My son is only four, but with the speed at which children grow up these days, it won't be long before he starts going on dates. So I thought I'd write a little something to anyone who is considering going to the drive-in and the ice cream stand -- or maybe the roller rink and soda shop? I'm out of touch -- with my son.
He's a friendly, good-looking kid, so I don't blame you for being interested. Just be careful.
If you want to date my son, it's your funeral.
Dear Son's Potential Future Date,
First things first, my name is Dad and Buried, and I'm your potential future date's father. Second things second, I love my son, even though he's currently screaming bloody murder because I didn't slice his pizza correctly, and if you ever do anything to make him scream like he's screaming right now I'll murder you so hard your goddamn tombstone will explode! The "Buried" in my name ain't for show!
Whoa! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. What a ridiculous thing to say! "The 'Buried' in my name ain't for show"? What is this, Road House? Look, we both know what I was implying, and I apologize. That was just stupid.
Why would I threaten someone who just wants to get to know my son better and maybe -- just maybe -- could end up being a member of my family? That's cray-cray, and not a good way to start a relationship! Yes, I obviously have my son's best interests at heart and don't want him to get hurt or to be taken advantage of, but that doesn't mean I should be aggressively warning people -- children, no less! -- that I will harm them if they mistreat him. Again, I apologize. This is civilized society, not whatever planet the Klingons are from!
Seriously, my kid is a really nice person, and if I do my job correctly, he'll remain one. So I don't think I really need to give someone else's kid "rules for dating my son." Hopefully your parents have already taught you some rules of their own. I know I'll have taught my son the important stuff, so that by the time you start making googly eyes at him, he'll be respectful and kind and honest, but also loyal and brave and tolerant and accepting. He'll be the type of person who will stand up for himself, and who will stand up for others, if need be. In which case he'll barely need me to provide such ground rules to anyone who wishes to share intimate moments with him. And he definitely won't need my store of weapons. Of which there are many, in case you want to try any funny business! I WILL BURN YOUR HOUSE TO THE GROUND, MOTHERF*@#ER!
There I go again! What has gotten into me? I clearly will not have raised my son well if he needs an arsenal to defend him against a teenager with a crush. And if I need to use violence to make my point? I am probably a pretty weak person myself. I may even be insane, because threatening children with lethal weapons is not something a sane person does. (But I assure you, I am neither weak nor insane and I'll prove the former with my fists if you make one wrong move! Although that will disprove the latter. Shit.) Just forget the violence stuff. Seriously. Don't give it another thought, and let's get back to some honest, open communication. It's the foundation of any good relationship, and totally bullet-free. Much more my style.
No, I'm not going to threaten you physically or verbally or even with sign language. In fact, I don't even know sign language, so if I accidentally throw up a "WESTSIDE" or something having to do with the Crips, trust me, it's purely by accident. But maybe I should ask you why you know those things? Whatever. The Internet, right? What a world.
Anyway, don't mess with my son. But if you do, don't worry, I'm not a lunatic. I'm the adult here, and I have decades of life experience that have taught me, among many other things, that making threats of violence to teenagers is a not a reasonable thing to do. And if doing so is a parent's go-to strategy, that parent is decidedly more dangerous than the teenager.
So despite what I said before, you can relax. I don't even have a watergun, let alone an arsenal of weapons with which to frighten youngsters, because that's just f*@#ing nutso. Just be a decent human being and we should be good. If anything goes wrong, I'll probably just want to talk to you, and maybe your parents. Sound good? Great.
Have fun! And have him home by 11.
Dad and Buried
For more from Mike Julianelle, visit Dad and Buried.