Why Is ‘Dad’ Synonymous With ‘Lame’?
Every day, fathers across the country squeeze their unsightly, misshapen dad bods into their hopelessly ill-fitting dad jeans, crank up the dad rock and prepare to grunt out some truly horrific dad jokes.
Sound disgusting? That's because it is.
In this context, Dad equals lame. Bad. Not cool.
And I’ve had it.
I’m a dad. That’s right, I said it. And guess what? I don’t think of myself as lame. I think of myself as… well… something else. Definitely not lame.
First of all, I absolutely do NOT tell dad jokes.
They’re bad jokes! Why would I put anyone through that? The jokes I tell in the home are airtight bits of boundary-pushing comedy that are well-rehearsed and tweaked to achieve maximum effect.
And I don’t dumb it down for the kids. If they don’t get it, that’s their problem.
I resent the fact that these kinds of jokes are associated with fathers. As if we all have the worst sense of humour. What about mothers? What kind of senses of humour do they have?
I know a lot of people love dad jokes. The Internet has 65 million of them. But a lot of people love mayonnaise too -- and look at what society’s done with them.
I may or may not have a dad bod. I’m not sure. I’ll leave that for the courts to decide. But I’m not just letting the dad bod happen to me. I’m trying to stay in shape. Sure, it’s harder now that I’m approximately 342 years old and I can't spend two hours at the gym every day. And I can’t pull off the kind of Spartan diet that it takes to get ripped either.
Body acceptance is wonderful and I encourage everyone to practice it.
But having a dad bod translates to “not so good bod' -- I don’t care how many women surveyed claim to find it attractive.
As for dad jeans, they’re just jeans that look bad. Yes, they can be on trend and they look good on celebrities and models, who are people that look good in anything.
I don't know if I wear dad jeans. My pants are a little loose, okay? Especially in the leg and the seat. Why? Because I hate tight pants! They’re uncomfortable. Who decided that we had to wear tight pants all the time?
Dad rock? No thanks. Dad rock is music that’s easy and uncool. Uncomplicated classic rock that takes no effort. Mild. Well, I hate to shift the paradigm but my musical taste is eclectic and exquisite and correct. Sure, there's some classic rock in there. But what kind of animal would listen to Steely Dan or whatever all the time? That would be crazy.
The point of all this protestation is that I am a dad -- but I’m putting some effort into myself and life in general. I haven't given up and I don't have a goatee.
So when did dads become so lame? Was it the 50s and all those sitcoms filled with nice, bland dads that were maybe good looking but definitely not threatening? Did they give us this expectation that dads can’t be cool?
For the sake of clarity, I should point out that I am not endorsing the “cool dad” -- the guy that buys a silly sports car and drinks cheap beer with his teenager in the basement. And this isn't some dads' rights screed.
No. This is about me. I resent the fact that because I’m a dad, I’m automatically associated with all this lameness.
It's the kind of lameness that's on full display in Peppa Pig, the popular children’s show. Peppa Pig’s dad is... well, he’s a loser. He does dumb stuff and everyone laughs at him.
And it cracks my kids up.
"What is this show teaching us?!" I'll howl. "Dads aren't this lame! Stop laughing!"
Indeed, it is time to stop the laughing. Stop the lameness.
If we need a stereotype (and who doesn't?), let's come up with something that doesn't sell dads out as goofy buffoons.
The Adequate Dad Who’s Just Doing His Best While Trying To Hold On To Some Dignity.
It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s a start.
It has to be.