All dads with daughters make the same joke about buying a shot gun anticipating the day when their little girls will come of age and start accepting suitors. But we all know that if we armed every dad with a Winchester our emergency rooms would be full of dumbasses that shot themselves in the foot. So, putting all jokes aside (I’ll try my best), let’s talk about the reality of what dads can really do to prepare themselves for the day their daughters start dating.
1 (1) PREPARE YOUR MIND:
The first thing you have to tell yourself is your teenage daughter- either with or without your blessing- is going to date. It’s a fact. Now, she might like girls, she might like boys, she might like boys that look like girls or girls that look like boys, or girls and boys that pretty much dress as if they were the opposite sex, but someone’s going to be sharing their gum with your daughter and the sooner you accept that the better. I don’t like it any more than you do, but they say “chance favors the prepared mind” so the more you prepare for this inevitability the better you will be able to cope…Yes, I know that’s wishful thinking. But this is my blog, so shut up.
2. (2) GET SOME PERSPECTIVE:
We all know you will most likely hate every single boy that shows up at your front door, but hey, you’ll like them a lot more than the boys who show up in the middle of the night at your little girl’s window. You must not assume all boys are bad. Some look like they might be trouble, but the Goths, the Punks, the suburban white kids who think they’re from the streets, they’re all misunderstood.
Remember, back in the day Elvis scared the crap out of fathers with his gyrating hips and smoldering stares, but in retrospect he was just some mama’s boy from the high school band that all the girls took pity on. Alice Cooper, Dee Snider, Marilyn Manson, these were all the guys in the chess club. So don’t judge a book by its cover. “The evil that you know is better than the evil that you don’t know,” and if you’re lucky, your daughter might be dating one of these dweebs when their Facebook page takes off. And, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather know that my daughter was dating some guy who liked to wear his personality on the outside (tattoos, make-up, piercings), than some guy who hides it on the inside (see: American Psycho, 2000).
|American Psycho (2000)|
3. (3) GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
Yes, every boy with at least one working testicle is a threat to your teenaged daughter’s virtue and you’re going to want to be critical of every guy she brings home. Don’t be!!! Dads are horrible judges of character when it comes to who is worthy of their little princesses. After all, you wouldn’t have been your father-in-laws first pick for his daughter- you’re not the Sultan of Brunei or the Head of Neurosurgery at Cedars Sinai. So give your daughter some leeway to make her own decisions about the boys SHE likes. Hopefully, she’ll weed out the bad ones quickly before they turn in to Marky Mark’s character from Fear (1996). You, you’re liable to scare off every loveable Lloyd Dobbler.
In closing, what have we learned? Not much, but it helped me put some of my fears for the future on the page. Dads can’t control who their daughter’s fall in love with. You can set rules and ask your wishes to be respected (e.g. no boys in your bedroom, no defiling the pool table in the basement, no dating until you’re 30), but you best not make any ridiculous demands (“we’re going to implant this microchip in your neck so we know where you are at all times”). My suggestion: pray, a lot, and raise your little girl to respect herself, her body, and her future; teach her in the art of self-defense; and, if she can save a little respect for your feelings, that would be nice too.
Why couldn't I have just had sons?