fly; (3) sing in a papally-lauded choir led by a sassy mob informant in hiding; or (4) solve murder mysteries with a priest who looks an awful lot like Mr. Cunningham from Happy Days.  I think any of these outcomes would be rather fulfilling.

3. I’m making it very easy for them to respond to “sexting” requests.  This whole “sexting” phenomenon has frightened me more than anything.  Young girls everywhere are being pressured into sending nude pictures of themselves, foolishly thinking that everyone is doing it and that they can trust their boyfriends not to spread those pictures around.  I think we all know how that story ends.  Fortunately, I think I’ve come up with an easy solution for my girls if they ever find themselves in this predicament.  When it comes time to get my girls cell phones, I am going to give them each one with a preloaded picture of me holding a shotgun aimed at the camera (or maybe I’ll use my beautiful batchete).  Regardless, the pic will be titled, “If a boy ever asks for naked pictures of you, send him this.”

I’ll leave you with that for now, dear reader.  If you have daughters, feel free to use any of these ideas.  If you have sons, keep them the hell away from my daughters.  Have a great day.

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