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The Walking Dad

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Opinion

It’s obvious that I have to wait to die until after everyone else in my home goes. Otherwise, every light in the house will be left on for all of eternity.

My dad used to say that I could leave on all of the lights whenever I started paying the bills.

That time has long since arrived.

There’s a clarity that’s bestowed upon you once you’re responsible for paying the bills. Clarity that eludes, even avoids you before the utility and other statements start showing up in the mailbox with your name on them.

Being the dad not only requires clarity, it seems to also require you to drive anyone else in the house crazy who’s under the age of 30.

Cause that’s what seems to happen.

Dads are portrayed in television shows and movies as buffoons who are clueless about what goes on around them. To some degree, that’s accurate. Mostly, it isn’t.

To the degree that we don’t speak the current teenage lingo, it’s true.

I was disappointed to learn that things are no longer “hip,” “cool,” or “out of sight.”

“Groovy” is definitely out.

These days, young people refer to a person’s “aesthetic,” in reference to their look. Someone young is now a “CEO” if they excel at something. Today, a person is “drip,” instead of out of sight. A drip is someone stylish or appealing.

Same things, different century.

That’s the thing about language. It’s versatile. Each generation comes up with their own lingo to try and prevent the adults from knowing exactly what they’re saying or what they mean.

It works until some dad like me gets curious and looks it up on the World Wide Web.

Dads are also clueless about the emotions of teenagers. I didn’t understand emotions when I was a teenager, so why would I understand them now?

Moms seem to have a superpower to understand why teens (especially teen girls) make no sense whatsoever.

Mom: “You need to be more sensitive. You have no idea what she’s going through right now.”

Dad: “Well, whatever it is, tell her it’s not cool and she needs to be more hip about it.”

Dads understand teenage boys better because the same approach to communicating has been used by the male of the species for generations.

Dad: “Hey guys, how’s it going?”

Teen Boys: (grunt)

Dad: “I hear ya.”

Kids also think their dad’s music stinks. This is true for the girls and the boys. They make all kinds of faces whenever you put on your favorite radio station in the car.

Teens: “Who is that and why are we listening to it?”

Dad: “Those are the Doobie Brothers, and they are one of the best bands ever. They’re still together.”

Teen: “Can we listen to Justin Bieber?”

Dad: “When I’m dead.”

Now if I’m honest, my dad also didn’t get The Doobie Brothers.

My Dad: “What does Doobie Brother mean?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

Obviously, I wasn’t always honest.

Young people also think dads treat them terribly because they request outlandish things such as cleaning up their room, including not leaving a pile of dirty laundry on the floor until it’s able to move under its own power.

A request to mow the yard and weed eat is the same thing as sentencing them to three years hard labor in a Turkish prison.

And a demand to finish the food on their plates is commensurate with water torture.

Heaven forbid that if they don’t eat it, that you finish the food on their plate. They come fairly close to dying of embarrassment when you do that. Especially if their friends are present.

Dads also take a lot of flak for our jokes

Dad: “Did you hear about the kidnapping at school?”

Teens: “No, what happened?”

Dad: “He woke up.”

Or:

Teen: “What are you watching?”

Dad: “Star Trek. Mr. Spock has three ears.”

Teens: “Really?”

Dad: “Yes, the left ear. The right ear. And the final frontier.”

Teens also learn early on not to pull your finger.

Having an interest in the lives of the kids who live in your house seems to be way out of bounds. Questions about how school is going, has there been any luck in finding a summer job, or have they ever counted all of the tattoos on their friends, is way too intrusive.

Don’t even think about asking about whether they’ve given any careers consideration.

In general, young people seem to find dads to be repugnant and annoying.

That is, until it’s time to go out to eat, pay for an item that’s needed, or they need a shoulder to cry on.

Dads are here for all of that.

All we ask is that when you approach us, be cool. And please, turn off the lights.

Enjoying this column? Do you want to read more like this? Your local community newspaper, needs your support subscribe to The Wylie News today!

By John Moore | thecountrywriter.com

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