With Father’s Day coming up, and Leo’s recent “Dadbod” phenomena- its got me thinking not about why “Mombod” hasn’t gained equal reverence- but instead, I wonder about “dad” and what their wants and needs are. Mommy is busy. Mommy is always fucking busy being a mom and dying for “me time”. But isn’t Daddy busy too?
Our society is not short of understanding or knowing what “mom wants” are. Advertisers and marketers have that shit on lock down. They know how to emotionally, psychologically and blatantly appeal to moms- for obvious reasons. To all the fellow moms out there- let me remind you that we have the power. The power of the p**sy and the power of the purchase.
Moms are not just the shoppers of the house, but we love to shop for ourselves. We shop for material goods and mental breaks. We love spa days with the girls, massages from Ben at the Standard, Diptyque scented candles, Byredo perfumes, mortgage payment Valextra handbags and Gianvito Rossi shoes that look pretty on our feet and in our stupidly full California Closets. We are in touch with our emotions and we love to talk about how we feel. To us, “expressing feelings” is therapeutic and healthy- and “me time” and any form of escape from our everyday mom realities- is abso-fucking-lutely essential. Over tired, over worked moms are angry, pissed-off moms. And well, happy wife- happy life. Ha.
Without repeating the annoying cliche that, “men are taught to be tough and strong and to not talk about their emotions” bullshit- I will say instead that men are basic. They don’t pick up on anything emotional and they hate to see women cry. And I realize why. It’s because most men are inherently narcissistic. They unknowingly curate their lives to avoid shit they can’t handle. Men just want to BE. They sweep shit under the rug, scratch their balls, have a beer and move on. And I totally dig that. Aside from the hairy ball scratching part of course.
But what do dads really do to escape from their realities? I began to look at the mom/dad dynamics here in our home sweet home. And I started to feel a little guilty. But then I stopped!
The boys are obsessed with Mike. People ask if I feel neglected- and I laugh. I grew those beings inside of my fucking body! They will always be loyal to their mother mushroom and I get my share of love in other ways- and I’m totally comfortable with that. But they really are constantly crawling all over him. Pulling him in ten directions. Demanding a battle in Pokemon. Building
shanty towns forts to sleep in. Recreating Falling Water with Lego. Throwing them into the ocean so they can catch the perfect waves. Making them food. Taking them camping….Mike really is the definition of a Super Dad. Truly. No one can hold a candle to what he does and yes, I very much acknowledge and show my appreciation for that.
Yet- he doesn’t demand ‘spa days’ or ‘me days’ or ‘naps’. He doesn’t demand bi-weekly mani-pedi’s or days off. So, should I be offering him expensive man bags? Will a spa day with the other dads fulfill his need for some time off? I don’t think so. I have instead, recognized three things I believe are his “dad needs”:
Lunch Time. He won’t answer my call during lunch hour. Lunch hour and what he’s going to eat for lunch is his golden moment every day. It actually amazes me how seriously men in general take “lunch time”. Me on the other hand, I’m happy to scarf down half a cucumber and four cherry tomatoes or reheat two day old stir fry. But not Mike- he needs a carved out lunch experience or else he becomes a total bitch.
Toys. Men love their toys. Cars, bikes, camp gear, boats, gas grilles, lawn mowers and fish tanks. Mike spends hours in the boys’ room staring at the fish tank. He spends afternoons cleaning his boat. He reads K5 Blazer forums and knows every fellow
jalopy vintage truck owner in South Beach. He tries to talk to me about trucks and tropical fish and I want to run. He spent this past Friday night on the beach with his man friends- talking about motorcycles and bike road trips. BORING. Can we talk about Chloe’s Summer 2015 renditions of their Marcie and Drew bags- instead?!
Plants. (Obviously- I married a Horticulturalist!) On any typical after-work weekday- the boys can be screaming fighting over Pokemon cards, as I juggle making dinner and a late conference call about stupid construction details that are beyond my control, with two dogs about to shit all over the floor because they haven’t been walked for 9 hours- Mike will selfishly be outside, in zen mode, with his clippers, wrestling the garden hose- randomly pruning plants and watering them like Martha damn Stewart. I wil give him that, “what the fuck?” face but he will continue along his merry way totally ignoring the atomic bomb going off inside of our home. Good times.
So now in our twelfth year together, I truly do realize that rather than tease him for taking lunch too seriously or rolling my eyes when he shows me his dream boat on Boat Trader or Boat Angel, that I need to embrace and accept that these are his needs and forms of therapy and to respect them (and also be glad that they cost less than my needs are.) So though dads may not hide in the closet or demand “me time”- they actually are- just in completely different ways. So i’ll shut up now and let him be busy too. Maybe he’ll start blogging. LOL.