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I’ve written before about how easy it is to be a wonderful dad. To be a wonderful dad, all you have to do is just be there. I’m great at just being there. My kids love me. I’m also a great husband. I buy my wife Ben & Jerry’s when she’s had a long day. I give her hugs and I grope her incessantly whenever we walk by each other, whether she wants me to or not, because I care. I’m also very funny and I write blogs really, really, really good. My wife, on the other hand, has a hard go of it. God knows that she means well. The other night she made a pitcher of Kool-Aid for the kids. I had a glass. It wasn’t great, maybe a little watery. It was just bland. Point is, I make better Kool-Aid than her. I do a lot of things better than her and I’m going to give you a taste, and like Kool-Aid, it’s going to be sweet and refreshing and…grape-y? I guess…
I Dismiss Our Kid’s Feelings Better
The same night my wife made her bland Kool-Aid, my daughter spilled her glass right on the living room rug. She was goofing around with our dog, trying to throw a blanket over it or something. They both fell against the coffee table and knocked the glass over. Purple everywhere. I constructively asked what the heck was wrong with her and explained to her that she was single-handedly ruining all the nice things we own. She didn’t take my observation in the spirit it was offered and began to cry that nobody loved her. My wife gave her a big hug and told her that we all loved her and that everybody makes mistakes, to keep the dog away from the table, and help clean up the mess. Well, our daughter stopped crying but she also stopped feeling bad about herself. I mean, how are you going to get anywhere in life without the crushing guilt your parents put on you? Good one, wife.
I Ignore Our Finances Better
Let’s take a drive down Honesty Street. I’m not where I want to be at this point in my life. At this point I thought I would be writing professionally and supplementing my income through, maybe, substitute teaching. Nothing lavish, just a modest lifestyle providing for my family through what I love and believe I am kind of good at. However, thanks to a terrible economy and the ineptness of our last two Presidents, I have a lackluster job with no benefits, I have no prospects in publishing a book, and the slightest hiccup in our carefully balanced spending could spiral us into pre-WWII Germany levels of financial despair. With that explained, it’s no wonder that I have zero interest in looking at our bank account or paying bills or any responsibilities that a grown-up should have. I ignore all of that and it’s awesome. All I have to do after a hard day at work is play Call Of Duty for a couple hours, dismiss our kid’s feelings, and pretend I have enough gas in the truck to get to work the next day. America! Am I right? On the other hand, my wife feels like we should keep the lights on and water running, so she spends a couple of hours a week paying bills. She deals with the mortgage. She even puts money aside so the kids can get new school uniforms because the little ingrates can’t stop growing for one measly semester. How hard is it to not go up a shoe size? I don’t go up a shoe size all the time. That’s what I do all day, not go up shoe sizes! It’s not hard. She takes on all these burdens and all I can do is pity her.
I Don’t Make The World A Better Place Better
Disclaimer: I want everyone to have a healthy and fruitful life filled with chubby babies and an outstanding second season of Stranger Things. I wish the world were a happier, better place, but I have very little sympathy for people and their poor life-choices. I don’t believe in mooching and I don’t believe in being a burden on society. I’m pretty sure my wife believes in those same things, but she also believes in being a good person, and that’s where our paths differ. On Saturdays my wife takes our kids and volunteers at an inner city soup kitchen. She preps the meals, my son refills tea and lemonade, and my daughter keeps the napkins flowing. At least, I think so. I’m not there. Now, I could lean on the excuse that I work every Saturday, but you and I know by now that I wouldn’t be helping even if I were off work. I just don’t really care. I know that sounds mean and I’m sorry (not sorry). As a bonus, my wife also sponsors orphans in Mississippi. I didn’t even know Mississippi had orphans but somehow my wife found them and is trying to enrich their lives. However, to my credit, I do listen to NPR.
Sometimes I feel like my wife is pulling herself in every direction at once. I don’t know if it’s worth the trouble. Sure, she’s doing her Christian duties on Earth, but that new season of Luke Cage isn’t going to watch itself. All the stress is going to put her in an early grave, and you just know she’ll have hundreds of people at her wake that I’ll have to feed and clean up after. Meanwhile, I’m being considerate for my family. I’m not impacting the world in any meaningful way; when I die I imagine maybe four or five people might stop by, if it’s on a weekend. My kids can just order a pizza and Swiffer the house. In the meantime, maybe I can ease her load and I think I’ll start with the Kool-Aid. No, I’m no hero. I’m just a wonderful dad making Kool-Aid…and a difference.