You know that scene about an hour into “The Fly” where Jeff Goldblum looks in the mirror and sees a half man/half fly staring back at him? Well, that’s how I feel of late, except instead of turning into a fly I find myself turning into a Dad.
Now when I say “Dad” I don’t just mean a dude who has had a child. I mean a high pants wearing, snoring on the couch during prime time kind of Dad. The kind of Dad you buy John Grisham books and golf accessories for at Christmas. The kind of Dad Molly Ringwald had in a John Hughes’ movie. That kind of Dad.
I don’t mind it necessarily, it’s just weird. I’ve gone from enjoying bars and clubs to finding them loud; from watching MTV to preferring “Dateline NBC”. And I may have even started to say the phrase “Those damn kids” without irony.
The weirdest thing though is how I’ve started to think of women. For example, when I was single and in my younger days, I used to find girls at parties who weren’t afraid to throw back a shot (or four) pretty exciting. Now I see these girls and worry about how they’re going to get home safely.
I talked to a guy a little older than me about this and he said he finds the whole transition a bit disturbing as well. Recently, he told me, he visited his daughter on her sorority’s swim day and found himself in a pool surrounded by dozens of bikini clad sorority girls. Whereas the younger version of himself probably would have passed out from excitement, he was now less titillated than concerned about how inappropriate the girls’ skimpy bikinis were. If he felt the desire to chat any of them up, he said, it was to impress upon them how important it was to have self-respect.
Oh well. The truth is that if going through this change makes me a better father to Annabel, then I am all for it. Now please excuse me … “Dateline NBC” is about to start and I can’t wait to doze on the couch while watching.