Photo by Brian Giandelone
To celebrate Father's day, I decided to give my dad the gift of well-earned relief. What better way than to take away the weekly stress of writing his column? Am I a great son, or what? (Note to Dad: That was a rhetorical question)
The only thing better would be to offer some advice. So to all the dads, pops, stepfathers and male role models, just sit back and learn what not to say to your teenage sons.
One: Never call your wife "hot" in front of your son. My dad has a hard time with this one. It's OK if he says it to my mom, just not if I'm in the vicinity.
A few years ago I wouldn't have had a problem with this. I probably would have agreed and complimented my mom, too. However, thanks to the fine Gwinnett County Public Schools, I have since read "Oedipus Rex," and I wish not to dwell on my mom's hotness.
Two: Never call teenage girls "cute." Admit it, dads, you've all pointed out attractive girls to your son. I understand that you're trying to get them to like girls you wouldn't mind having as a daughter-in-law, but come on. They're not going to marry some chick based solely on your recommendation. In fact, the girl they'll end up marrying will probably be a complete stranger to you.
Besides, your son does not need you to point out pretty girls. Most guys figure that out in about fourth grade. Dads, we know your intentions are good but seriously, we do not want to hear about your taste in teenage girls. That's just creepy.
Three: Never admit that you were texting, Facebook-ing or tweeting. Sometimes you have to be a man and face the truth: Your son will always think you're just old, and no iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or Droid will change that.
It always stuns me when my dad announces that he was texting someone, especially if it's about something he was writing on his old manual typewriter. Now that I think about it, I didn't even know his Jurassic Period cell phone had texting capability.
Four: Never tell your son the same lame old jokes your father told you. This point may reflect a personal bias, but I'm pretty sure followers of his column would agree when I say that my dad tells the cheesiest jokes ever.
Incidentally, to earn that distinction, he had to surpass the long-time champion in the cheesy-joke department, my grandfather, which he finally did last night with his talking dog joke. You'll have to get him to tell it to you. No, don't.
So dads, remember, every time your son hears one of your "jokes," he'll probably give you an I-hope-I-take-after-Mom look. Then again, that look may be already be permanently etched on his face.
Sorry, Dad. I love you, but seriously. A talking dog?
Michael Jenkins is a junior at Mountain View High School who takes after his dad more than he knows. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.