Posts Tagged ‘parents’

I shared an inexplicable evening with my daughters tonight. Sure, I won a round of Twister (don’t ask how), laughed at dinner with all three of my daughters, and once again fell in love with my wife. Here in our humble little abode is an energy; the love of life and all of its pitfalls and travails sweep through our lives. I felt like a good husband, a good father, and a good man.

I have two daughters and a stepdaughter. All three of these perfect little creations are also monstrous pains in the ass. They get it honestly as I am a monstrous pain in the ass myself. Regardless, I enjoyed one of those moments where fatherhood tested my mettle and I came out a different man.

My oldest daughter is a sensitive soul. Her eyes are two giant bay windows, curtains wide open, and the life inside her mind is flushed through those two orbs. I can read her eyes, her body language, and the absence of energy that flows through her like sunlight making its way through lace curtains. Her little heart sits dangerously low on her sleeve, a reminder of the little man that I came to be early in life. I often want to tuck her emotions back up her sleeve. Parents should want more for their children and I know the hardships that heart-on-the-sleeve wearers must endure.

Fresh off of their mothers recent engagement, my youngest feigned excitement and spoke on her “happiness.” For weeks, my little girl navigated this world with a weight on her shoulders, bearing her own fear for the sake of maintaining her mother’s joy. I could not speak, I could not offer solace; I could merely watch as she realized her tears were appreciated and her heart would never be safer.

Strewn across my bed like a couple of girlfriends trading secrets, I asked about her. I inquired about things that were not intended to pry. Rather, my questions were to open up the lines of communication that we quickly lose once they reach their teenage years. As I listened to my daughter cry, revealing her biggest fears and silly concerns, I heard John Mayer singing in the back of my mind.

We cannot allow our children to grow up without first realizing that we are the lock-boxes of secrets, the handlers of dreams, proprietors of potential, and the first man our daughters will love without question. As fathers seek ways to be there for their daughters, remember that you are as much a reflection of parenthood as you are the setter of examples of exactly what our little girls deserve. “Fathers be good to your daughters.”

One day, the little hand that barely wraps around your finger will one day grab your hand as you cross the street. Before you know it, picking them up becomes as much of a workout as it is a sign of affection. Then, you hear your little girl talking about boys and before we can wrap our minds around the thought of our little girls growing up, they look us right in the eye and a timeline of life flashes before our eyes.

Be good to your daughters. Remind them that for as much as they may question themselves each day, Daddy will always know best. And what exactly does Daddy know? Daddy knows that his little girl will be just fine when they are all grown up because we loved our little girls the best way that we could.

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Perhaps I’m an old fuddy duddy!  Maybe when I reached my 30’s, not only should I’ve expected a 1-3% annual decrease in testosterone, I should have expected a decrease in my ability to tolerate counter-culture.  I spent four hours at Occupy Philly and realized that the disorganized rantings and drivel of hipsters would quickly become too much to bear.  When I did a show last spring and the room filled with hipsters, I should have known my brand of comedy would be too much for the audience.

Too much you ask?  Of course it is too much.  The typical hipster is a well subsidized (thanks Mom and Dad), skinny jean sporting, thick framed glasses wearing, unkempt hairdo having, new aged Beatnik.  Of course, the moment Jack Kerouac erupts from this movement, I will take back everything I ever said about Hipsters.  Until then, I will continue to detest anyone that proudly proclaims, “I am  a hipster.”

The term alone denotes a level of douchebaggery unseen for quite some time.  When I was twelve, I sported electric blue pants and “No Fear” hooded flannel shirts because it reflected my hip hop interests.  Did I look like an absolute tool bag running around in a pair of pants that made me look like a fruity superhero with a burgeoning waist line?  Of course it did.  However, I had an excuse.  I WAS TWELVE.  If you are in your twenties and thirties and embrace a term that essentially makes you sound phony, then the chances are you are as real as monsters under the bed or an honest politician.

But, Chris, they are unique and far from mainstream.  NAY, I say.  When you take on the characteristics of anything and people look at you and say, “Oh, there goes a hipster,” then your attempt at being progressive quickly starts heading in the other direction.  How does a dive corner bar with a half functioning cooler that serves just barely cold beer, not call itself a Hipster bar when its denizens are stuffed into jeans that scream for an inch more of denim and their shirts are all killer finds found stuffed in the bottom of the dollar t-shirt bin at the local thrift store?  If the only way to see clearly includes the need for glasses; how does an individual not notice that everyone is rocking the same pair of Roy Orbison glasses?  The clothing style is actually the least of what drives me insane about hipsters.  (Perhaps I’m just jealous that skinny jeans make it to my calves and refuse to go up any more?)

The thing that drives me the most insane is actually the attitude.  Yes, the attitude.  When trying to engage the hipster, the attitude quickly changes and the ne’er do well, unaffected attitude becomes rather affected.  The scruffy beard that is reminiscent of Zac Galifinakis and every homeless person I ever encountered, hides the lips but sadly not the words.  The conversations are about how different they all are.  Quickly scanning the room, it looks like a casting session and everyone is going out for the same part; douche!

I am all for individual style.  I embrace the idea of young kids exploring their identities through fashion, music, literature, and art.  I think college kids should dress and act any damned way they want because the moment they graduate, assuming they went to college to utilize a degree, the world changes.  I have tattoos up and down my arms, chest, and back.  I love the idea of wearing earrings that are classy, yet bad ass.  I think PBR is great when it is 100 degrees outside and a cold PBR absolutely will hit the spot.  I thoroughly enjoy Talib Kweli and appreciate a multitude of music, musicians, and the ever changing genres of music.  However, I am not unaffected and I happen to think structure is what keeps this nutty world of ours from completely bursting at the seams.

The show I did where the room filled with hipsters, I knew from jump street that I had met my match.  When they announced my name, they clapped but only with one hand.  When I introduced myself, they looked scornfully at me (I wore a pair of jeans with a shirt and tie).  I came onto stage with the sounds of Jay-Z in the background and before I could get into a joke, a bullish looking individual with its arm around a moderately attractive, fellow hipster, yelled out, “We’re lesbians…just letting you know so it doesn’t throw you off.”  I looked down at the hipster version of Pat (remember Saturday Nigh Live) and thanked her for clarifying because I just assumed it was a regular old couple sitting there.  At no point while looking at “shim” did I think, somewhere under that cluster “F” of an outfit are breasts and a vagina.

The audience did not appreciate my attempt to highlight the androgyny in the audience.  Instead, they started talking to one another.  I laughed, looked out into the crowd and said, “You suck, your clothes are horrible, your music is trite, your knowledge of beer is borderline retarded, and patchouli is for hippies!”  I walked off stage, collected my pay for the night, and I left faster than I have ever left a show.  I was not afraid that a band of misfit hipsters would soon surround me, reminiscent of “West Side Story.”  In fact, they just sat there.  I got a “whatever” from one of them, but I could not make it out clearly because I needed to get home to bathe.

Perhaps my words are harsh and my own terseness will get in the way, one day, of having a very close “hipster” friend that I can talk about….or we could….but then there’s always….

Okay, I get it.  I’m not for “hipsters” and they are not for me.  However, do not say you are part of some progressive movement that does not care what others think.  Revolutions and movements are done through the sharing of information and connecting intelligent, articulate discourse.  Shitty flannel shirts and t-shirts that are as smug as they are witty is not the prerequisite to belonging.  If it were, social misfits in middle and high schools would never have to worry that they don’t have the same clothes as the popular kids.  If you’re not picking up what I’m putting down, “hipster” needs to graduate to adulthood!