Over the last few years, I seem to have fallen into some familiar TV dad tropes.
1. The urge to build things.
2. Dad jokes.
3. Dad wardrobe.
So, I’m going to break them down:
1. The urge to build Things, is strong.
When I was 22, I got married for the first time, and purchased a house at 23. It was new. Few problems. Nothing major.
It was one of those cookie cutter homes (this is actually the home), where everything in the neighborhood is the same, HOA made sure that your garbage bin was in every tuesday, grass had to be kept low, and no weeds were ever to pop up in the yard.
That was the extent of my Dadness. Adhering to the rules and cutting my lawn.
The marriage, did not work out. I was both married and divorced in my 20’s. Not exactly how I pictured things working out in my life at that point. But, thankfully it did. It took some time, but I finally met a wonderful woman, who eventually became my wife in 2016.
You see, the Dad Gene. That’s the purpose of this post. I didn’t get the Dad Gene in my 20’s. It evaded me. I think about it a lot, maybe it was not my time. It seems to pick a time and place for it to be bestowed on a man. I just had to wait. Be patient. Let it hit me, when it was ready. However, It finally kicked in around 2015.
Your dad has the gene.
My dad has the gene.
Every. Dad. Gets. The. Gene.
Except the deadbeats who aren’t active in their kids life. (Oh I went there).
After my divorce, I became an apartment dweller, so anything that broke, well that was on the landlord. Not me. I wasn’t going to fix something when it was on someone else to do it.
By 2015, I was living in New Hampshire. We were preparing to move back to Arizona, so we could be closer to Jordan until he graduates. The house my now wife owned, well she wanted to hire someone to spruce up the paint and get it together. But, before we went that far, a monster awakened in me.
I don’t remember much, but next thing I know, I’m painting the interior of the house, patching walls, cleaning out the basement, and whistling a jaunty tune all the time. The fire was lit, but was quickly quelled as we moved into a rental in Arizona.
Shortly after she got pregnant, we realized we wanted a house. So our start for a house resumed. We found a ton of fixer uppers, but, we needed a house like right away with minimal projects.
So, we finally found a home, and I love it. It’s a great home.
I mean, just touring it, it felt like home. We put an offer in the same day, and well, we live here at the home above. We’ve made a ton of memories here since we moved in April 2017. This will always be the first place Finn was brought home to. The place where I’ve seen the other 4 children grow in leaps and bounds.
Now, my dadsense starting tingling from the day we moved in. Whomever owned this home before us, decided to go cheap style and paint everything black. Gates/fence/garage/pergula/shutters. Some Goth folk, most likely. Or perhaps, black paint is just super cheap.
It all really started because of the pool. Yes, we have a pool. And with little kids, we needed a fence. We called a guy, and his quote was like 4500.
I was like.
Excuse me…YOU WANT ME TO PAY 4500 fucking dollars? For some metal? Sure it could save my children’s life in the event they wonder into the pool, but 4500 dollars. The material is only 680, so the (does air math) other 3900 is labor.
MAN WE COULD FLY TO ROME FOR THAT AMOUNT.
So, we decided, No. Not happening. I boldly proclaimed to my wife. I can do that.
I didn’t know how to do it, but I said I could do it. The Dadness inside of me was speaking. My brain was saying “no you stupid bitch, you can’t do it.”
My mouth was saying “of course babe, i got this.”
Panic. Fear. All coursed through my veins. Like, if I fucked this gate up, and we had to call someone in to do it, there goes all the other stuff I wanted to do. It took me a few days, a lot of Youtube videos, but I got it. I dug the posts, drilled into concrete, put up panels, nailed it together, Got it.
That set the course for the rest of the house, because we wanted to add a room in the basement. I figured out how to frame it, do drywall, and electrical. So far, I’ve saved us about 15,000 dollars in work.
lately, I’ve really gotten into woodwork. Like, building stuff. Gates, which i’ve replaced all of the gates on our house and added a new one, all at the cost of about 75 dollars for material to hang them. Benches. Shelves. Whatever.
That’s not the problem i face. My dadness has taken on a new thing.
I love tools. Like, I go to Lowes, Home Depot, TruValue, and Harbor Freight, to look at and touch different tools nearly every day. Mentally taking notes at the price. Half of them I don’t even know what they do, but that doesn’t stop me from bending down and whispering:
I want you in…my garage.
This is every day. Sometimes I leave a few minutes earlier in the afternoon so I can stop by a hardware store and wander around. Just yesterday, I went out and purchased a heat gun to strip paint off of a cabinet. But not before touching other tools and telling them I shall have my way with them soon.
2. Dad jokes.
You see I don’t have a problem with this. I’m okay making dad jokes, no matter how lame they are. Like, and I’m not even mad about it, I make a lot of them. I started laughing about a gif yesterday, that said “Whale, hello there,” and it was a whale flopping back into the ocean.
I mean, a dad had to have came up with that.
I’m still laughing about it now, and thinking about shaking the hand of the person who made that gif. I bet it would be a hilarious encounter, full of Dadness.
3. Dad wardrobe
I stay home all day. I have no reason to dress up, so I don’t. I take care of a toddler and four other children, and clean the house, and make meals, and write, and build stuff.
My wardrobe has slipped to slightly upscale weekend warrior basketball player.
You know the guy, you’ve seen him. The dude on the side of the basketball court with the headbands, arm/wrist bands, sleeveless shirt, and basketball shorts.
Am I ashamed. No.
Should I be? Also no.
However, I do NOT have a dadbod. I keeps it tight. Gym every day. That’s the trope I refuse to fall into.
The other, is those Hideous Hawaiian type shirts most dad’s own, I actually said “That one is cool” to one I saw the other day, it had the avengers on it. I immediately and unequivocally hated myself after. I was really mad and disappointed. I thought about jumping in front of a car because:
Those shirt are hideous. They are unattractive. They are the cargo pants of shirts. Yes, I am against cargo pants, too. No wonder most guys stop having sex in their 40’s, its because they embrace those ugly shirts, and women don’t find them attractive on anybody not named Jimmy Buffet. They are like Crocs but for your body, and if you throw the cargo pants in, well that’s a recipe for rejection.
If, and I’m giving you permission, you ever see me in one of those hawaiian shirts, you have my permission to kick me in the face. Hopefully with a spiky shoe. Don’t even think, just wind up and kick me. I won’t sue. It will be deserved.
Yes, I embrace my Dadness. The gene is there. It’s engrained in my body. I’m going to try my hardest to fight off some of the dad temptations that linger. The Hawaiian shirts, the insanely long Untrimmed ear/nose hair combo and the sandal with socks combo.
I just hope the darkness does not overtake me.
Next weeks posts:
Monday: Death Row Meal
Thursday: My oldest Grudge because I’m pe-tty.