Don’t Think Of Me As Your Dad

By: Sam Weiner

Geoff, I love your mother very much. But I don’t want you to think of me as your “dad” — think of me as the adult man who’s going to boss you around like a dad but ultimately cares about you a lot less.

It’s not that I don’t care about you. I do. Your well-being is very important to me, in the same way that the well-being of Zapper is important to me. He’s a great dog, and I’m not going to let him starve to death or anything like that, but like, he’s your dog, right? I’m not super invested in what happens to him.

I’m going to do all the things that a dad can do, you can bet on that. I can help you with your homework — I build a mean baking soda volcano. I can take you to karate practice or throw the ball around with you. But unlike a dad, if you blow off your homework or karate lessons or whatever, I’m not going to get all worked up about it. I’ve got my own stuff to worry about. As you know, things at the baseball card shop are not going great.

This arrangement has a lot of positives for you, too. If you want to change your name, I won’t stand in your way. And I don’t mean change your last name to Creighton, which is my name. But if you want to change your first name to something crazy, like Triggerfist or Butthand or something, I’m not going to stop you. How many other kids can say that, huh? Not many.

And you can watch as many R-rated movies as you want. I honestly don’t care.

It’s not gonna be all fun and games, though. I’m going to start giving you some chores around the house — yard work, emptying the dishwasher — so get ready. If I were your dad, you’d be doing those chores to learn responsibility, and who knows, maybe that will be a side-effect, but I’m giving you chores simply so I don’t have to do that stuff. I hate emptying the dishwasher. Hate it.

So you’ll have some chores, but here’s a plus: if you want to try cigarettes, you can. As long as you don’t steal mine, I say go nuts. I think eight is a little young to start smoking, but maybe you can pull it off.

But just like a dad, I do plan on giving you an allowance for being a good kid, as long as you promise to spend all of it at the baseball card shop. Bring your friends. Baseball cards are simply not popular any more and I’m not planning on bankrolling your DVD collection. I need you to come buy baseball cards.

Now, I understand I’m the man in your life, and when it comes time to learn how to drive a car or make love to a woman, I can teach you those things if you want me to. In fact, I can teach you how to do both of those things at once. That’s probably something a dad is going to shy away from, but not me.

I do want to make one thing clear, though: Just because I don’t care about you, doesn’t mean I won’t become enraged if you disobey me. I will. You’re living in my house now, and though it is physically the same house you were living in with your mom before I moved in and I don’t have legal ownership of it, I consider it mine, in the traditional sense. So you will follow my rules, of which I have only one: Don’t touch the remote anytime that SportsCenter is on, which is pretty much always. It’s important for me to keep up on sports for the baseball card shop, which please, please bring your friends to.

I’m not a grouch, so who knows, maybe one day I will grow to love you like a dad would. Until then, I’ll be like your dad in every way except the one that counts.

Alright, Sport, now me and your mom are gonna get crackin’ at giving you a little baby brother, so that there can finally be someone in the family that we all love.



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