As parents, it’s important to instill good values and morals within your children. As a father to a daughter, it’s especially important to be a positive male influence and hope that one day, when she decides to marry, she chooses the right partner. If I don’t want Ava to date Hannibal Lecter, then I need to be a good role model and lead by example, to show her what a good guy is and how he interacts with women and the world.
The greatest part of this, is that I can choose how high or low I set the bar. I mean, I’m looking to do some good deeds throughout my life. SURE, I’ll take my wife hot-air ballooning on our anniversary or book a surprise wine tasting weekend in Napa Valley. OF COURSE, I’ll make a homemade construction paper card using crayons for her birthday, or plan a romantic picnic on the beach.
But those are landmark plays, you can’t just come out of the gates ‘guns a blazin’ or you’ll have nothing left for the next 60 years together. I plan on milking my list of surprise romantic power moves at least into our 40’s until I need to come up with new ones or pray that at some point, my wife bangs her head and gets amnesia. I’m running a marathon here guys, I’m too old to sprint.
However, now I’ve got a contender. Someone making a run at the big guy. The monkey wrench. The itchy dryer sheet left inside my jeans. The dog shit on my shoe. Enter, MR. WONDERFUL.
Towards the end of last year, we took Ava on a trip to my in-laws in Atlanta. They’ve got a fantastic toy room upstairs, which Ava absolutely loves. She’ll pull a few choice picks and bring them downstairs into the kitchen and play on the floor while everyone sits around drinking sweet tea and saying ‘y’all’ to each other.
As she introduced me to her new boyfriend, my first impression was that he was a good kid. Overall, he seemed fairly debonair, wearing a pressed shirt and wrinkle-free Dockers, big hands and feet (none of my business), a gleaming smile, and he let Ava drag him around wherever she wanted. I shook his fabric hand and expressed how nice it was to meet him. Maybe I could get to like this guy.
But then Ava started squeezing his limbs, causing him to speak up.
As my wife and her sisters gathered around, he said things like…
“You’ve been on my mind all day. That’s why I bought you these flowers.”
INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: Okay, okay. Not horrible. I can deal with it.
Then he moved onto …
“You take the remote, as long as I’m with you, I don’t care what we watch.”
INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: WAIT. WHAT? There’s no way I’m watching another episode of ‘Four Weddings’ on TLC or the ‘Cupcake Wars’ on FOOD, we’re gonna watch some real shit, like doubleheader baseball and Bobby Flay. Throwdown!
And then I heard…
“Why don’t we go to the mall, didn’t you want to buy some shoes?”
INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: Are you for real? You sound ridiculous bro. What, are you gonna go to the shoe store at the mall and sit in the ‘husbands only’ chair, smack dab in the middle of the store while she tries on different colored Tory Burch flats?
And it wasn’t over yet…the girls stood around in the kitchen waiting with bated breath, for his next panty-dropper…
“Aww, are you sure your mother can’t stay with us another week?”
INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: He went there. He definitely said it. This guy is bananas.
Then Ava squeezed Mr. Wonderful’s hand for the final deathblow to married dudes everywhere…
“You know, I think it’s really important that we talk about our relationship.”
INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: The nail in the coffin. GUYS DON’T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT, MAN.
Ring the bell. Stop the ride, I’m feeling ill, I need to get off at the next stop.
Of course, my wife and her sisters swooned around the doll, feeling his muscles and running their fingers over his stitching. They started to say things to me like ‘This is how guys should be’, and ‘Why don’t you take a page out of his book’?
As my daughter paraded the doll around the kitchen, I knew that from here on out, all of mankind was royally screwed. A doll beat us. Forget about all the good things you’re capable of. None of it means anything because this thing set the bar way to high. Thanks toy company executive, great idea. Way to f*ck us.