The Most Interesting Man In The World

I remember seeing Empire Strikes Back in the movies at age ten and just being blown away by the reveal that Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father. I seriously had NO freaking clue it was coming. Of course, know we all know the story and watching Vader kicking Luke’s ass just enough to try and break him, but not kill him, isn’t as powerful anymore.

Buuuuut… 10,000 people are born everyday in America who don’t know that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.

For good or bad, the father-kid relationship is emotionally charged. Do your best to make that a good emotional charge.

99% of the Game stuff that works on wives and everyone else, works just the same with your kids. Yeah sure you have to be Beta and take care of them and provide your basic comforts, but that just makes you boring old chump dad with a wallet. Add some Alpha into your actions and overall behavior. Then you’re the cool dad that does stuff. Your kids love you, but they want to be proud of you too. They want to be able to have a conversation with their friends where they use the line, “Well my dad….” and follow it with something cool about you. Your kids may not always be talking to you in anything greater than one word sentences, but they are always talking about you.

Also if you’re a boy, most of the coolest things in childhood happen immediately after your dad says, “Don’t tell your mother.” One time after dad said that, we had a second-and-a-half of airtime in the car. I shit you not. Though as a caveat I do have to mention you probably shouldn’t go all Dukes of Hazard yourself with your kids in the car in 2012. The damn airbags go off with just the slightest jostle these days. We’re from New Zealand, the national motto is “She’ll be right mate.”  Also Dad had thousands of hours of motorsport experience under his belt, the gravel road was fairly empty and if it all went wrong, it was only about a thirty or forty foot drop off onto the rocky shore below covered with several hundred mating bull seals.

(Huh… I just remembered that was in fact my first official driving lesson.)

Comments

  1. Then there was the birthday party with a bonfire lit by flaming arrows, and BB gun hide ‘n’ seek. All after dark, of course.

  2. JCclimber says:

    Funny thing is, I didn’t brag much about my dad back then. But now, decades later, many peers are quite impressed with him.
    Just reinforces my opinion that my father didn’t teach me much about alpha stuff. Had to pick it up (painfully) on my own.

  3. Angeline says:

    What a great Father’s Day post! My dad used to do stuff like that with us kids in the car, and he’d always say, “Don’t tell Mom.” One stretch of road near our house had a 2-lane swath of grass on each side of the asphalt, and he’d veer off the road and plow through the grass in the Plymouth Fury, and we’d all squeal with delight.

    My brother and I were catching up recently, and he was despairing of his best friend since college, who is now a shadow of himself. When he gets home from his full-time job, his SAHW presents him with a list of chores. “Can you imagine Dad’s reaction if he got handed a list of chores when he got home?” He snorted. Our parents had an inviolable “Happy Hour” when he got home – if it wasn’t on fire or bleeding we were not allowed to interrupt by any means. Yes, in our dads’ day they were encouraged and celebrated for being men, not vilified.

  4. Rachael says:

    @ Angeline-
    love the idea of “happy hour” …great comment. Thanks.

  5. Stargate Girl says:

    I happily spent many hours flying with my dad. First took the controls when I was about 4 or 5. was taking off and landing by 7. Loved it!

    Happy Father’s Day to all!

  6. I grew up loving the water because of my dad. As far back as I can recall my dad owned a boat. He called it a hole in the water that you threw money into but it built so many memories that I still hold of my childhood that its monetary investment still pays priceless dividends. He taught me to navigate through the waters and I was piloting at a young age. The sun on my face, the salt of the water in the air, and my dad. I just lost him two and a half weeks ago, so this Father’s Day is especially sorrowful for me. Wish I had him here to let him know just how much he means. I hope I did it enough that he left this world knowing he was a great dad in the eyes of this daughter.

  7. That is awesome. Great to hear the memories of Dads from other readers. My dad didn’t teach me much about women, but he did teach me a lot about manly fun and took a lot of pride in it. It’s always nice to see families where the dad is mischevious character introducing his children to fun instead of these Jason Bateman beta-schlub setups. Sad to hear about Angeline’s pal’s wallet-handyman marriage. F that sideways.

    Living up to Dad is a big instinct for guys. My dad loves to golf. I don’t really enjoy golfing (not very good at it and I don’t enjoy things at which I suck) – and that’s very disappointing to me, I wish I could golf with him on the regular and enjoy that father-son time.

  8. ironchefoklahoma says:

    @Badger:

    Caddy for him. All the companionship, all the scenery, none of the stress.

    Happy Father’s Day to all who raising children, and a special shout-out to Athol: your father is missed, but more importantly, remembered.

  9. Angeline says:

    I second iron – I used to caddy for my dad. It was great – I was heading into in my rebellious teen years, and it was a relatively peaceful, fun, cursewords (don’t tell Mom) time. Cursewords? Well you know, golf. It inspires them. Plus, fluent cursing is something only dads can teach :) He also used to take me along when I was very young, maybe 6? When he’d squirrel hunt. I don’t know what possessed him to do it, but I do remember doing my very bestest to stay still and quiet. I must have done OK, because I went along more than once.

  10. FeralFelis says:

    I have so many memories of my Dad, who is still alive. I have shared these memories with him.

    I want to relate them because I could just puke sometimes when I hear people say, “we don’t have much time together, but it’s “quality” time”. A lot of time, you can’t have “quality” time without quantity. Quality time just happens. It’s a magical moment which happens when you’re just hanging out.

    #1) I must have been around 2 1/2 or 3, because my brother wasn’t yet born. My dad lifted me up onto a narrow wall and I walked along the top of it. I have a distinct memory of being scared to be up on that wall, being proud that I was doing it, and looking at my dad, who was there to catch me if I fell. He was all Alpha on that one.

    #2) I was 12 and on my third deer hunt. It was about 15 degrees and we were in a tent. The alarm went off at 5:30am and I snuggled back down in my sleeping bag, hating to get up and get cold. I heard my dad get up, and he said, “Stay there for another few minutes”. He got up, and I listened to him shivering as he got dressed. He got the fire going, then was doing some other things. When all was ready, he came and said, “OK, everything is ready; time to get up for another great day of hunting!” He had put my coat under his clothes to warm it up (my clothes were with me in my sleeping bag) and made hot chocolate. He was all Beta on that one

    #3) I was 16 and had my first flat tire. I called my Dad, who said, “I’ll be right there!” I was so relieved; big strong Daddy coming to rescue his daughter! When he got there, he said, “Well, why don’t you have the tire out?” HUH??!!! He made me do everything myself! I hated him for it! I was even glad when another man stopped and said in a Texas drawl, “Whah aren’t you hay-elpin’ that poor sweet young thang?” My Dad’s response was, “I am helping her. I won’t always be around to change her tires, so I am teaching her how to do it herself.” What he said made sense, and it made my anger dissolve. That was Alpha of the highest order and I have in fact had to change many a tire in the course of my life.

    I can’t even imagine how hard it is to be a man; to have to get the right balance of Alpha and Beta. To make hard, potentially unpopular decisions for the good of your family.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there. And if you aren’t a Dad, you no doubt have people in your life to whom you act like a father, so this greeting goes out to you, as well.

  11. Changed Man says:

    All the best parts of me I learned from my Dad… My honesty, integrity, intense loyalty and commitment to family and friends, stubborn resolve in the face of adversity, selflessness. My Dad is my one and only hero… I tell him every chance I get.

  12. Game is basically the eradication of all that mushy garbage western culture teaches men.
    Erase that, and Life becomes clear.

  13. True that. “Well, my dad…can kick your dad’s ass!”

    Boys especially seem to get more respect from other boys if they have awesome dads. On the girls’ side, the guy dating your daughter better know that you can (and will) kick his ass if he gets out of line.

  14. Metasteve says:

    I had three girls. Thru the years I distilled my role as being in charge of fun and courage. Wife handled the rest. I always insisted that they (1 “mind your mother” and (2 “don’t yell at your mother.” Everything fell into place.

  15. OK, consider my hopes officially dashed that MMSL becoming Athol’s full time job was going to result in more posting.

    I mean, I can understand why that might not be the best way to monetize this bandwagon… It’s just that I had visions of getting a fresh MMSL post with every meal.

  16. Rachael says:

    Lol Eric.
    So I’m not alone in continually refreshing the page then?

  17. this is one of my absolutely FAVORITE posts. Especially the comments section. I definately got a little teary eyed reading all the great memories. I never had a super warm relationship with my own dad, but the story of camping and dad making the fire, totally tugged at my heart a bit, cause that’s something my dad ALWAYS did.

    Our house had a woodburning stove and he always got up before everyone oneelse and got the fire going, EVERY single day of the winter my enitre childhood. He’s also start it when he got home from work. And I remember waiting wiht my siblings in covers when he got home and we could have the fire. As we got older, we’d complain that it was “to hot” or “to much work, why not just turn on the heat” and he’d always say “Your mom likes the fire” after which, if you attempted to argue, you would be sent to your room. To this day, he makes my mom a fire every morning and every evening. My husband makes them for me and it’s when I feel the most loved.

    My dad also is always the one who took care of us when we were sick. He had a more flexible job than my mom, so it was easier for him to stay home. Although he was never a warm cuddly sort, he would get you ANY food you wanted – no joke, if he had to drive 45 mins away to get it, he’d go. As an adult, when I don’t feel good, I still call him to pick things up for me when I don’t feel good. Which he does, and has never complained.

    Be there really is the biggest part of the battle. Thanks to all the guys around this site, who hang tough to be there for their kids. It really does make a difference.

  18. @Eric: Word.

  19. Feralfelis, lovely post!

  20. Joe Commenter says:

    @FeralFelis and Jane: Love your sweetness towards your dad. I’d never consider hanging w/ a woman that has daddy issues or pent up daddy hatred.

  21. My dad taught me strict morals and integrity, and he instilled those in me mostly through his example. So many of my actions when I was an impressionable teen/20yr old have been governed by what my dad would consider appropriate. I recall being first asked out by a boy when I was 15, and I immediately said ‘No, I don’t think my dad would let me.’. I didn’t ask my dad, I just knew he wouldn’t like it. I was asked to do topless photo’s in my 20′s. I said No – if I couldn’t show my dad, I didn’t do it. His high expectation of what a good moral girl does taught me how to respect myself .
    This was unconsciously done. I didn’t even know I had had the lesson until it was put into use. When I moved in with my husband (then boyfriend of 3yrs) at 22, my dad asked me if I was absolutely sure. He then pulled my husband aside and asked him his intentions. :)
    I always thought my dad was a bit hard on me, but I am very glad for it now. I want my children to be raised with the same high, and excellent moral code my dad protected me with.

  22. Dreadpiratkevin says:

    Being alpha for your kids is so important. How else will they learn what it’s supposed to look like? Maybe that’s why so many young women are susceptible to cads, they didn’t have a dad to show them what real, positive alpha looks like.

    My dad taught me to sail as a kid, and the happiest memories of my childhood were sailing around the Hudson with him. One of the best moments of my life was when I was around 12 and we got on the boat and I started to cast off, and he said “no, you take the helm”. He didn’t say a word as I fumbled around looking for the wind. I felt about 10 feet tall, scared to death too. Now I’m on the other side of it, and I realize that those moments are just as sweet as a dad watching my son take the helm and handle our boat like a champ. Funny, whenever my dad comes up and goes sailing with us now, he’s still the captain, and I still feel just a little taller handling the boat with him watching me.

  23. “this is one of my absolutely FAVORITE posts. Especially the comments section.”

    Same here.

  24. I love my dad and he is a genuinely good man, good provider, hard worker, very intelligent… but he is the epitome of the Beta provider. A lot of my mannerisms and abilities come from my father, but it is my grandfather on the maternal side who has taught me the most about being a man, and whose behavior and marriage I model my own after.

  25. RedPillNewb says:

    I’ve been doing this accidentally since my kids were born. I want them to think “I want to be like him!” My parents had a lot of flaws that I’m learning from, but I still sometimes get to say “I did this with my dad when I was your age.” More often though, it’s “Someday maybe you can do this with your kids.” And the best is when they say “When I’m grown up I’ll…” be like Dad.

    Now I need to work on being an alpha to my wife, too…

  26. Love the comments, too.
    I don’t have a lot of great childhood memories. But the Mr. and I are trying to make up for that with our own.
    Just goes to show, it’s what you do with your kids that they remember. NOT what you buy them. Wish I could get some friends and family to understand that.

  27. Flipper says:

    Me too Shanna. The wife and I have our differences. But we agree on how to raise the kids. Time is the one thing we give our kids that I see a lot of parents skimp on.

  28. @ Eric

    Maybe now this is his job, Athol has performance anxiety!

  29. Although, after running my own businesses for quite a few years, I hold firmly to the importance of at least one day off every week. You burn out otherwise.

  30. flirtyintrovert says:

    Those Winter Sundays
    By Robert Hayden

    Sundays too my father got up early
    and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
    then with cracked hands that ached
    from labor in the weekday weather made
    banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

    I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
    When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
    and slowly I would rise and dress,
    fearing the chronic angers of that house,

    Speaking indifferently to him,
    who had driven out the cold
    and polished my good shoes as well.
    What did I know, what did I know
    of love’s austere and lonely offices?

  31. “Yeah sure you have to be Beta and take care of them and provide your basic comforts,”

    How, in the entire world, is providing for your children “beta”?

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