The Crazy Dad Routine is an example of what makes AskMe yet. December 3, 2010 9:12 AM   Subscribe

The Crazy Dad Routine is an example of what makes AskMe great.

Was the question answered? Yes. Was there a light dusting of moderation required? Sure. Were even better alternatives, ideas and poignant anecdotes provided? Yes, yes and yes.

My buddies and I used to joke about meeting our girlfriend's fathers, and what we'd do with our own daughters. I even contributed (I think) funny, snarky answers to this thread.

But this AskMe was full of the good kind of opinions that made me question my own perspective on father-children relationships. I think I walked away from this thread as (hopefully) a slightly better Cool Papa.

Kudos to all involved.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Etiquette/Policy at 9:12 AM (151 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

I almost MeMailed you to say how much I liked the watch story you posted there. Unlike most of the other suggestions, that watch story had more to do with expressing care for the daughter and mature expectations for the suitor, as opposed to threats of violence and implications that the father has ownership and control over the daughter.
posted by meese at 9:24 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is one of my favorite jokes, but I stole the phrasing off a random website I found by Googling the punchline because I am sick and sure as hell don't feel like typing it out:

A 17 year old guy walks into a pharmacy. He says to the pharmacist, bragging, "Yeah, my girlfriend is starting to get really hot for some good lovin'. I think it's time that I buy some condoms so that I can give it to her good. Tonight we are going to have dinner at her parents house and then going out to Inspiration Point". The pharmacist recommends a brand of condoms. The guy buys them and leaves.

Later that night at the parents' house the family and the guy sit down to dinner. The guy asks to say grace. The family obliges. He starts "Dear God, Please protect us and forgive us for our sins," as he continues his speech gets more and more religious. He begs for forgiveness, he asks for world peace, he wishes that everyone could be all knowing. As he continues the family (and his girlfriend) sit in amazement. Finally he finishes: "God bless us every one."

"Wow" his girlfriend says, "I didn't know you were so religious."

"Yeah, well, I didn't know your dad was a pharmacist".
posted by griphus at 9:35 AM on December 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


I don't understand why the question wasn't deleted, and I would have made a Meta post about it if I could. It is essentially "Help me threaten someone." In no other context would such a question have been allowed to stand, but I guess when you add antediluvian gender roles it's OK?
posted by enn at 9:38 AM on December 3, 2010 [32 favorites]


The responses that suggested alternatives to the "crazy dad" act were just treating the symptoms of the much larger disease of acting like one's life is a movie filled with lots of snappy comebacks.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:38 AM on December 3, 2010 [20 favorites]


Jubey's answer clearly does NOT answer the question, yet it remains. Maybe this if for a joke, or he has a jokey relationship with his daughter, who knows? Either way, the answer is, as the user states themselves, NOT an answer, and should thus be deleted.
posted by Grither at 9:39 AM on December 3, 2010


whuh? i'm not saying the question should be deleted, but it certainly could be interpreted as a "how can I intimidate young men" -- in fact, it's hard to see how it doesn't involve that. so Jubey's answer seemed right on.

also, a friend's dad would joke with me like this and he scared the shit out of me.
posted by angrycat at 9:43 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


In no other context would such a question have been allowed to stand, but I guess when you add antediluvian gender roles it's OK?

We responded to your email asking about this. We did not see the question as "help me threaten someone." I didn't particularly like this question because it lends itself to a combination of lulzy [and potentially nasty] answers as well as people being upset about the question and feeling completely okay with saying crappy things to the OP because they are certain they are right.

Our general approach is that we allow people to question the assertions people are making in their question with some leeway [as in Jubey's very early response] until it seems to start taking over/derailing the thread and then we'll go in, maybe delete some comments, and leave a note and tell people to address the OP directly from that point forward. At that point people need to stay much more on topic. In threads where the OP is not anonymous, people really should take off-topic responses durectly to email/MeMail.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:44 AM on December 3, 2010


We responded to your email asking about this. We did not see the question as "help me threaten someone."

I only saw that response just now, after posting my comment, when I thought to check my spam folder. I don't understand how "make them to believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down" could possibly be interpreted as anything other "help me threaten someone."
posted by enn at 9:46 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm looking for things to say to my daughters would-be suitors to make them to believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down should they disrespect or treat my daughter poorly.

Speaking as a father of a girl, this is one of the most stupidest, ignorant and sexist statements I've ever read on the site.

We raised our girl so she wouldn't need this constant babying, nor a male figure for protection. The idea that someone wants to perpetuate this shit is just mind numbingly repellent. I can not believe how much GRAR I got from reading that.
posted by nomadicink at 9:48 AM on December 3, 2010 [63 favorites]


the much larger disease of acting like one's life is a movie filled with lots of snappy comebacks.

It's not? Are you sure? If it's not, who's Greg Nog? I'm not the only one who sees him, am I?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:51 AM on December 3, 2010 [16 favorites]


I dont think any question which requires moderation should be held up as an example of what makes AskMefi great.
posted by vacapinta at 9:51 AM on December 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


Casual sexism feels cute and comforting because it's code for "Everyone and everything is in its place. All is in order." It sooths our tribal anxiety about uncertain social hierarchy.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:52 AM on December 3, 2010 [19 favorites]


Oh, c'mon.

First off, "Help me threaten someone" can totally be legitimate — Half the time people engage in legal filings, they really want the intimidation that comes from being sued, rather than going through the legal process. Likewise, you can threaten your landlord with housing inspectors, threaten your neighbor with zoning laws, threaten your employees with firing, threaten your bosses with leaving or striking… The idea that intimidation is somehow verboten is simply farcical, and you seem to be going out of your way to make this an issue when it's not.

Second off, the goal of AskMe should be to err on the side of inclusiveness, not deletion. Looking for reasons to delete this just because you don't like the social implications is both dirty pool and inconsistent with the goals of AskMe.

So lighten up and suck it up.
posted by klangklangston at 9:53 AM on December 3, 2010 [15 favorites]


I'm not sure it's proper to wholly attribute this question to "casual sexism". The OP could very well indeed just want to make a game out of lots of interactions and situations, and this trope came to mind. The fact that they wanted to follow through with it could indicate some sexism, but that's not definite. Maybe we shouldn't get to incensed about these things, even if people are wrong.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:54 AM on December 3, 2010


Life clearly isn't enough like a sitcom, the most accurate reflection of reality ever created.
posted by setanor at 9:54 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


So lighten up and suck it up.

NO U
posted by setanor at 9:55 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's pretty obvious I meant "threaten with physical violence," since that is what the asker was explicit about hoping to do. I have no idea what "social implications" you are going on about.
posted by enn at 9:55 AM on December 3, 2010


Likewise, you can threaten your landlord with housing inspectors, threaten your neighbor with zoning laws, threaten your employees with firing, threaten your bosses with leaving or striking…

None of those things involve threats about violence or death. Do they?
posted by setanor at 9:56 AM on December 3, 2010


It's not? Are you sure? If it's not, who's Greg Nog? I'm not the only one who sees him, am I?

Greg Nog -- that six-and-half-foot tall red-mustachioed Burmese architect -- is what we call a "consensual mass hallucination."
posted by griphus at 9:56 AM on December 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure it's proper to wholly attribute this question to "casual sexism". The OP could very well indeed just want to make a game out of lots of interactions and situations, and this trope came to mind. The fact that they wanted to follow through with it could indicate some sexism, but that's not definite. Maybe we shouldn't get to incensed about these things, even if people are wrong.

Perhaps that sounded angrier than I am - I'm not particularly incensed about it. It's far from the most sexist thing I've ever heard, but it's there.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:58 AM on December 3, 2010


casual sexism could easily be a category on craigslist.
posted by special-k at 10:00 AM on December 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


of course jubeys is the right answer - if someone posts " should i jump feet or head first from the golden gate bridge ?" and you say dont jump - OMGNOTANSWERINGQUESTION !!
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:09 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


So lighten up and suck it up.

*takes off clothes, drinks a diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper*
posted by nomadicink at 10:13 AM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying it should be deleted because it's sexist. I'm just surprised that it has apparently survived because of its sexism.

If you were to ask "What can I say to my co-worker to make them believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down?" or "What can I say to my fellow passenger on the bus to make them believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down?" or whatever, I don't believe that question would last 30 seconds on AskMe.

This one seems to have been allowed to stand only because violence and threatened violence by fathers toward their daughters' boyfriends is socially sanctioned under a certain very traditionalist view of gender relations. I'm surprised and disappointed by that.
posted by enn at 10:18 AM on December 3, 2010 [18 favorites]


The question made me pretty angry. The idea of being hostile and threatening to someone who I trust enough to bring as a guest in your house? It's embarrassing that you cannot be polite to a guest I have brought. It's offensive that you feel like my personal safety is a matter for negotiation between you and any other men you find in my life, as if you are having a pissing contest for who is charge of me.

Newsflash: I am in charge of my life. This is my boyfriend. If you have concerns over my judgement in choosing said boyfriend, please raise them with me privately in a reasonably pleasant and supportive fashion. If you can't grasp the fact that I am an independent adult, excuse me if I distance myself from you and your actions.

I suppose my attitude to this kind of thing might change if the daughter was a child, but even in that case it would seem more sensible to talk to BOTH the daughter and the date, together, about appropriate behaviour, driving or drinking responsibly, and whatever other activities are of concern.

I'd also like to think that, should a daughter find herself in trouble and calling Dad for an emergency pickup, that Dad would be focused primarily on making sure Daughter is OK and not on his inchoate rage at other people who may be involved. This whole "threaten the daughter's date" concept makes me think that being in control of the daughter is more important to the Dad, than whether the daughter is safe.

In conclusion, UGH.
posted by emilyw at 10:20 AM on December 3, 2010 [67 favorites]


This one seems to have been allowed to stand only because violence and threatened violence by fathers toward their daughters' boyfriends is socially sanctioned under a certain very traditionalist view of gender relations. I'm surprised and disappointed by that.

If anything it didn't get deleted because the question made me so frustrated and angry that I wanted to make extra-certain I wasn't removing it because it bothered me and not because it was a delete-worthy questin for AskMe. I realize it pushed some buttons for you and I'm sorry for that but I think you're reading things into it that aren't there, on my read. That is, the dad-warning-boyfriend thing is a tired cultural stereotype that I think the OP was referring to and I think this took precedence over the weird violent overtones that I took to be more of a joke. Obviously everyone balances this differently in their own read on it, but that's where mine and I think cortex's fell.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:24 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


"None of those things involve threats about violence or death. Do they?"

Actually, a lot of them do, but the implicit threat of violence comes from the state apparatus, which most people regard as legitimate.

. . . - - -````*
THE MORE YOU KNOW
posted by klangklangston at 10:25 AM on December 3, 2010 [7 favorites]




""What can I say to my fellow passenger on the bus to make them believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down?" or whatever, I don't believe that question would last 30 seconds on AskMe."

Also, that is a good question with practical applications. The "Don't Fuck With Me" vibe can be very helpful on public transit.
posted by klangklangston at 10:26 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


"This one seems to have been allowed to stand only because violence and threatened violence by fathers toward their daughters' boyfriends is socially sanctioned under a certain very traditionalist view of gender relations."

That's what I meant by "social implications that bother you."
posted by klangklangston at 10:27 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Many questions about how to use violence have practical applications. That doesn't make them appropriate for this site. Yeah, yeah, scarabic, dead bodies, I know, I know.
posted by enn at 10:30 AM on December 3, 2010


I agree with Cool Papa Bell - I came away from the thread a better person than I was when I started reading it. So I am glad it wasn't deleted. On the other hand, I do think the original post boiled down to "Please provide me inspiration to be better at assault." So, I dunno what to think. Being a relativist can be hard.
posted by castironskillet at 10:32 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


And your marmish concern doesn't make them inappropriate. So lighten up and suck it up.
posted by klangklangston at 10:32 AM on December 3, 2010


I'm gonna drop this here because I'm bored and the anecdote doesn't answer the question. Also, I don't want to answer that question, as it irritates me.

My father-in-law is (well, retired now) a Pentacostal minister. The first time I met him was at a play I was performing in with his daughter who I was dating (we played brother and sister, and later did so again in a different play; weird). We hadn't been dating long, and my (now) wife informed me that they were of course coming to see the show.

The wrinkle? In the show, I played a zombie. A green, bile-spitting (but lucid) zombie. TERRIFIC! Just the first impression I wanted to make!

Afterwards, I nervously shuffled over to greet the fellow whose daughter I was dating and just recently spattered with stage blood. He sized me up, then beamed and said "Well, that was just terrific!" and shook my hand. Whatta guy.
posted by Skot at 10:33 AM on December 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


So lighten up and suck it up.

Thanks again for your contribution.
posted by setanor at 10:34 AM on December 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


The more I stick around this place, the more I'm surprised in good and bad ways.

I thought the thread was a good example of "Don't do this ... instead do this!" That's what I liked. "Oh yeah, that's a better way of looking at it..."

But I'm shocked at the outright vitriol expressed here. Frustrated and angry?

Oh well. Que sera, sera.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:34 AM on December 3, 2010 [13 favorites]


enn: "This one seems to have been allowed to stand only because violence and threatened violence by fathers toward their daughters' boyfriends is socially sanctioned under a certain very traditionalist view of gender relations."

How did it make you feel to see Jubey address this concept almost immediately? And then to see that assertion questioned again and again throughout the thread?
posted by boo_radley at 10:34 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]




But I'm shocked at the outright vitriol expressed here. Frustrated and angry?

It was my Crazy Metafilter Poster routine, sorry.

So lighten up and suck it up.

*lights one up, takes a deep breath*
posted by nomadicink at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2010


I have the social boundaries of a chimp raised in a shock cage, so I had a lot of lulzy ideas that would have fit pretty well as answers; however, as I thought the question was veering fairly close to "What are the best nails for penetrating the chest wall with a nailgun?" level in interpersonal relations, I refrained from contributing. I did not, though, flag.

And I mention this as someone who has said, "We've come for your daughter, Chuck" to a parent as I was picking up a date.
posted by adipocere at 10:36 AM on December 3, 2010


*lights one up, takes a deep breath*

Puff, puff, PASS, nimrod.

/holds hand out
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:38 AM on December 3, 2010


How did it make you feel to see Jubey address this concept almost immediately?

I don't read threads that make me that angry, so I have no idea who Jubey is or what he or she or anyone else said in the thread, and I don't think it really has any bearing on whether the question should be permitted or not.
posted by enn at 10:38 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a question that has a very obvious set of answers. What's so hard about that?

It's weird that "caring for his daughter" is coming out by trying to intimidate a would-be suitor but a.) at least he cares and b.) who are we to judge a father/daughter relationship?
posted by morganannie at 10:40 AM on December 3, 2010


Puff, puff, PASS, nimrod.

Sorry, dad never loved me.
posted by nomadicink at 10:40 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


a.) at least he cares and b.) who are we to judge a father/daughter relationship?

A) Creepy stalkers care too, so using that as excuse for anything seems poor example

B) It takes a village yadda yaddda .
posted by nomadicink at 10:42 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I remember one time I posted about situational awareness and techniques for handling active shooter scenarios. And then the whole thread was about how I am a jingo racist. So, I haven't posted since. Because, yeah. Very rewarding.
posted by castironskillet at 10:42 AM on December 3, 2010


I have a son. Can you guys who are lawyers provide me with legal advice for when his girlfriend's jerkwad father, who still thinks he's some sort of high school bully, threatens him with violence? Also, since you're providing me with free, sound legal advice, do you mind if I think of you as "my" lawyer?
posted by bondcliff at 10:44 AM on December 3, 2010 [17 favorites]


enn: "I don't read threads that make me that angry, so I have no idea who Jubey is or what he or she or anyone else said in the thread, and I don't think it really has any bearing on whether the question should be permitted or not."

We can't correct behaviors if we don't engage the actors.
posted by boo_radley at 10:45 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't give a damn about correcting anyone's behavior, I just don't want hateful crap shitting up the front page of AskMe where I have to read it.
posted by enn at 10:46 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


You can't possibly be serious in taking that position.
posted by boo_radley at 10:47 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can!
posted by enn at 10:48 AM on December 3, 2010


This one seems to have been allowed to stand only because violence and threatened violence by fathers toward their daughters' boyfriends is socially sanctioned under a certain very traditionalist view of gender relations.

Like Jessamyn touched on, it read to me more like foolish tropism than the asker looking to commit violence, is where I think we're reading this differently. That is to say, I pretty much agree that the social attitude that Dads Protect Their Daughters as some sort of sanctioned exception to normal expectations of human interactions is bullshit. But it's also by virtue of being a long-standing social trope something very different in kind from someone asking, apropos of nothing, something like "how do I threaten my neighbor with physical violence".

If by asking the question the asker can hear from people that in fact buying into and perpetuating that stupid trope is maybe not a great idea, awesome. Existing social trope gets addressed and pushed back on, asker hopefully gets some insight into why exactly that way of looking at things may not be such a good idea after all. People with suggestions for Crazy Dad zingers, that's a mixed bag and I don't think it's going to make his or anyone else's life appreciably better for memorizing them but probably not appreciably worse either.

Anyone suggestion methods of engaging in or baiting actual physical violence is generally gonna get their comment deleted right quick.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


the outright vitriol expressed here. Frustrated and angry?

Um yeah hi, frustrated and angry was a quote from me, your moderator. Because I knew the thread was going to

- require a lot of my attention
- wind up in MetaTalk
- have no possible resolution that would make everyone on MetaFilter happy or even satisfied
- quite possibly getting everyone calling each other sexist again

A lot of this could have been avoided with more careful phrasing from the OP and some restraint on the part of the people answering the question, i.e. with people being more realistic about how the thing would and should go on AskMe, not in some ideal version of the website that doesn't exist. And not everyone cares to make that level of effort or even understands that there is a level of effort that might make things go differently where "differently" in this case means "better." So yeah that's frustrating to me. And I also have a crazy dad, in case that helps you to understand the frustration any.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


We're here enn, and we're paying attention to you now.
posted by nomadicink at 10:51 AM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


We can't correct behaviors if we don't engage the actors.

Coincidentally, this is why I am banned from every major Broadway theater.

Anyway, I am glad about the turn that conversation took. I don't want to be a member of a website that wholeheartedly encourages the sort of behavior the OP wanted advice on, and I was glad to see that I am not. Whoever wants to answer the question directly ought to be allowed to answer the question. And whoever wants to point out hella clear sexist and borderline anti-social behavior should be free to do so as well, within the limits of actual helpfulness.
posted by griphus at 10:55 AM on December 3, 2010 [8 favorites]


I don't read threads that make me that angry, so I have no idea who Jubey is or what he or she or anyone else said in the thread, and I don't think it really has any bearing on whether the question should be permitted or not.

For what it's worth, you have every right to be bothered by (and flag) any question you have a problem with, and writing to us about it is pretty much always okay too, but it's pushing into not-a-great-idea to start a public discussion about a thread you haven't read. If you're arguing about how askme handles stuff, I kind of assume you've read what happened and I'm surprised that that's not the case here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:55 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "A lot of this could have been avoided with more careful phrasing from the OP and some restraint on the part of the people answering the question"

Do you ever think of having a pre-post process where you'd say, "Geeze, so-and-so, this question reads like you're an axe murderer, maybe you'd want to take out this section and you can get more relevant answers and I don't have to have a headache all day?"?
posted by boo_radley at 10:56 AM on December 3, 2010


The Crazy Dad Routine is an example of what makes AskMe great.

It isn't nearly as good as the Crazy Granddad routine: when meeting your granddaughter's new boyfriend, piss yourself in a spectacular fashion.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:03 AM on December 3, 2010


And I also have a crazy dad, in case that helps you to understand the frustration any.

Maybe our crazy dads can hang out together and share crazy thoughts.

Because my dad is crazy. And I don't mean "Oh, lordy, Mr. Bell, you're just INSANE!"

I mean, "We, the jury, find the defendant..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:04 AM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


"How do I scare the shit out of my daughter's boyfriends?" is a crap question because it's flawed in its premise. If there is no scope to address or question the premise of such question, the question should be closed.

The poster got plenty of crappy replies that do actually answer the question, but none of them are good. The only good answer to that question is: "Raise your daughter to have high self-esteem, a practical understanding of safer sex, the power to dictate boundaries, and a relationship with you where she knows that come hell or high water, you have her back."

I could not figure out how to shoehorn that answer into those being allowed to stand, so I flagged the question.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:04 AM on December 3, 2010 [20 favorites]


It's a borderline crappy, kind of lulzy question, sure. But it gets at something that is really hard for a lot of men, which is how to deal with their daughter's emergent sexuality and dating life. That is, how to both give her freedom and protect her, which can feel totally contradictory? I thought a lot of the better answers managed to address that underlying issue while not totally dismissing the stated question.
posted by Forktine at 11:10 AM on December 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


My own fathers were largely removed from an ineffectual w/r/t my dating life, however... my mother made it very, very clear that if anyone ever did anything to harm me (I've had partners of various genders and being male wasn't the only qualification for being under scrutiny) - she would rip them limb from limb.

It's not a gendered thing. It's a protective parent thing. I'm having a son in March and if any of his future partners hurt him, I wouldn't resort of physical violence, but I can guarantee they wouldn't want to share a zip code with me.

Also: my son himself won't want to share a zip code with me should he ever do anything disrespectful to a romantic partner. Seriously.
posted by sonika at 11:21 AM on December 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


The poster got plenty of crappy replies that do actually answer the question, but none of them are good. The only good answer to that question is: "Raise your daughter to have high self-esteem, a practical understanding of safer sex, the power to dictate boundaries, and a relationship with you where she knows that come hell or high water, you have her back."

I read many answers that seemed to hit two or three of those four points.
posted by soelo at 11:27 AM on December 3, 2010


I got the crazy dad cleaning his gun routine from the first two girls I had sex with. Coincidence? Maybe.
posted by electroboy at 11:28 AM on December 3, 2010


I thought Jubey's answer was great, good enough that I gave it a favorite, yet immediately thereafter I couldn't really come up with a reason why that wasn't textbook arguing with the question-asker. I don't agree that this is the ONE QUESTION that gets through the sexism filter, or that it really says that much about the community, but I think based on precedent and guideline that the question should have probably gone, and if not, then many of the answers should have.
posted by norm at 11:33 AM on December 3, 2010


I obviously give people waaaay too much benefit of the doubt, because I read the question and chuckled, anticipating the asker preparing a scenario whereby he would do Crazy Dad Routine and then he and the suitor would laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, and I dunno, have a soda.
posted by gaspode at 11:35 AM on December 3, 2010 [32 favorites]


I'm going to edit a previous answer to a question that seems kind of relevant here. Bear with me while I html a bunch of strike through and italics.

I'd be willing to bet that you want your daughter to have a comfortable relationship with food romantic partners for her whole life.

One of the core issues of saying disorders abusive relationships, almost universally, is control.

Even people who don't have eating disorders (as clinically defined) abusive relationships but who are overweight/obese in unhappy relationships may have issues with control. The most pressing of these is 'don't know when to ask another person to stop.'

Your daughter needs to be able to set and maintain her own food relationship boundaries now, because it's much harder to set them later.

In the sociology literature we have a lot of eating sex and dating. The psychology literature is full of the phrase 'locus of control' healthy adults are able to recognize their responsibilty for their actions, and consequences.

Allowing your daughter to control this one tiny huge part of her life now helps her learn to deal with these issues. But, if you're always there as the arbiter of what she eats keeps her safe, she will (according to the literature) likely learn to depend on external cues to tell her when she is done, safe. In most adult dating situations the only external cue is a clean plate or an empty bag. We all know how big restaurant portions are. black eye or broken arm. If she is needing you to jump in and rescue her after such a trauma, the boyfriend may have already trained her to hide the evidence.

(I'm also a huge proponent of giving girls, and boys, a sense of agency as they grow up. She needs to know you love her whether she drinks her milk falls head over heels for a jerkface, or decides to cut class. But more importantly, she needs to know that it's up to her to drink her milk choose respectful partners and not cut class.)

posted by bilabial at 11:41 AM on December 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


"textbook arguing with the question-asker"
I think that is/should be allowed to some degree when it is challenging the assumptions that the OP asserted in the question and providing a solution that does not assume the same thing.

It's not okay when someone has said, "No blue food," and people keep saying, "But blueberries are delicious!"
posted by soelo at 11:41 AM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I obviously give people waaaay too much benefit of the doubt, because I read the question and chuckled

Dammit gaspode, stop being so sensible.
posted by special-k at 11:45 AM on December 3, 2010


I didn't date enough (read: at all) in High School to ever find myself in one of these situations, but I was in a production of Pippin in college that featured a pretty racy choreographed "orgy." Everyone dressed, but boob-squeezin', simulated dry-humpin', faces of ecstasy-makin', etc etc. My dance partner warned me that her dad was a bit... protective. I had no interest in her romantically, or vice versa.

Anyway, my partner's father came up to me after a show and gave me a ridiculously over-hard handshake and explained that he'd be back in the audience tomorrow and hoped I'd tone it down a bit. My director saw the confrontation, came over, and pretty much ripped him a new one both for fucking with her actors backstage and not trusting his own daughter enough to say something to me/the director if something that was happening was making her uncomfortable.

It was fucking awesome. I didn't realize how much I hated the "Crazy Dad Routine" until this moment, or how much I loved my director.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:54 AM on December 3, 2010 [16 favorites]



I obviously give people waaaay too much benefit of the doubt, because I read the question and chuckled, anticipating the asker preparing a scenario whereby he would do Crazy Dad Routine and then he and the suitor would laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, and I dunno, have a soda.


Right there with you!
posted by two lights above the sea at 12:02 PM on December 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Back in the early 1960s in a small town in the south of England, my older sister was a very naive and romantic sweet 16. Dad was eating supper after coming home from shift work, too tired to notice much of anything. Sis gave him a quick kiss goodbye as she flounced out on a date with a brand new boyfriend. A few minutes passed before Dad slowly realized that the new boyfriend was about 10 years older than Sis. It also registered that BF was big and brawny to my dad's little and wiry. So Dad got into the car brought over from Canada, roared after them, and pinned the BF against a brick wall with a 1955 Chevy Bel Air. A calm English copper came by just in time, and with some "Wot's all this, then?" managed to diffuse the situation before anything more than feelings were hurt.

Maybe my dad and Mr. Bell Sr should compare notes....
posted by angiep at 12:07 PM on December 3, 2010


At age 17 I went to pick up L for dinner and a movie. My ancient wheezing Datsun B210 made it to her driveway and then refused to start again. With the help of L's dad, we rolled the car out to the street so it wouldn't block the driveway. He tossed me a set of keys.

To his sweet, sweet, gleaming fully-restored MG Midget.

"Have her home by midnight," he said as he turned to go back inside.

"Don't worry, sir, your daughter is in good hands, " I said, opening the passenger-side door of the COOLEST CAR I'D EVER BEEN ALLOWED TO DRIVE IN MY WHOLE DAMN LIFE.

Her dad stopped at the door and chuckled. "My daughter can handle herself. You scratch my car and I'll kill you."
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:11 PM on December 3, 2010 [104 favorites]


I got the crazy dad cleaning his gun routine from the first two girls I had sex with. Coincidence? Maybe.

Just to be clear, was this the same man? Props if one meeting covered both girls.
posted by maxwelton at 12:11 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


it's pushing into not-a-great-idea to start a public discussion about a thread you haven't read.

Cortex, maybe I am misreading you but it sounds here like you are critical of enn for starting this metathread when, in fact, CPB did. Warning members to not do something they haven't actually done would automatically make anyone feel defensive (heh, I just noticed the parallel dynamic with the original question).

My parents were awesome, they trusted me to handle myself and were always perfect hosts.
posted by saucysault at 12:18 PM on December 3, 2010


Just to be clear, was this the same man? Props if one meeting covered both girls.

Oh, Bender. You didn't touch the Crushinator, did you?
posted by tomboko at 12:20 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cortex, maybe I am misreading you but it sounds here like you are critical of enn for starting this metathread when, in fact, CPB did.

You're reading right, I got confused. I apologize, enn, I conflated the email and the thread authorship somehow.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:26 PM on December 3, 2010


My dad's characteristics on paper, especially prior to his mellowing retirement -- deep strong voice, quietness that comes from shyness but is carried so confidently that no one meeting him would ever read it as anything but, at best, aloof disinterest, and 30+ years as a football coach in a small town that would not be out of place in an over-the-top movie about good ole boy scrappy high school underdogs from the football-craziest parts of Texas -- make him the kind of guy who was, to put it lightly, scary in a father-in-law sort of way, particularly if you were a newly out college kid who was sodomizing his son on a regular basis.

Because of this, my first boyfriend wasn't sure what to do when he realized that, when they came to campus for one of my choir concerts, his only choices were to keep his distance from them the concert (although they'd already met in passing before) or go up to them solo before I showed up.

It was a weird time as I'd come out (or more accurately, been outed) to my mom just months before I'd met my boyfriend, and everybody was still, to put it kindly, getting used to the idea. My father and I had never had any sort of "big talk" about it but I knew he knew and he knew I knew he knew. (We did a lot of that.) I had only made it worse by not quite introducing my boyfriend as such when they'd met previously but letting everyone make their own assumptions about the first male friend I'd bothered to introduce to them lately. In other words, going into this nobody really knew where they stood AND my boyfriend literally didn't know where to physically stand post-concert.

So as he shuffled about, keeping a distance but trying not to be seen so he wouldn't seem rude and waiting for me to show up to bridge the two groups, my dad noticed him and said quite loudly, toward him and to my mom and siblings "Hey, there's our boy!" and gestured him over, so that they could all wait for me together.

This isn't directly on topic, except that this thread, and my reaction to it, made me remember it. My parents are far from perfect (whose are?) but memories like this make me realize that dads (and moms) could do a lot worse than to try to go with their kindest instinct rather than reacting the way society's ongoing sitcom script makes you think they will.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:39 PM on December 3, 2010 [63 favorites]


I'm with gaspode & two lights, I thought this was supposed to be a semi-funny question to entertain the new beaux.

My family once greeted one of my new fellas with:
"Have you ever seen a grown man naked?"
"Have you ever been in a Turkish Prison"
etc etc so that probably colored my interpretation.
posted by pointystick at 12:45 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I obviously give people waaaay too much benefit of the doubt, because I read the question and chuckled, anticipating the asker preparing a scenario whereby he would do Crazy Dad Routine and then he and the suitor would laugh at the ridiculousness of it all, and I dunno, have a soda.

Yeah, this was how I felt about it too.
posted by pemberkins at 12:59 PM on December 3, 2010


My dad is quiet, mild-mannered, and very nice.

My mother is ex-military and does, in fact, own a gun that she does, in fact, mostly-jokingly mention to guys I bring home (even though I'm now in my mid-twenties and quite independent).

Is that sexist?

Because honestly I think it's just giving the guys a heads up on what kind of badass mother *I'm* going to be some day.
posted by olinerd at 1:01 PM on December 3, 2010


I think it's a terrible sexist question asked by a boor with no manners. It also sounds mildly abusive to control a daughters life with threats of violence. The OP will drive many good men out of his daughter's life and only people who like to deal with crazy assholes will remain. Who would want to join a family unit with clear mental disorders and abusive tendencies? The OP's daughter is going to become very resentful of her awful, controlling, violent asshole of a dad. The question is a real shame.
posted by fuq at 1:17 PM on December 3, 2010


Not that you're projecting or anything.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


it read to me more like foolish tropism than the asker looking to commit violence

Ah, so chatfilter then?
posted by banshee at 1:23 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to give another possible perspective on the question, my reading of it was, "Remember the Dad-trolling comic we were all laughing about the other day? Help me think of some good ones for the "teasing the boyfriend" teenage version."

It's not that violence or ill-will is meant, but that it's fun to scare boyfriends in a teasing kind-of-way. Obviously many others had a different reading of the question, and I'm not arguing that mine was the "correct" one.
posted by neuromodulator at 1:25 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's interesting. There's such a backlash over the implication that a father would think he owns his daughter. Obviously no one owns anyone. I wonder, f the question came from a mom, it wouldn't be so insulting, because there's no fear that a mother would try to assert control over her daughter's sexuality and no worry that the motivation is driven by some kind of incestuous motivation to own his daughter's sexuality. I mean, that's what I got from the responses that chided the asker for being "inappropriate."

As a childless person who was raised by well-intentioned parents who had Plans For Who Their Daughter Would Be, personality wise and all (and a mother who had a vague understanding of child development and thought I was born a "clean slate" who could be molded into whatever she wanted (a world famous harmonium player or bharat natyam dancer, both of which I was not innately talented at), it seems really hard to raise children. Some of that advice in "teaching her to be strong" or whatever seems hard to follow and way too much pressure and work, and it made me wonder if a lot of people are trying way too hard to "instill values" that they might not be used to.

I'd be a great "Do as I say, not as I do" parent. I think parents should be left alone to be whoever they really are (I think it's okay to say "I think Susan Sarandon is great for saying she likes the face she sees in the mirror, but I wish I could get a little Botox or have Jennifer Aniston arms" or give advice like "Try not to marry someone who has had a lot of ex-wives" or say (something I could have used in high school) "You need to wax your upper lip") when they're not thinking too hard about it. It doesn't make anyone a bad mother or father for being who they really are, even if they are thoughtless and bumbling and ridiculous. I mean, your friends and the media are going to be the ones having the most influence on you during those years, unless you're too insular. Otherwise, how are your kids going to recognize your flaws and judge you and then plan to never be like you, and then recoil in horror when they end up just like you and then appreciate you for your flaws.
posted by anniecat at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't read threads that make me that angry

enn, you realize that's step 1. Step two is to flag it. Step three is to move on. Aside from that, you do realize that you don't need to read every question in Ask, right? I mean, personally, I have no interest in most computer/programming questions, and no ability to answer them, so I don't read them. If it pissed you off, well, that's what the flag button is for.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2010


Not that you're projecting or anything.

The people projecting are the ones insisting on these pollyannaish interpretations of a question where the asker clearly states that he wants to make people afraid that he will beat them up.
posted by enn at 1:27 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like a nice brandy.
posted by nomadicink at 1:31 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


We did not see the question as "help me threaten someone."

I don't understand how you can say this. The question is:

"I'm looking for things to say to my daughters would-be suitors to make them to believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down should they disrespect or treat my daughter poorly."

That is undeniably asking for help threatening someone with violence.
posted by John Cohen at 1:33 PM on December 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


nthing that I gave the OP the benefit of the doubt when I read the question. I got this routine from an ex-boyfriend's mom once - I think most of the time it's just a "protective parent" thing. How many threatened teenage suitors actually interpret these (generally empty) threats literally?
posted by pikachulolita at 1:47 PM on December 3, 2010


Speaking as a former teenage suitor who was actually "charged" by a girlfriend's father in the high-school parking lot after her father had been told that his daughter was sexually active? ...Some, anyway.
posted by red clover at 1:51 PM on December 3, 2010


should they disrespect or treat my daughter poorly

I think maybe you highlighted the wrong portion. Only a parent can know how they've raised their own child. Hopefully, the parent has done so to the best of their abilities, and the end result is a mature, independant person who is capable of making their own value judgements and acting on reasonable assumptions in a logical, thoughtout way. Would I trust my daughter to find a good partner? Yes. Would I remember all of the stupid, shitty choices I made as a teen, even though my parents had thought they'd raised me better? Oh, hell yes.

The key component is, I will have absolutely no idea who this person is, other than through my hypothetical daughters rose-tinted viewpoint. I don't know how they were raised. I don't know if they'll respect the person that to me will be one of the most important people in my life. Which is why I suggested sitting down with the guy, and getting to know them, and making it sure that they understand that my hypothetical daughter is indeed, a fantastic and wonderful person, deeply cherished by her entire family. My goal would be to get them to understand that if they're intent on having a relationship with her, I would hope that they will treat her the same way. It can be done without cleaning a pistol, or threatening violence, but I think it's part of a parent's job to kind of give the prospective date a once over. As I said before, teens aren't renowned for having the best judgement or understanding of character.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:59 PM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


"I believe in my .45, my shovel and the fact that nobody will ever miss you." — the dad in Clueless to the boyfriend.

That movie is a comedy, isn't it? Meaning that quote is a joke, right? The asker is asking for examples of using a common trope as a tool vet potential sons-in-law. For all we know, pmaxwell merely intends to play a little prank to gauge the suitors reactions, not to seriously threaten somebody. Given the movie citation, that's not an excessively charitable (or pollyanna wtf) reading, if there even is such a thing.
posted by Dano St at 2:00 PM on December 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's not okay when someone has said, "No blue food," and people keep saying, "But blueberries are delicious!"

Blueberries are purple though.
posted by dead cousin ted at 2:05 PM on December 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


We raised our girl so she wouldn't need this constant babying, nor a male figure for protection.

The only good answer to that question is: "Raise your daughter to have high self-esteem, a practical understanding of safer sex, the power to dictate boundaries, and a relationship with you where she knows that come hell or high water, you have her back."

I'm also a huge proponent of giving girls, and boys, a sense of agency as they grow up.

Your daughter needs to be able to set and maintain her own food relationship boundaries now, because it's much harder to set them later.

When I read stuff like this, it's so harsh and it's all not useful advice because there's no "how to" as in "How to make your daughter confident that she can always protect herself and totally self-reliant" Step 1: Pretend that you are in control of everything and that everything is under your control. Step 2: Tell her that she doesn't need pepper spray, that a mastery of karate will always protect her, especially against bears (though if she had a girlfriend or boyfriend or dad around for "protection," she could get her/him to stall the bear or whatever while she runs away, which is pretty smart because then she doesn't get eaten but the girlfriend, boyfriend, or dad does).

Then what happens when your daughter grows up, leaves the house, and joins a religion that makes her obey her husband, wear something to cover her extremities and have 20 kids, and you are horrified because you thought you raised her right, does that mean it's your fault as a parent for not raising her right? Or is that something you can chalk up to "I did the best I can. Kids are crazy." And she hates you for not loving Jesus and not showing her the Jesus light earlier in life and worries about going to hell because you let her wear shorts when she was eight. And she's been secretly pissed ever since the bear ate her arm when she attempted to use her self-defense techniques on it? You said she could protect herself and she feels like a failure when she couldn't. But I guess there's some other fail safe advice for that like "How to teach your daughter not to feel like a failure when she can't protect herself using advice you gave her earlier because you said she was in total control and that bear outwitted her and ate her arm off."
posted by anniecat at 2:06 PM on December 3, 2010 [5 favorites]


enn: If you were to ask "What can I say to my co-worker to make them believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down?" or "What can I say to my fellow passenger on the bus to make them believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down?" or whatever, I don't believe that question would last 30 seconds on AskMe.

John Cohen: IThe question is: "I'm looking for things to say to my daughters would-be suitors to make them to believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down should they disrespect or treat my daughter poorly." That is undeniably asking for help threatening someone with violence.


Both posters quoted above have chosen to ignore the part of this question that makes it very typical of AskMeFi: "Any other scenes in movies or books that I can reference for my "crazy dad" routine?"

I (and others, obviously) read the question as a request for examples of the crazy dad routine, and took it for granted that this question -- albeit motivated by a real-life situation -- was wrapped in some tongue-in-cheek rhetoric.

If I read this thread later and it turns out that pmaxwell actually played out the routine, well boy, I'll feel foolish for having assumed that he wasn't a fucking asshole. Otherwise, I guess I'll continue to live with these rose-colored glasses on.
posted by coolguymichael at 2:09 PM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't see any evidence that it's best to read the question as wanting a joke, to make a funny situation. I know a couple of guys who really did get threatened with violence in just this way when dating in high school. It wasn't a joke. It was, instead, the very earnest message: "I'm stronger than you, I'm meaner than you, and by God I will end you if you don't do as I say."

Sure, it's the sort of thing the father likely laughs about afterward... But it's not exactly funny to the poor suitor or daughter.
posted by meese at 2:17 PM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


anniecat: "When I read stuff like this, it's so harsh and it's all not useful advice because there's no "how to" as in "How to make your daughter confident that she can always protect herself and totally self-reliant" "

Sadly, "How do I make my daugher confident, self-reliant and always able to protect herself?" was not the question asked. It would have been a better question.

The rest of your post is a non-sequitor. Nobody has suggested that a teenaged girl or the woman she becomes will never need help, never be well advised to own peper spray, or never (God forbid) join a cult. More importantly, you left out the part where I said it's important to teach her you'll always have her back - and to have it.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:23 PM on December 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


But it's not exactly funny to the poor suitor or daughter.

Nothing is ever going to be funny to your teenager . Being an American teenager seems like an exercise in hating your parents for who they are and being easily humiliated by anything parents do for five or so years.
posted by anniecat at 2:27 PM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


When I read stuff like this, it's so harsh and it's all not useful advice because there's no "how to" as in "How to make your daughter confident that she can always protect herself and totally self-reliant"

Probably because they were written in MeTa and more venting than trying to answer the question. I wrote a more thoughtfully worded response in the thread, more along the lines you mention above, but I think it got deleted or I forgot to hit "Post" before going to another page.

Anyway, the process of teaching a kid those things should have started much earlier. Specifically for a girl, I'd say she needs to know that her body is her own and she gets to set the boundaries on it, the risk of pregnancy and STDs, what the clitoris, a cell phone, a bit of emergency money if she needs to grab a cab if she isn't driving and the knowledge that parents are just a phone call away and that no matter what happens, their first priority if she calls while be her safety.

Then what happens when your daughter grows up, leaves the house, and joins a religion that makes her obey her husband, wear something to cover her extremities and have 20 kids, and you are horrified because you thought you raised her right, does that mean it's your fault as a parent for not raising her right?

At a certain point, you have to mostly let go ('cause you never really let go, you just pretend to while wild OMG HOW I CAN HELP parent thoughts run through your head) and chalk it up to "It's their life and their decisions" and you go on with yours while still being there for them.
posted by nomadicink at 2:30 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one here who actually murders his daughters' boyfriends?
posted by Mister_A at 2:34 PM on December 3, 2010 [27 favorites]


Anniecat, I think you've misread my intention. I in no way intend to suggest that any adult can always fend for themselves alone. This is a function of humans being social creatures.

And the sociology suggests that while humbling, raising adults doesn't have to be difficult or confusing, if you're able and willing to fond and use the resources available. (and the sociology also suggests that boundary setting and maintaining are more effective for building healthy relationships than physical force, or threats of same.)

Further, evidence shows that learning to set our own boundaries makes those boundaries more meaningful and easier to maintain. And realizing that our actions have real consequences (real as in: spill your juice and you drink water, not real as in: spill refuse to drink milk and you get a spanking) creates a better developed ability to navigate decision making.

This does not guarantee perfect decisions every time, but nothing does. What is prevents is decision paralysis.

I'm talking about teaching young people that it's ok to run away from bears and bear-like people, rather than depend on 'the talk' to moderate another persons internal compass.

And I want young people to feel ok about calling their parents from a party or bad date. If boyfriend is frisky, better to have dad be willing to come pick you up than worry that boyfriend will get murdered AND/OR you'll get yelled at/grounded.
posted by bilabial at 2:36 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one here who actually murders his daughters' boyfriends?

It is inconceivable to me that you could mean this any way but literally, and I am contacting the police.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:37 PM on December 3, 2010 [18 favorites]


Blueberries are purple though.

Yeah and I'm really struggling to come up with blue foods that aren't Slupees.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:38 PM on December 3, 2010


Hagra biscuit.
posted by Gator at 2:39 PM on December 3, 2010


Yeah and I'm really struggling to come up with blue foods that aren't Slupees.

Clean your fridge less often and you will discover all kinds of blue foods.
posted by Forktine at 2:44 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, blue cheese has bits of blue in it.
posted by Night_owl at 2:49 PM on December 3, 2010


I like blue websites.
posted by Zed at 2:53 PM on December 3, 2010


I'm a little surprised that the OP hasn't commented in either this post or in his own thread.
posted by box at 3:02 PM on December 3, 2010


box: "I'm a little surprised that the OP hasn't commented in either this post or in his own thread."

I was just composing-but-not-posting my 900th MeTa post on how flipping annoying that is. Not just here, where some clarification or explaination or response would have been genuinely helpful, but in general. It really annoys me when you ask the hive to put out for you and cannot be arsed to say thank you.

Sometimes when I remember, on the last day the thread is open I post "You're welcome" because I find it that rude and irritating.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:15 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Specifically for a girl, I'd say she needs to know that her body is her own and she gets to set the boundaries on it, the risk of pregnancy and STDs, what the clitoris, a cell phone, a bit of emergency money if she needs to grab a cab if she isn't driving and the knowledge that parents are just a phone call away and that no matter what happens, their first priority if she calls while be her safety.

I agree. I also especially like your use of the phrase "what the clitoris", as in "what the hell" (I'm presuming meaning based on how I intend on using it in future).

My parents were crafty. Didn't matter who I brought home, the response was the same every time I asked how they'd liked him: "He seems nice, dear." Any so-called threatening behaviour was very much my elder brothers' territory.
posted by Go Banana at 3:21 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


This whole thing makes me very impressed (retroactively) with my dad because while I bet he thought this kind of thing and wanted to do it, he did not.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:23 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is prevents is decision paralysis.

I just have a different philosophy. Your kids turn out to be whatever they turn out to be and if they don't forgive you for your flaws and mistakes in the end, then that's their problem. In the end, if they don't have the heart to say, "Oh, that's my dopey dad, I love him" and laugh at him warning old Chip from the football team that he's got a shotgun, then you've been way too uptight and calculating as a parent. You should get to be your dopey and flawed self.
posted by anniecat at 3:27 PM on December 3, 2010


It really annoys me when you ask the hive to put out for you and cannot be arsed to say thank you.

While I also find that annoying, what I find even more annoying is when, in an AskMe question, someone asks the poster for additional information, in order to better answer their question, and they can't be bothered to provide it.

It's not like I lose any sleep over this situation, but it is, I think, reflective of a limited understanding of how the site works and how best to use it.
posted by box at 3:36 PM on December 3, 2010


Parenting takes a lot of calculation, which you can do without being uptight, and by still being dopey and flawed. I'm glad he asked this question (thus getting a reality check) instead of just figuring out a quote for himself; sometimes calculation power is increased the more processors you use.
posted by not_on_display at 3:38 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blueberries are purple though.

I see the outsides as blotchy black and blue, the inside as white and the pulp between them as red, which is why you get purple when you mix them up in a shake or pie.

Yeah and I'm really struggling to come up with blue foods that aren't Slupees.

I bought some Twilight branded candy hearts yesterday, not because of the branding but because I wrongly assumed they were mint flavored. Turns out the light blues are raspberry blast and the light greens are lime chill. Where did this blue raspberry color/flavor come from?

Anyway, best part about the candy is that it sparkles because it's Edward's. I wonder if Jacob's candy is hairy.
posted by soelo at 3:48 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a stupid question and should have been deleted, but didn't want to open it up even just to flag it cause I thought it was stupid and was sure it would annoy me. But I saw MCMikeNamara getting lots o' favorites and I read his comment (but no other part of the thread) and I am happy to have seen Mike's story.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:53 PM on December 3, 2010


I dunno, I just saw it as a guy wrestling with his daughter becoming a woman and maybe reflecting on the kind of guy he was as a kid and inflicting that perception on others. And some people coming in and saying, hey, wtf, dude? And challenging him on the idea of this--pushing back on him. And then others coming in with a lulzy little anecdote.

It seemed like a good thread to me. I didn't have anything to say that hadn't already been said, so didn't worry about it.

A lot of the stuff we care about as adults has to do with the way we see ourselves more than the way we see the world. I would guess that guy didn't treat women so well in the past, and now has a daughter and is experiencing a bit of a reckoning he's deflecting onto others.

That's just my take, though. I like to have a good working theory. Or just a working theory.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:17 PM on December 3, 2010


Since others have shared their stories, perhaps it's time for my one and only crazy parent story.

I was one of those terribly good girls in high school that hadn't yet learned how to stick up for myself. So, when this kinda weird guy who was a friend of a few friends asked me to the Junior Formal, I didn't have the courage to say no.

The conversation went a bit like this:
Him: 'So, are you going with anyone to Junior Formal.'
Me: 'Just some friends, I think.' (I was painfully honest at this stage in life)
Him: 'Will you come with me?'
Me: 'Erm, maybe.'
Him: 'Ok. I don't drive, so you'll have to pick me up.'

And so on that fated night, I drove my little red car to pick him up....and, as I was a terribly good girl, I knew the polite thing to do was to go to the door. I was, of course, greeted by both mother and father, who grilled me on my life to date while we waited for this boy to emerge from his room. As we were leaving, I was given strict instructions as to when to return him home.

Things took a turn to the even worse when my charge informed me that 'my girlfriend pretty much hates you, seeing as I'm going to the dance with you and not with her.'

And yes, it did not improve from there. He only wanted to stand in the corner with his odd friends. He refused to dance. He refused to make any sort of attempt at conversation. By this time, I had had enough and went off to dance with my friends.

The dance ended and, in a rush of guilt (yes, I was a terribly good girl), I remember the charge given to me by this boy's parents to return him home right after the dance. I searched high and low for him, but there was no lame date to be found. Out of guilt and a weird sense of babysitter-like responsibility, I manned up and called the only number he had given me - the home number - and delivered words I hope to never have to utter again. 'Hello, this is Brambory. I'm really sorry, but I think I've lost Kent.'
posted by brambory at 4:36 PM on December 3, 2010 [21 favorites]


Dad: Well hey there! Jeremy is it? Come on in.
Jeremy: Yes sir, pleased to meet you.
D: Ha! No need to call me sir, I'm retired. Bud will do just fine. Katie's running late so let's hang out in the kitchen and get a drink. Aaand let me introduce you to Harrison.
Harrison: *nods*
D: Harrison and I have been friends going on, oh, thirty years.
J: Pleased to meet y--GAH!

D: Easy there, Jeremy. Easy. You're with friends.
J: mmph-mmph
H: He's secure.
D: Just relax old buddy. Listen. Don't try to talk. We'll be done here soon enough.
J: *struggles against restraints*
D: Nice fighting spirit you're showing there Jeremy. Now settle down some and we'll have a chat and then I'll take off the gag and hood. I need you to focus on what I'm about to say.
J: *thrashes* MMPH! MMPH!
D: Sergeant?
H: *punch*
D: Sorry, Jeremy. I know it hurts. That'll just wind you for a bit. This isn't personal, Jeremy. I have nothing against you. How could I? Five minutes ago I didn't even know you existed. So this has nothing to do with me not liking you. You're probably a decent young man. And there's the problem. "Probably". "Probably" isn't good enough when it comes to protecting Katie. I gotta know. I gotta be absolutely one-hundred-percent certain.
J: *whimper*
D: Oh, I could do the whole protective father routine - you know, give you the stink-eye, mutter some dumb threat about dissolving you in a bathtub full of acid, let you 'accidentally' walk in on me as I'm cleaning my sidearm. Ha ha ha. Those fathers are pathetic. Threats don't work. People don't believe them anymore. You gotta be pre-emptive.
J: *muffled sobbing*
D: Oh Jeremy, Jeremy don't. I'm almost definitely not going to kill you. That's not where this is heading. You probably think that, huh? Or that I'm gonna cut your balls off, or something like that. Ha! Ha! Ha!. No. When Katie finishes getting ready, you're gonna be right there to meet her, unmarked and fresh as a god-damned daisy. But Jeremy... oh Jeremy. I have to break you, buddy. I gotta be certain you can't hurt her, the way men always hurt women. So I gotta crack you open and empty you out. So that's why we're down here in the rec room. That's why you're strapped down to my weight bench. You know what waterboarding is, right Jeremy?
J: mmph? MMPH!
D: Of course you know. I don't want to do it Jeremy, but I don't have a lot of time to work here, and I need results fast, so I gotta work with what what works.
J: mmphmmph-mmph. mmphmmph-mmph-mmph. MMPHMMPH-MMPH! MMPH!
D: Yeah, I know Jeremy. You want to tell me if I let you go you'll leave here and never look at or speak to Katie again. But don't you see how that would hurt her feelings? Unacceptable. When you two break up - and break up you will, mark my words - it'll be her dumping you. Better for her self-esteem. Sergeant? Jeremy looks a little thirsty. Give him a drink.

D: How you holding up buddy? I want to let you know it's okay to piss yourself. We've got your clothes folded away over here. We'll clean you up. Carry on, sergeant.

D: Heh, well Jeremy, I like what I'm seeing here. Just one other small point to cover. It should go without saying, but I think you should keep this discussion to yourself. I don't want any misunderstandings to come between me and my daughter. And I don't think she's ready for the knowledge just yet. Being a father involves some hard, dirty work sometimes. It isn't glamorous, but it's necessary. You'll understand if you're ever a father. There's a nobility to what we do, laboring away in the darkness, never asking for thanks. Proceed, sergeant.

Katie: You ready? You look like you just took a shower.
Jeremy: Uh-huh. Ready. Yes, ready. Uh, yeah, I had a shower before I came over.
K: Dad, did you scare my boyfriend?
D: Me? Honey, we just hung out in the rec room while you did your hair. Am I scary? I'm the least scary person in the whole world.
J: Yes. I mean yeah, rec-rec-r-room.
K: Okay, sorry to take so long. Let's go.
D: Oh, Jeremy? I'm just going to say one thing: be a gentleman.
J: Yes sir. I'll be a-a gentleman. I promise.
posted by Ritchie at 5:02 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


My comment was understandably deleted, but I'd like to add my voice here that the concept behind this question is seriously disturbing. It really bothers me a significant amount to be around people when this topic comes up casually. Even one of our good friends does this whole "she'll be under lock and key!" bullshit. It's like they're fucking time travelers from the 1800's, but no, it's really just a stark reminder of how fucked up our entire concept of gender and sexuality is.

Fathers don't own their daughters, damn it. It's fucking ridiculous that this is even considered valid polite conversation.
posted by odinsdream at 5:42 PM on December 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Despite my user name I'm a dad of a beautiful daughter.
posted by Sailormom at 6:11 PM on December 3, 2010


As a callow youth, I loved dads like this one. They'd invariably alienated and embarrassed their daughter so greatly that they were desperate for the opportunity to rebel and stick one to the old man.

So, pops, next time you climb into your bed at night -- remember, if you don't change your attitude, sooner or later some pimply-faced fucker like me is gonna be boning your daughter right there where you used to bone your wife.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:20 PM on December 3, 2010


hey enn, looks like you're pretty much the only who thought the OP was seriously intending "hate" and "violence." regardless, flag it and move on.
posted by Avenger50 at 7:17 PM on December 3, 2010


When I met my wife, she was still in college, and I was just becoming a 30-something. Her dad is Air Force, and not the sit-around-and-play-with-toys kind, the kind who doesn't talk about what he did to who in the '90s. He's deep-mountain West Virginian, with a sharp, tough accent.

When he met me, he squared his shoulders, narrowed his eyes, put his hands on his hips, and looked up... and up... at all 6'3", 325 pounds of me, as I said, "How YOU doin'?"

If you've never heard a Rhode Island accent, the joke goes like this: What's halfway between South Boston and the Bronx? Rhode Island! His eyes went wide, as he was positive she brought home the only biker-mobster-pro-wrestler in the world.

I thrust out a hand to shake that was twice as broad as his, and let him try to power-squeeze it for a minute, before responding with a gentle clasp to let him know I understood what he was trying to do, and now it was over. He had the "I would show him my gun, but he might eat it" expression on his face.

And that is a potential problem of the Crazy Dad approach. Your crazy might write checks your ass clearly cannot cash.

Now, her Mom asked all kinds of questions about my family, what I did for a living, and how we met - and the connection we made at the kitchen table with Mom and me and my girl, to my mind, was a lot more important than her having a tough dad. Mom knew I'd treat her baby girl with respect, because she insisted she get to know me. Even if I was something of a jerk, that kind of connection is hard to get over... whereas a bad-ass dad is definitely a potential deal breaker on a long term relationship.

Now, as a Dad of a little girl myself, I know just how to treat her dates.

"Come in! How you doin'? You look good! Have a sammich, and tell me about yourself..."
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:00 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It really annoys me when you ask the hive to put out for you and cannot be arsed to say thank you.

Good lord. It hasn't even been 24 hours since the question was posted.
posted by mediareport at 8:03 PM on December 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is pretty late in the thread... but I've been spending some time in less... savory... corners of the internet lately. Surprisingly what I've come to think is that it's much better to let people say what they will, and then talk to them about it, rather than condemning them outright. I've been surprised at the amount of people who will spew racist/sexist/awful bullshit... but then totally change their minds and own up to it upon someone pointing out kindly, and with understanding, what might be problematic. I never thought people like that would change, which shows how silly I am. I think metafilter (myself included) often gets indignant too quickly and forgets the adage about flies and honey.

Anyway, so I liked that thread despite being bothered by the question. It's such a common trope in pop culture I can't get too mad at someone for buying into it. I think Cool Papa Bell summed it up well in the original post.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:32 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I read the original question, I thought it might have actually been a routine… like a comedy routine. I sort of imagine the dad saying scary stuff and then shaking hands and laughing, "Aw just joking, welcome to the family."

But I guess we don't really know.
posted by yaymukund at 8:47 PM on December 3, 2010


I'm not sure it's proper to wholly attribute this question to "casual sexism". The OP could very well indeed just want to make a game out of lots of interactions and situations, and this trope came to mind. The fact that they wanted to follow through with it could indicate some sexism, but that's not definite. Maybe we shouldn't get to incensed about these things, even if people are wrong.

It presumes that the menfolk need to make an agreement about how the young woman will be treated. That's a pretty good example of casual sexism. (It's not aggressive sexism intending to belittle the daughter, but nevertheless the trope reinforces the lesser authority of women.)
posted by desuetude at 9:04 PM on December 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


desuetude: "It presumes that the menfolk need to make an agreement about how the young woman will be treated."

Take this story, for example. The dad puts on the protective father routine and then reveals that it's a routine, a joke. The "You'd better bring her back safe" is precisely the protective father stuff that the OP wants, but it's used cleverly to disarm rather than intimidate.
posted by yaymukund at 9:53 PM on December 3, 2010


BitterOldPunk's story is awesome. I wish the OP had asked for examples of ways to turn the menacing father act on its head in order to actually affirm his daughter's strength of character.
posted by desuetude at 10:16 PM on December 3, 2010


yaymukund: ""You'd better bring her back safe" is precisely the protective father stuff that the OP wants, but it's used cleverly to disarm rather than intimidate."

I think the casual sexism referred to is, primarily, the notion that the boy is responsible for bringing the girl back safe as opposed to both boys and girls being generally responsible for not being dicks or assault their dates.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:19 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


you ask the hive to put out for you and cannot be arsed to say thank you.

SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! DAD MIGHT BE LISTENING!!!!
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:22 PM on December 3, 2010


Turns out AskMe is a pretty fun place to chat. Who knew.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:59 PM on December 3, 2010


So, pops, next time you climb into your bed at night -- remember, if you don't change your attitude, sooner or later some pimply-faced fucker like me is gonna be boning your daughter right there where you used to bone your wife.

-PeterMcDermott


Somehow I misread the username on this comment and thought it was Pater Aletheias.

My mind was blown.
posted by winna at 11:02 PM on December 3, 2010 [7 favorites]


I hated the attitude of the person who posted that question so much I had to stay out of it. Because damn, did I want to chew him the fuck out.
posted by Decani at 11:27 PM on December 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


It really is important to have a trusting/supportive relationship with your teenage children. Due to a variety of circumstances (primarily, landing a lucrative job in another city), my brother moved out at 16.

Once, in the middle of the night, he called my mother.

Him, whispering: "Mom, I have to move out. I can't live here anymore."

Mom, half asleep, thinking it's over normal roommate fighting: "What's wrong? Can't you guys work it out?"

Him, whispering: "My roommate and his friends are shooting heroin in the living room."

Mom, fully awake now: "Your father and I will be there in the morning with a truck."

(The best part of this story is that our parents had been divorced for ~12 years. Yet they were both there, as a team, early the next morning with a rental truck to help my brother pack his stuff up and move the hell out.)

If my brother had had a "normal" teenage/parent relationship of suspicion, criticism, and castigation, he might have tried to handle the situation on his own instead of turning to our parents for help. But our parents had cultivated a relationship of relative openness and trust. So when the shit hit the fan, my brother knew that he could turn to them for help without getting chewed out for making poor decisions or having loser friends. And instead of having their opinion of his judgment undermined because he inadvertently moved in with a bunch of druggies, my parents trusted him MORE after this incident because he was able to immediately recognize that it was a very bad situation and that this was one of those times that you should swallow your pride and ask for a parental bailout.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:54 AM on December 4, 2010 [36 favorites]


I wish my dad had cared enough to ask that kind of question-even in a jokey way-to protect me.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:16 AM on December 4, 2010


I don't have any children, so I am left with threatening the neighborhood cats my one social cat hangs out with.

I WANT INKY HOME AT DARK. HEY! YOU! CAT!
posted by everichon at 8:39 AM on December 4, 2010 [18 favorites]


I am glad the question was asked, because it revealed such a variety of attitudes and real-life experiences. For instance, I had no idea that this ever actually happened; and I found the advice on how to /really/ protect ones child from a bad partner moving and useful.

My own experience? I'm not sure my parents ever spoke to anyone I dated before the age of 17. I found out as an adult that they thought a particular male friend, who was both dating my model-gorgeous best friend* AND turned out to be gay**, anyways, was a boyfriend***. They had not even asked me enough questions about him to establish their mistake when I was ~13, and, again, I don't know that they ever spoke to him.


*I do not exaggerate -- both of her siblings were working models; she could have if she'd wanted to and been willing/able to cross the 10-pound boundary of slender to model-skinny.

**Her other junior high boyfriend came out later, too.

***And they had a hard time believing me, as an adult, when I said he wasn't even kind of, ever.

posted by endless_forms at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2010


desuetude: "I wish the OP had asked for examples of ways to turn the menacing father act on its head in order to actually affirm his daughter's strength of character."

Well, my point was that it might be. I read the question as "Help me play this intimidating dad character" and not necessarily to intimidate a specific person.

The whole thing is one step away from a great Kids In The Hall sketch.
posted by yaymukund at 10:53 AM on December 4, 2010


OK, that does it. No fresh baked possum for all you haters!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:32 AM on December 4, 2010


Well, my point was that it might be. I read the question as "Help me play this intimidating dad character" and not necessarily to intimidate a specific person.

I think in these cases you have to take someone at their word, unless they explain further. It's like the problem of people being sarcastic in print. I'd like to give this guy the benefit of the doubt, but the question wasn't really framed as an act, other than the quote part and reference of a character. It was more 'Help me do this thing, and to do this thing I need to be someone more intimidating than I usually am, like the crazy dad character. Help me create that character and play it in real life, so I can properly scare my daughter's potential suitors.'

"I'm looking for things to say to my daughters would-be suitors to make them to believe that I might just be crazy enough to deliver them a serious beat-down should they disrespect or treat my daughter poorly."

It's strange that someone would request that while simply wanting character sketches. Obviously it's not about anyone in particular, just anyone who dared to date his daughter.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:03 PM on December 4, 2010


BitterOldPunk's story is awesome. I wish the OP had asked for examples of ways to turn the menacing father act on its head in order to actually affirm his daughter's strength of character.

BOP's story made me wonder why the dad is question didn't just give the car keys to his daughter, instead. Didn't she have a driver's license?
posted by jokeefe at 2:26 PM on December 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the daughter crashed the car, chances are the father would end up (directly or indirectly) paying the insurance excess himself.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:37 PM on December 4, 2010


jokeefe: L didn't know how to drive a stick shift.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:23 PM on December 4, 2010


L didn't know how to drive a stick shift.

You dated my wife?
posted by maxwelton at 6:58 PM on December 4, 2010


BOP: I get it now, thanks for clarifying!

I miss driving a stick shift. Sigh. The car I frequently use is an automatic, and driving it is so very very dull.
posted by jokeefe at 10:41 PM on December 4, 2010



I'm a little surprised that the OP hasn't commented in either this post or in his own thread.


I just assumed that the OP was gathering material for another 'stupid dad' McFilm or sitcom. Good work, mefites!

(... awww ... we all had some chuckles and even a bit of 'talk therapy', eh?)
posted by Surfurrus at 2:18 AM on December 5, 2010


I didn't understand this question at first, but that's because my dad didn't actually bother to speak to my boyfriends. My mum coulf give that routine when needs must, though.
posted by mippy at 3:36 AM on December 6, 2010


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