Right, we’ve established that I’ve become my parents and that, despite my best efforts to stop it, you will likely become me. Let’s keep with the theme here and talk some more about what you can expect.
Once you get over the initial shock of this basic fundamental Law of the Circle of Life, you’ll start to realize that you can learn a lot about what I’m becoming by studying my parents. And the good news is that I’ve done a lot of that research for you already. Well, me and Dr. Felberg kind of did it together. Don’t ever doubt my dedication as a father.
So this post is about some of the things you’ll be hearing me say and what they actually mean. The first one may not be a surprise, but I’ll try to steer clear of some of the obvious ones like walking to school in my bare feet or having to actually talk with family members because video games hadn’t been invented yet.
Here they are:
Turn that down. This will refer to nearly everything you do: TV, radio, video games, guitar amplifier, even highly spirited poop sessions.
Turn that up. This will refer to all the things of mine that you turn down so I don’t embarrass you in front of your friends: my TV, radio, video games, accordion amplifier, virtually any conversation I have with anyone about you.
I’d love to go to your school band extravaganza. Translation: Jeez, if I have to go to one more of these damn day-long nightmares just to hear you play one 30-second rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” I swear I’ll gouge my ears out with a clarinet.
Which roughly translated means: I’m pretty sure I’ll be sick that day.
Sure I’ll play Mousetrap. Again. Translation: I love you but please shoot me.
We’ll see. Translation: No, but I’m too much of a wuss to come out and say it.
Ask your mom. Translation: The answer will be no, but your mom pissed me off recently and I’m getting her back in the worst way I know how.
When I say no I mean no. Translation: When I say no I mean no except when I’m not sure, or later regret that I said no and need to find a way to back out of what I said, or if your mom disagrees with me.
Well that’s an interesting idea. Translation: That is the stupidest idea since teaching Sarah Palin how to talk, but I’ve read too many positive parenting books to tell you that.
As you get older, you’ll start hearing stuff like:
You’re not going out wearing that, are you? Translation: I know you’re going out wearing that and I’m too wussy to tell you that you can’t, but I want to register the fact that I don’t approve.
Which, roughly translated means: Damn, I wish I had the guts to dress like that when I was a kid.
Have fun tonight. Translation: Please don’t do anything stupid that will result in a phone call by the local authorities shortly after midnight to come pick up my inebriated teenager who was found in his underwear sliding down the hill near the bus station on blocks of ice. (purely hypothetical, of course)
She seems nice. Translation: If I find out you’ve been sleeping with her I’ll be totally jealous that you got laid before you turned 25 but I’m going to act really angry instead because that’s what fathers do.
Having realized after saying “She seems nice” that you take after your dad and therefore won’t have the guts, I’ll say this:
Why don’t you ask her out. Translation: Ask her out you idiot; I’ll never have grandkids if you can’t even ask a girl to a movie.
We’ll support you whatever decision you make. Translation: We’ll support you whatever decision you make as long as it’s the right decision based on the specific criteria set by me and your mother.
No doubt there’s more and I’ll toss them at you when I’m ready. In the mean time, I would greatly appreciate it if you would study this list carefully. After all, clear communication is the key to any strong family relationship. And since that’s pretty much out of the question, you’d do us all a favor to learn to translate what your parents say into what we actually mean.