Meet the Parents…No, The Other Ones…

 

Katie and I met Abby’s boyfriend this weekend. Even I find that sentence unbelievable. More in the sense that she’s growing up so fast and less that she would ever have a boyfriend. FACT: My daughter is stunning, and I never doubted this day would come.

 

So with Abby having an official boyfriend, it was time for meet and greet. Cameron “Cam” already met Abby’s mom last week and now it was our turn. I can’t recall meeting divorced parents of anyone I ever dated, so I kind of felt for Cam. I’m sure having to run the parent gauntlet twice is grueling! 

 

For a few days leading up to the meeting, I imagined what Cam was going to be like. I wondered what would be the first thing he’d say as he walked through my door. I know the image of a rebel in a black leather jacket is a very dated notion, but that’s what he was wearing in the scenario I created. I had a delusional picture in my mind of me giving him some generic “protective father speech and cautioning him to be good. It didn’t go like that…at all. 

 

It was nothing like you’d see on some poorly written sitcom on TGIF and it wasn’t Meet the Parents. He wasn’t rude or offensive. There was no overbearing father speech. It was surprisingly tame. Cam walked into the house, introduced himself, shook my hand firmly and made eye contact. The kid must have done the research and read the playbook on what to do when meeting a girl’s father. He didn’t say much else. He was calm that whole time he was over. They say the loudest guy in a meeting typically knows the least; I could tell he was not that type of person. Unrelated, I’m almost always the loudest guy in meetings.

 

Katie and I spent most of the evening in the kitchen, about 20 feet away from the couch where Cam and Abby were loungingKatie was working on her computer while I tried my damnedest not to stare at the kid with his arm around my daughter. It felt so strange to like someone and not at the same time. I wanted to like him because Abby likes him. I wanted to kill him because Abby likes him. I wanted to grab his arm, break it and tell him to keep his hands to himself. But I also wanted to make sure he wasn’t uncomfortable…maybe a little uneasy though. Ultimately, I had to behave. 

 

I kept telling myself, “I want Abby to be happy. This thing she found in the wild makes her happy. So, if she’s happy, I’m happy…But if I choke him, I’ll be happy. I shouldn’t choke him. I could. But I won’t.” I THINK this is the closest I’ll ever get to being in the right frame of mind in this particular situation. And if you know me, you know kudos are in order!

 

As the evening went on, he became a little more relaxed. He talked about his dog and even shared his theory that SpongeBob SquarePants is actually a tampon (and proceeded to explain how this theory works)I laughed. Later in the week I Googled this theory to see if it was an original. Sadly, it was not. But originality is a rare commodity these days, so I didn’t fault the boy. I gave him partial credit for trying to talk to me. Plus, I got a pretty good chuckle out of it. 

 

I want to say I played it cool…more or less. But a father can never be 100% cool when meeting his daughter’s boyfriend. That would be impossible. In the end I ask myself a simple question: Is Cam okay in my book? Sure. Are we going fishing next weekend? Fuck no. This kid’s trying to get his grubby paws on my daughter. I don’t even like it when people grab a fry from my plate and I NEVER lend my movies…now you’re trying to date my daughter?! I got my eye on you, bubba. I mean, for the love of ham and swiss, I JUST finished writing an article last month about when I taught her to ride a bike! Now this kid is going to just stroll in and commandeer 90% of her free time? But that’s how the story goes…and keeps going. It’s supposed to change and evolve. Frankly, half the shit Abby says is aimless and tends to go on longer than it should. At least Cam, the new sound wall, is taking over in that department too…sucker.

 

Speaking of the ever evolving and things I’m proud ofThe Moron Editorial turns 10 years old this month. I know I’ve told the story countless times before, so I’m going for one of those Netflix style hyper-recaps before I finish today’s article. The Moron Editorial started in text form and then evolved into emailblasts as I needed more than the 160 characters my phone allotted me. Yes, it was that long ago! But a few technologically geriatric (and tragically daft) fools hit “reply all” requesting to be removed, in turn encouraging MORE FOOLS to make the same requestonly exacerbating the thread.  So, in October of 2008, I created The Moron Editorial – my own website where people could read my (at the time daily) posts.

 

I’ve always been a laugh whore. They say the saddest people are champions of comedy. I can see that. When I first started this project, it was during one of the hardest times in my life. In fact, it has given me the confidence to pursue other projects. Because of THIS project, I have published a book. I placed 2nd in the Maryland Film Festival screenwriter’s competition in 2017 and was a second-round finalist in this year’s Austin Film Festival’s pilot script competition. I’m currently working on a new script for next year’s film competition and HOPE to publish my next book. 

 

I look back at both Abby and my writing after 10 years, and I couldn’t be more impressed with or prouder of both. Luckily, my work isn’t dating.

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