I may get a little heat over this one, but as a self-appointed torch bearer for Father’s Day, believing there is way too much discord between various societal factions, it’s high time we have a little more “Cumbaya” between the sexes.
Reflecting back, is it feasible Andy Griffith was the last smart man ever to be a main character on a TV show?
Remember “Bewitched?” All it took was a nose twitch from the hottest blond witch in history, Elizabeth Montgomery, and she handled everything. Samantha’s red-haired hag of a mom had few redeeming qualities, yet always had the upper hand on poor beleaguered husband Darren.
Let’s face it: Darren was a doofus and sorely in need of some testicular fortitude. He got ramrodded every step of the way.
Nowadays, we dads are getting the short-shrift. We’re portrayed as knuckleheads who make Darren look like he graduated magna cum laude.
Dads are made to look worthless even in the cartoon world. Two words: Homer Simpson. Where does he come into play as smart, a good dad or anything other than a beer-swilling reprobate?
We dads are far from a perfect lot. We may be cranky. It’s understandable with all that weight we have on our shoulders.
I’m speaking for us dads when I make this request: Humor us. Just a little bit. I’ll be Perry Mason (certainly not a wimp) and state our case. Any dads who aren’t with me, grab your apron and go make dinner.
I recently attended a 13-week class, “Into The Breach.” In a nutshell, it discussed the importance of strong male family leaders being the head of the family and the important role we play.
I enjoyed every session.
Let’s face it, Bobby Riggs did us guys no favor when he got his saggy old butt whipped by Billie Jean King on a tennis court at the Houston Astrodome in 1973. It was a gargantuan publicity stunt that proved a great female could beat the pants off a marginal has-been.
I was 18 and watched the spectacle, praying: “Oh where art though Jimmy Connors?”
We dads are a resourceful bunch. I am not a “I can do everything and anything Pop.” I know my limitations, have learned to be resourceful and have found my niche or two: If I need something fixed, Vicki or Cheech get the nod; stock advice means Roy Larsen is the guy; if it’s time for a laugh, brothers Matt or Marty will be summoned.
My niche: Sharing my quintesscential infinite wisdom with anyone who will listen. I also have an encyclopedic list of stories, anecdotes and jokes. The vast majority of the shared tales are true. And if they’re not, they should be.
Being a Papa to Chris and Greg was once a daunting task. It was something learned while flying by the seat of my pants. It was easy until those teen years turned the sweetest boys ever into temporary monsters.
I was forewarned of this phenomenon and mistakenly thought: “Not my angelic boys.”
But they turned out great and if things go as planned, their legacy will be a testament to Vicki and me.
Despite becoming Pops some 24 years ago, I am blessed to have been Super Dad to the boys and pinch-hitting in that role as a coach and substitute dad when called upon.
In case you haven’t heard, we dads have a mantra that works: “Super Dad can do anything.” In days past, I even vanquished monsters with a magic spray bottle that contained spook repellent.
Whether it be niches, roles or jobs, this man/woman things goes back a few years. Think prehistoric days.
Forget Men, Mars, Women and Venus. If you ever get the opportunity to see Rob Becker’s one-man show, “Defending the Caveman,” you’ll see the difference boils down to men being hunters and women handling the gathering.
Don’t get mad, but let’s face it, most guys go buy, as in “let’s go hunt for that new grill.”
We dads have a daunting task of how to impart all this wisdom. And we’ll do it while wearing a fedora and a shirt that often doesn’t match.
If only someone will listen.
Mike Tasos’ column is published every other weekend. Happy Father’s Day to all you great guys who are always doing our best. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Facebook.