Friday, Jan. 5, 2007 | I’ve learned a few things during my 41 years on Earth.
I might have learned a few more but Proposition 13 came into effect when I was 13, and that eliminated the funding for the other things I would have learned.
Still, there are some basic truths that I hold near to my heart, including this one: Men would rather give their friends the business than give them helpful advice about parenting.
A perfect example of this happened while playing disc golf this past weekend. For those not in the know: Disc golf is like regular golf, except you toss Frisbees into baskets instead of putting balls into holes.
It’s also different because it’s much cheaper than regular golf.
That’s one of the reasons I love it. That and the fact that it gives me a chance to bond with other men and discuss manly things, such as good art movies, San Diego’s best Japanese restaurants and which Queen album is the most underrated (My pick: “News Of The World”).
Usually, during the games, I avoid talking about my kids because some of my friends aren’t parents and nothing bores a childless guy more.
This time, it was different, because one of my pals is expecting his first child in March. I know he is excited and I was excited about the prospect of instilling fear into him.
“Hey, when is your baby due again?”
“Early March. I have to tell you, I’m really excited.”
“Really? That’s crazy. No man is excited about becoming a parent.”
“Yeah, right. You’re really happy to give up all that freedom?”
“Uh, well, I’ve always wanted kids.”
“Come on! When you’re watching a football game or watching an action movie, you’re thinking, ‘The only thing that would make this perfect is a screaming, crying kid.’”
“Uh, well, no.”
So my other friend with kids hears this and he can’t help but join in because, like I said, guys love giving other guys the business.
“How’s the pregnancy going?” he asks.
“Yeah, but you can’t do anything right, right?”
“It’s like she’s having a hormonal tsunami, right?”
“Uh, yeah. That’s a good way to put it.”
“Yeah, when my wife had our first kid, it was like the Tommy Roe song, ‘Jam Up Jelly Tight.’ Ever hear that?”
“No, but I can imagine.”
“Yeah, but the second kid, it was like free love, man.”
“That, I don’t want to imagine. At least not you.”
It’s my turn to interject: “See, it’s not like we don’t want our kids. We love ’em, but it’s just not natural for a guy to not want, at least secretly, his freedom to roam. Women have been planning their babies since they were young. Most guys don’t do ANY family planning. That’s how they become parents.”
My friend has this delicious look of worry on his face.
“C’mon, it’s not that bad, is it?”
“No, not for you. I mean you listen to rap and heavy metal so the sound of a crying, screaming baby isn’t that much of a stretch. If you liked more melodic music — like I do — it might be worse.”
“I’m sure I’ll deal with it.”
“Yes, you will. Of course, your ways of dealing with it probably won’t be the same as your wife’s way, so you won’t be able to do anything right.”
“Not with that hormonal tsunami going on…” says my fellow dad.
“Right you are,” I return his volley.
I can tell we’ve cracked the armor of my soon-to-be-a-dad pal. He tries to hide his fear with a hearty, “I’m sure it will be okay.”
“Oh yeah. But I’ll tell you that first three months is tough. Then they stop being screaming balls of blubber and poop and develop a personality.”
“Oh, that’s good,” says my friend optimistically.
“At that point, you’ll be approached by some of the most beautiful women you’ve ever seen.”
“And none of them will look at you. They’ll just want to stare at your baby.”
“Well, I’m a married man.”
“And a dad. Don’t forget.”
“Yeah…. A dad,” and his voice trails off.
I turn to my fellow dad and whisper, “I think we’ve broken his spirit.”
“Good, let’s finish the game.”
David Moye is a La Mesa-based writer who is convinced all the political problems facing San Diego County could be solved quickly if the powers-that-be simply played disc golf together. He can be reached at email@example.com. Or, send a letter to the editor.