Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hate the boyfriend! Hate the boyfriend!

I don't own a shotgun, which apparently marks me as a failure of a father.

The prevailing wisdom is that, as someone with daughters, I should be automatically distrustful of any boy they bring home. When it comes to my girls' suitors (an awesome word that I'm fully aware hasn't been used in any non-ironic sense in more than 100 years), my expected role as "Dad" is to project an air of suspicion and even borderline hatred. Maybe show them my gun collection, casting vague hints of retribution should they try anything with my female offspring.

Confession time: I like my daughters' boyfriends. I really do. They're nice guys, and they seem to treat Elissa and Chloe well. What's not to like?

The one who has been around the longest -- something like 9 months now? -- is Chris. Or, as he's referred to in our house, "Chris Dorazio." We always refer to Chris Dorazio as "Chris Dorazio," first and last name both. I don't know why, it's just something we do.

Anyway, Chris Dorazio is Chloe's significant other. He's Vietnamese-Italian, of course, a combination that could only happen in Wickliffe, Ohio. Chris Dorazio is a great athlete and a smart kid, but more importantly, he's Asian. Chris Dorazio constantly makes fun of himself for being Asian. This endears him to me because I also like to make fun of Chris Dorazio for being Asian. Not that there's anything wrong with being Asian, of course. It's just that, as a white suburbanite, I have a mandate from nature to make fun of anyone who doesn't look like me. Again, it's what we do.

So Chris Dorazio, who comes to church with us every Sunday and then spends the day hanging around the house like the honorary family member he is, will crack a joke about his eyes being slanted, his skin being yellow, or about being uber-smart, and I like him for it.

Elissa's beau (another awesome, seldom-used word from antiquity) is Sean. Sean is just Sean, because his last name is Matanowitsch. "Sean Matanowitsch" doesn't flow nearly as well as "Chris Dorazio," so he's just Sean. Which is fine. Whereas Chris Dorazio's greatest attribute is the fact that he was born in Vietnam, Sean automatically endears himself to me because he plays the saxophone. I play the saxophone, too.

ADVICE TO HIGH SCHOOL BOYS: Find something in common with your girlfriend's father. Trust me on this.

Sean is a nice kid who happens to be two years younger than Elissa. I think this bothers her more than it bothers me. I would be a lot more nervous if Sean were two years older than Elissa.
I should mention that my 13-year-old son, Jared, has a girlfriend, so the roles are reversed there. Her name is Marissa, and though I don't get to see her as often as Chris Dorazio or Sean, I know her mother, Kelly. And Kelly is awesome. I can only assume, then, that Marissa is the same. I know Jared likes her anyway, and since Jared and I tend to look alike, we probably also have the same taste in women.

I know fathers of young girls who are scared to death of that moment when their daughters bring home that first boy. They joke about pulling the young lad aside and telling him what will happen if he crosses the line with their precious little girl. And I get that. But really, fellas, you don't have to be so uptight. If you raise your daughters to be smart, sensible and self-confident, you won't have to worry as much when the dating thing begins.

And between you and me? Try and get them to go out with an Asian guy. The humor potential is unlimited.


  1. You've got it all wrong. Guns are too messy. Choke holds are the way to go: clean, efficient and don't leave any bruises or other incriminating marks. Just Google "Guillotine Choke," "Triangle Choke" or my personal favorite "Rear Naked Choke" (yes, that is an actual name for a choke hold and it hurts like the bejeezus).

    BTW - good to see you writing again.

  2. If the boyfriends drive, fathers are suppose to take the boyfriend out on a test drive to make sure he is capable of driving the daughter anywhere!