Dads, Daughters, Dumb Kids

I had a few beers yesterday with my homie J. He was recounting finally meeting his lady-friend's folks, out to visit from the east coast. We were laughing about it, because meeting your SO's parents is never easy, and there is that particularly troublesome connection between father of daughter and boyfriend of daughter; it is a vexed diagonal line in the graph of people and their relationships. It sounds like J did a fine job, holding his own in polite conversation and taking them all out to eat in style.

But it got me to thinking. As anyone who teaches college kids knows, 19 year-old boys are idiots. I can only imagine they're even dumber when they're younger. Imagine yourself a dad to an adolescent or late adolescent girl, who brings home Random Dumb Kid to meet you, because he is her boyfriend. Now, what I realized is that even the best-adjusted, least-protective, most reasonable father in the world faces a quandary in this situation, because this kid is of course, incredibly naive and full of himself. The point is not some archaic desire to protect your daughter's "honor," it's just that there's this little shit in your living room and you're supposed to be nice to him! How irritating must that be?!

In retrospect, the dads of the girls I knew back in the day were all the very picture of restraint and courtesy for not hitting me with a shovel.*

* In this scenario, I imagine them sharing the same shovel with which to hit me.


koldito said...

"As anyone who teaches college kids knows, 19 year-old boys are idiots"

As both a college lecturer and a former 19 year-old boy, I agree.

Austin Rich said...

Let's not have a gender bias here; clearly, some of the idiocy falls on the part of the girl who, willingly, choose to date an idiot 19 year-old boy, and more to the point, thought this idiot would be acceptable to bring home to meet her parents.

I'm just sayin': not the brightest bulb in the pack.

kungfuramone said...

Good point: anyone younger than me by more than a few years, of either gender, is by definition in the dark about most things.

(Though for my money, the average nineteen-year old girl still has the edge by a mental nose over her male equivalent.)

Chrissy said...

My dad is the reason I never had any boyfriends in high school. At 6'4" and about 250 with a very intimidating demenor, no one even wanted to try.
Lucky for (me and) all the Portland boys, my dad is safely 1000 miles away in Vegas. Otherwise I'd probably still be a virgin.