August 25, 2013 by The Friday Facts
Do you have a daughter? If so – or even if not – you may have come across this trend of teenage girls’ fathers penning threatening lists for would-be beaus. Lists like this one:
There’s a few of them kicking around. In fact, you can even get them on a t-shirt *
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to refer to all of these “10 Rules Something, Something My Daughter, Something” people as a single entity because let’s face it, it’s the same joke, rehashed. Maybe we’ll call this entity ‘Overprotective Ranting Father’ (ORF). The basic gist is “She’s my princess and you’re a teenage punk, so don’t touch her”.
Not an unfamiliar concept.
ORFs are everywhere on social media. Their violent death threats directed at teenage boys are generally get met with choruses of LOLs, LMAOs and even occasionally LMFAOs. Lately, though, the people that these posts have managed to piss off have begun to outnumber the people they’ve made laugh.
Probably for good reason, too. If you scratch even slightly below the surface, the ORF is a pretty fucked up cat. While outdated and cliched humour rank among his more obvious crimes, he’s also invited a certain feminist ire by accusing a hitherto non-existent teenage boy of treating his daughter exactly the same way he treats her – as a possession.
I remember being a teenager just fine. And I remember coming across these guys, and they really pissed me off. They just assumed that all I wanted to do was get into their daughter’s pants and, while I won’t deny that this was most certainly a vital cog in the overall master plan, there was a lot more to it than that.
Awkward and obnoxious as I may have seemed to them, if I was pursuing their daughters, it was because I genuinely liked them. And I may have been a lot of things but I sure as hell wasn’t a threat to anyone. Not only did these ORFs not get this, but they also neglected to consider that their daughters may have been something of a protagonist in this whole situation themselves.
Teenage me could never win. The attitude of most girls’ parents was “touch my princess, I’ll kill you”, while the attitude of my own parents was “we get a call from that girl’s parents because you touched their princess, we’ll kill you”. Either way, chance of death was pretty high.
Don’t get me wrong, teenage life is pretty sucky for girls, too. But at least when you’re a girl you’re someone’s precious jewel. When you’re a boy you’re just something someone dug out of their ear.
So how do I prepare my 1-year-old son for this future misery? How do I explain to him that there are people, authority figures no less, who will hate him just for being him? I guess I can’t, really. But if this guy’s gonna make up a set of rules just to make my son feel shit about himself, I suppose the least I could do is come up with some counter rules to make him feel better. So here goes….
Dear future Sonny
So you’ve met a sweet young girl and her dad’s a fucken douche. Your only crime is to fall for his daughter and for that, he’s penned you a 10-point hate ballad. This must be confusing for you, but you better get used to it because you’ll come across a few people like this over the course of your life. If you’re looking for an explanation please don’t beat up on yourself, just circle back to my “fucken douche” comment from a few lines ago.
The main thing is not to get disheartened. You’ll meet a lot of girls over the years and there will be a lot of dads. Some of them will be cool and some of them will be like this toss-rag. Most of them probably won’t really give a shit either way. But none of them – none of them – reserve the right to treat you like a little punk before they’ve even laid eyes on you. If they do, though, here’s a few little thoughts that you might want to keep right next to the 10 points that this girl’s dad was kind enough to provide you with:
5 OTHER Rules for Dating This Jerk’s Daughter
1. Firstly, if at all possible, don’t Any girl whose dad is this much of a dick is likely to have serious issues. She’ll either be a shell of a human being, browbeaten and timid, or she will have turned to porn. And if you find yourself dating a pornstar then your life must take a very odd turn somewhere along the line. Either that or you will have become a very successful UFC fighter, in which case congratulations! I suppose there is the slight chance that life under ORF will have turned this girl into someone who is totally boss; feisty, resilient, and able to deal with almost any situation life can throw at her, but this seems unlikely.
2. I don’t ever want to meet this guy, or his wife To be honest, even as a kid, I never really got the whole ‘meet the parents’ thing. My attitude was always ‘you’re dating me, not my parents, so why the hell would you want to meet them‘? Now that I’m a parent myself, the same still applies. Parent-meeting occasions are always forced and awkward, and I’ve never known a relationship to improve afterwards. Especially teenaged ones. Toss in the fact that I’ll already know that her dad is a total berk, and my desire for an inter-family love-in will be lessened still. I’ll know that he doesn’t like you and that he’s not happy about you dating his daughter, so I’m fucked if I’m going to sit at a dinner table with him and chat politely about the state of the economy or the safety standards of personal jet packs, which I’m assuming will be in every household by then.
3. Encourage her to use her dad’s credit card I’m still a bit new to this game, but parents give their kids credit cards, right? you know, for emergencies? I’d give you mine, but it’ll be about as much use to as a library card. Old mate, though? Well, anyone as cocksure and alpha as that guy is bound to be loaded to the hilt so seriously, max that card the fuck out.
You may think this girl might express some hesitation when you suggest to her that she should wipe her dad’s bank account clean. And that’s why you don’t say it like that. But there’s not a girl in the world who’ll think it’s a bad idea to get a room at the Four Seasons when she’s standing in the lobby. Nor is there a girl in the world who would think hiring a car and screaming “road trip!” is a bad idea when she’s looking at a map.
Will she get in trouble for it? Sure. And she’ll no doubt blame the whole thing on you. But keep in mind that this girl’s dad wrote you off the moment you turned up on his doorstep with your bowtie stapled to your shirt. So if he’s going to tar and feather you regardless, you may as well have some fun as he chases you out of town. And besides, if the only legacy of this puppy love of yours is that you destroy this guy’s credit rating then I think you’ve left the world a better place.
4. Narc on his ass.
Western society’s been bombing down Highway Nanny State for two decades now, and it shows no signs of cautiously coming to a carefully considered, all-inclusive, non-denominational halt. By the time you’re in your teens it will be illegal to drink, illegal to smoke and illegal to celebrate Christmas. And it will sure as shit be illegal, one might assume, for grown men to make death threats to teenaged kids. Advantage Sonny.
All you need to do is bash your head against solid brick wall (and let’s face it, you’re already a veteran at that) and then head straight to the local cop station, carrying with you the documented evidence that he so kindly provided you of his violent intentions when you first started dating his daughter.
It’s worth noting that this strategy will almost certainly not win you the girl. Getting dad thrown in the clink ranks among bad breath and not paying for dinner as one of Cleo magazine’s top ten biggest turnoffs for most young girls. Still, I go back to the fact that, even if you play by the rules, there’s a pretty strong chance you won’t get her anyway. At least not while this guy’s a free man.
5. Finallly… Tell her to tell him that if he so much as lays a single hand on you I’ll feckin’ glass him. He’s not the only one who can be overly protective of his offspring.