(Today marks the return of guest blogger Warren Benedetto. We are glad to have him back, particularly because he’s raising his kids in LA, something which both fascinates and disgusts us. Read more about Warren here).
“You need to spend more time with your son.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
My wife had just returned from my 3-year-old son’s fourth day of Little Lakers basketball practice. He wasn’t participating much. While all the other boys were learning bounce passes and lay-ups, my son was more interested in playing with his sister and her friends on the sidelines. My wife was concerned–all the other boys were there with their dads, and none of those kids seemed to have a problem staying involved in the practice.
I assured her that she was overreacting. “He’s fine. He’s probably just a little too young for basketball, that’s all.”
At that moment, my son sashayed out of my daughter’s room, pushing a baby carriage. He was wearing nothing but his underwear, a pink feather boa, and red sequined high heels. A purse was cradled daintily in the crook of his arm.
“This isn’t good,” my wife said.
“It’s horrible,” I said, shaking my head in disgust. “That purse totally clashes with those shoes.”
My wife laughed. And by “laughed,” I mean “fixed me with a testicle-withering glare.”
“I’m serious. Someone needs to teach him how to be a man.”
“Okay, sure. Who do have in mind?”
Can’t we find someone more qualified? I thought.
I mean, really: what do I know about being a man? I’m 34 years old, and I’m still figuring out how to properly use my external genitalia. Other dads are teaching their kids how to rotate their tires or change the oil–I can’t even pop the hood without breaking a nail. Richard Simmons is a better male role model than I am.
Yet, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I am a man, and I have therefore been afforded all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereof. By virtue of having a Y chromosome, I am entitled to higher pay for equal work, and I have the right to own land, wage war, and to masturbate frequently and with vigor.
Apparently, if you read the fine print, I also have the responsibility to teach my son that it’s not acceptable to dress like an extra from La Cage Aux Folles.
The question is: how?
“I’ve got it!” I exclaimed to my wife. “Just me and him. Guys night out. One word: VEGAS.”
“And a half …”
She didn’t look convinced. “I’ve got another word for you,” she said.
Okay, so Vegas was out.
Time for Plan B: Strip club. That would man him up. We’d cash in some of his college money for one-dollar bills, I’d buy him a lap dance or two, and he’d be well on the road to manhood. Unfortunately, it’s damn near impossible to find a strip club that has a kids menu. And not one of them had a booster seat. How’s a kid supposed to see the stage? It’s ridiculous.
I had two strikes against me, so I decided to play it safe with some in-home entertainment. I sat him on the couch, then scrolled through the on-demand movies looking for something sufficiently manly for us to watch. I didn’t really want to pay the $5.99 for Busty Cops 3–although it is by far the best of the series–so I settled for what was available for free: Transformers. Perfect.
You won’t find a more guy-friendly movie than Transformers. It’s like a crash course in the ways of the man. It has cars. Trucks. Robots. Explosions. Wanton violence.
And, most importantly, Megan Fox.
One can debate the merits of Ms. Fox’s abilities as a thespian, but few can dispute the otherworldly hotness of her taut, tanned, glistening stomach as she leans over the hood of a robot car. She’s a Category 5 wet dream, the Hurricane Katrina of nocturnal emissions. Raging torrents of involuntary ejaculate breaching the levees and wiping out entire neighborhoods. Brad Pitt starting a charity just to help rebuild all the semen-ravaged homes.
I fast-forwarded through the first half hour of the movie (Blah blah blah boy gets car yadda yadda alien robots et cetera), to get to the good stuff: Sam’s car breaks down, and Michaela (Megan Fox’s character) gets out to inspect the engine.
“Now, son,” I said. “I want you to pay special attention to this part. See her? She’s what we call a ‘hot girl.’ Can you say ‘hot girl’ ?”
“Well, yes, your mama is a hot girl, but I’m talking about the one on the TV. Her name is Megan Fox. She’s a hot girl too. Can you say ‘hot girl’ ?”
“Mama’s a hockurl.”
I sighed. “Simmer down, Oedipus.”
It wasn’t working. I stopped the movie. The TV switched from the on-demand screen to live TV, which was currently playing Blue’s Clues. Steve–the nerdy, balding, ugly-sweater-wearing host–was signing some lame-ass bullshit song about ducks.
“Hot girl …?” my son asked, pointing at Steve.
The fact is, I’m just woefully underqualified to teach anyone how to be a man.
I don’t hunt, I don’t fish, I don’t watch sports, and I only pee standing up because my ass is too big to sit comfortably on a urinal. If I lived in New York, I’d be one of the Sex And The City girls. I’m one uterus short of being a lesbian.
I don’t even like guys. I never have. With one exception, all of my friends have been girls. Even back in elementary school, when the girls were rumored to be infected with a particularly virulent form of cooties, I was more interested in hanging out with them than with the other boys.
That supposedly made me gay–at least, that’s what the signs stuck to my back said–but nothing could be farther from the truth. I was actually prematurely heterosexual.
What the other guys didn’t realize yet is that those girls didn’t have cooties: they had boob nubbins. Under their shirts were glorious little mounds of ladystuff. If you looked into their open sleeves from just the right angle, you could actually see God.
Around junior high, the other boys started to figure it out, but by then it was too late: I had staked my claim. They were MY boob nubbins. Get your own. Right, girls?
So very, very, wrong.
They say the early bird gets the worm. What they don’t tell you is that the early bird also gets banished to a barren, sexless Siberia, where he’ll spend puberty shivering in an endless winter of pathetic loneliness.
I watched from afar as boob nubbins blossomed into glorious, wondrous breasts, supple and firm and bursting with fruit flavor. Every few months, bundles of mail would be dropped into the gulag from a passing cargo plane, bringing news clippings about make-out sessions at parties long forgotten. Occasionally, a wayward ribbon of ticker tape would drift by, carried across my path by a frozen gale of soul-crushing disappointment.
“April Johnson. STOP. The girl you loved since second grade. STOP. Gave Chad Martin a blowjob. STOP.”
What did these other guys have that I didn’t? I mean, except for muscles. And good teeth. And hair gel.
But who cares about all that? Those guys were disgusting pigs: boorish, obnoxious, sexist, disrespectful. Why would any girl want them instead of me, a nice guy who would probably be quite good at cunnilingus, if given the chance to prove it?
I’m supposed to teach my son how to be a man. But that begs the question: what kind of man? I don’t want him to grow up sitting on the sidelines–I want him in the game. Not just in the game; I want him to be the captain of the team. I want him to be popular, and athletic, and good-looking, and all the things I wasn’t. I want his name on that ticker tape, in the hands of some other milquetoast, asexual loser.
Or do I?
Do I really want my kid to be one of those guys I envied in high school? Sure, they got laid, but they were assholes. They got invited to parties that, in retrospect, I wouldn’t have wanted to be at anyway. They treated girls terribly, they picked on people weaker than them, they lied and cheated and stole to get what they wanted, and ultimately, they went nowhere in life.
I, on the other hand, married a hot girl.
It’s true. My son was right–his mother is a hot girl. Way hotter than I have any right to be with. You know when you’re walking down the street, and you see some gorgeous woman on the arm of some lumpy, doughy doofus? And you think, “Ugh. What does SHE see in HIM?” Well, that’s me. I’m the doofus.
It almost always works out that way. Sure, you’ll find the rare stud who spends his life sipping the elixir of life from a golden chalice while being fellated by a non-stop parade of supermodels. But more often than not, the guys who ultimately win out aren’t the ones with bedrooms full of high school sports trophies.
The band nerd grows up to be a rock star. The computer geek becomes an internet millionaire. The president of the chess club becomes a titan of Wall Street.
So, what kind of man do I want my son to grow up to be? Personally, I’d rather have him grow up to be the latter. That’s where he’s going to find long-term happiness. And if that means he needs to spend a few years in the frozen tundra of Noblowjobistan, then so be it. He can borrow my jacket. I don’t need it anymore. I’ve got a better way to keep warm now:
Standing next to his mom.