fathers of daughters understand

I don’t know who dreamed this piece up, but as the father of a daughter, I can appreciate this piece, as can virtually any other daughter’s father. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.

A father’s ten simple rules for dating his daughter

Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.

Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.

Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys your age to wear their trousers so loose that they appear to be falling off. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during your date with my daughter, I will use my electric nail gun and hot glue gun to fasten your trousers securely to your waist.

Rule Four: I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house and with her virtue and honor intact. The only words I need from you on this subject are “Sir, yes sir. Early sir, early.”

Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my daughter, you will continue to date no one, no, not even look at anyone else but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, rest assured, I will make you cry.

Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Anywhere the ambient temperature is warm enough for my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her throat. Anyplace not flooded with abundant light. An exception to this last rule is the movie theatre. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme must be avoided; however, movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games and boxing matches are also okay, but old folks homes are best.

Rule Nine: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. However, on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, quick, easy access to ten acres of secluded woods and plenty of time to think of imaginative ways to make you discover the full meaning of suffering before I’m through with you. Do not trifle with me.

Rule Ten: Be afraid. Be very afraid. Fear is good for you, for it takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy outside of Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns and sharpen my K-bar yet once more as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely, early and in complete honor, then return to your car–there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face watching you from the window is mine and the hidden surveillance cameras have your every move on tape.

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