What would I know now, if I'd had a less bad dad?
September 29, 2010 5:42 PM   Subscribe

Women of Metafilter: did you have a loving relationship with your father when you were growing up? Did your father make you feel loved, supported, and valued? Can you tell me what that makes your life look/feel like today? I'm trying to understand how to move forward from a history with a sadistic, distant father, and it would help me to know what benefits you have gained from having a loving one, so that I can attempt to find those benefits for myself.

Although my father and I have created a relationship in the present (I'm 36) that is as supportive and loving as it can be (it's still rather problematic), during my childhood he was sadistic, sexually inappropriate, distant, and overall difficult to be the daughter of.

I've been seeing a therapist, and I am trying to wrap my brain around how my life might look different today if I'd had the kind of loving, supportive relationship with my father that I can't really even imagine. I currently have tremendous issues in my relationships with men, difficulty leaving unhealthy relationships, difficulty advocating for myself, sticking up for myself, acting in my own best interest, particularly when other people's feelings are involved.

What positive things did your father teach you, women of metafilter, explicitly or by example, about your worth as a human being, about being in relationships with men, about selecting partners, about sticking up for yourself?
posted by troublemenot to Human Relations (26 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
My father taught me to be comfortable around men, that I can be their equal, their friend, because I am his. He means everything to me.

His unconditional support of me entering a male-dominated profession kept me going when times were rough. He always believed that I was the best at what I do, and that I was as worthy of good things happening as anybody. I remember distinctly when I was in high school and he wasn't happy that I didn't make Homecoming Court. The fact that I was an awkward teen-aged geek girl didn't track with him; to him I was the best one.

His humor and openness taught me to be okay with having men in my life that I am not in love with; friends. He taught me a love of science, history, logic, astronomy, and a bunch of other stuff I can't think of right now. My mom and sister don't like those things, so it's like we had a club of our own within the house. A fun club. I have pretty much recreated this with the men I pal around with; the only girl in their happy hour club.
posted by Mala at 6:01 PM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

First of all, I'm glad you're seeing a therapist. I know many females who had/have rocky relationships with their fathers... and they always end up with abusive men.

My father always taught me:

-to be an individual (be a leader - not a follower)
-give everything my best effort
-don't take shit from anyone
-don't lose your sense of humor

As for guy-advice - We never really talked about that. I didn't start dating until I was an adult and out of the house. I kind of just figured out relationships/men on my own.

I have had some issues coming from a loving family though. My parents never drank, argued or yelled. So sometimes when someone gets irritated or gets drunk - I can get scared. I think that's because I was never used to anger/drunk people... and to me it seems like a bad sign.
I've learned to figure it out though
posted by KogeLiz at 6:03 PM on September 29, 2010

I have been blessed to get a "second chance" with a very caring, emotionally-attuned stepdad after a likely-Aspie biological father. One thing I recognize and value my stepdad for is being a positive, supportive adult male role model. I also gained a paternal figure who is capable of demonstrating and receiving affection, which has helped me remarkably in my own personal relationships. Finally, I saw my mother in a situation where she was openly loved and treated with care, received regular verbalized appreciation, and gave and received overt acts of caring. This further enforced the example of a healthy relationship and, to this day, gives me something to strive for as well as a high standard against which to measure the men in my life.

I can't speak about self-worth or confidence as these are are influenced by so many interconnected factors and are traits that are slowly accumulated over time. I guess lacking a lot of early support may put you behind the curve in some respects (I have certainly struggled with confidence and self-worth ...still do!) but I don't know that the absence or presence of a "good" father really determines all that much in the end. A lot of people with great, supportive parents grow up very coddled while others with no such encouragement or network evolve into very independent, self-sufficient individuals.

I commend you for accepting your relationship with your father as it is. You will be happy ten, twenty, thirty years from now to look back and know you tried to know and love each other despite the challenges. Perhaps you may find this difficult relationship to ultimately be one of the most rewarding with a little longitudinal perspective. Regardless, your self-awareness to identify positive experiences and cultivate their lessons "artificially" reflects an admirable, proactive attitude that indicates you should be (are) just fine.

My only recommendation would be to continue to focus on the growth you wish to achieve and the healthy relationships you want to cultivate. Don't waste time thinking "what if" ... it's an endless, self-defeating game. You are who you are and your past is what it was. You care enough to invest in your relationship with your father, and invest in your personal development -- you are on the right track. Good luck.
posted by keasby at 6:04 PM on September 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I had many similar problems to work on in therapy, but also a wonderful father who taught me that there were people who might sometimes be disappointed by my behavior, but who'd always love me. His belief that I'm a good person helps me to be a better one. And his support in helping me be a better homework-doer or musical instrument-player taught me to stick with the hard stuff, because even if it doesn't pay off with high grades or true talent, the effort (especially if it's a shared one) is completely worthwhile.
posted by ldthomps at 6:22 PM on September 29, 2010

My dad taught me that I could accomplish what I set my mind to, if I approached it with dedication and determination. He did this by telling me that I was smart, and encouraging me to be a reader and a talker. When I was a kid, I was often more comfortable talking to adults than to other kids. He always let me know that he was proud of me, and things that I had accomplished. When other kids picked on me, he did encourage me to feel better, but he also pushed me to think of ways in which I could fix things myself.
Every day he would tell me that I was pretty, and he often still does (I'm the same age as you.) However, I am not what most people would call conventionally pretty, and when I was in middle school and highschool that used to get me down. When I got depressed, he would tell me that if I waited, the boys would grow to recognize my attractions. I think that as a result of this, I grew up unwilling to put up with crap from men who couldn't recognize my awesomeness. While that meant that in a couple of relationships I was a little delusional about the power of my charms, I nevertheless ended up with a great man, who takes care of me and loves me for who I am.
I lucked out.
posted by pickypicky at 6:24 PM on September 29, 2010

I always felt that my dad could fix *any* situation. I'd come crying to him with some disaster, and he was always there to calm me down and figure things out. Even now when I call him and I'm upset, he is able to talk me down.
posted by radioamy at 6:26 PM on September 29, 2010

I care a lot about my dad, he's quite a sweetheart even if he can be a bit high-strung and overbearing. Always willing to do whatever he can for me, repeatedly offering, even if it will stress him out sometimes when what I need help with is a bit challenging. He does the same for everyone around him. So I grew up with every reassurance that if I really need help, he's there. But I became pretty independent anyway - I don't like to cause him the stress unless it's really necessary. I usually ask for help when I know it's something easy for him to do, makes him feel like he's taking care of me.

For boyfriends, Dad's the big test. The one thing that dad has influenced about my relationships is whether or not my current beau gets along with my father, whether the bf can make nice and not bitch to me about him later. He's a big, gruff-looking talkative softie, so it's been fun sometimes to throw the guy in there and see how he handles my dad. And it's fair game in my mind - I've got two sisters, no brothers, so whoever I pick will have to be someone who can be the son my dad never had, to some extent. They have to suck it up. But generally I'm attracted to kind, generous men as a result of my dad being so charitable with others, and confident, easygoing ones if they can handle my dad's overbearing nature :P
posted by lizbunny at 6:43 PM on September 29, 2010

FWIW, I have had (and continue to have) a good relationship with my dad (though my parents did get divorced when I was 10). It's not every single time, but I do tend to end up in my fair share of unhealthy relationships and at times feel much the same way you describe with regards to men. So, maybe it has to do with your father, maybe it doesn't; but I hope you can take solace in the fact that we all have our hurdles and they aren't always traceable to "daddy issues".

Best of luck on your journey.
posted by girlalex at 6:46 PM on September 29, 2010

My dad and I did most of our bonding over fixing stuff. I had to learn how to take care of my car before I was allowed to drive. So I definitely learned how to be self-sufficient from my dad.

My dad also taught me that he had my back. Every time I went somewhere he'd want to know what routes I'd be taking so that if he ever had to come looking for me he'd know where to look. Every sleepover or party I went to he had to know the address so that if I called and wanted to be picked up he knew where to get me. I was told that he would pick me up at any time, day or night, no questions asked. When I was little that would have been because I was scared from staying in a strange house, when I was older it was because I was at a party where there was drugs and I wasn't comfortable. At the time it was a giant PITA to have to call home every time I went somewhere new (the age before cell phones) but the time I was stranded with a broke down car in an area with no phones and my dad came to my rescue made it all worth it.

Along the same "he's got my back" lines, there was a creepy guy at the gas station every time I went to fill up my car. The creepy guy would leer and try to flirt with me, so I started going to a different gas station. When my parents found out my dad went with me and read the guy the riot act, then told the manager that they needed to deal with loiterers or he would. I was pretty embarrassed at the time, but it made me feel good too.

I guess my dad made me feel safe. No matter what I knew he'd be there to rescue me. It made me look for that quality in a husband. Among other things, I found a guy who makes me feel safe. Not safe like I need to be taken care of, safe like I can be myself and accepted.
posted by TooFewShoes at 6:51 PM on September 29, 2010 [3 favorites]

My father is an extraordinarily sweet and gentle man. What with the burping and the farting and the messiness, and the sharp coarse sense of humor, he would never be nominated for a Sensitive New Age Guy Award. This is actually part of the reason he is such a good daddy. And the surface coarseness is part and parcel of it.

Point the first: he married my mother at nineteen and stayed married. Not every good dad has to do this, or even should; but that he did speaks volumes.

He never treated me like a little china doll of a girl. He expected me to play rough -- rougher than I wanted to, sometimes, because I was never an adventurer, but it was far better for me than the alternative.

He does not think of himself as a dude who knows the right thing to say in a bad spot, which may be why he is one. Once I was weeping in my room over a broken heart, over being badly treated publicly and privately in a breakup. My dad was there on the phone for me, which, unfortunately, geographically, was all he could do. He knew the whole story from my mom, because I had been sobbing too hard to tell it twice. What he said to me was, "You know . . . baby . . . I'd do anything for you. I'd eat a bug. Not one of those little ones, either. One of the big, hairy kind with all the legs." Years later, that statement continues to improve my life every time I think of it. (Hell, now I want to call him, but he'd be embarrassed if I just called to say something all emotional . . . well, anyway.)

I also have a wonderful grandfather, who raised his daughters in a more "ladylike" way, but with full educational and career expectations together with all possible support for them. To make a long story short, there are now six higher degrees among his three daughters.

Do I have issues with men? Yes. But none of them come from my father, grandfather, or uncles. They showed me that men can be expected to be as loving, kind, and dedicated to their families as women. And they're both from the rural South, too, which has always primed me to expect and demand men from any part of a country to respect women.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:01 PM on September 29, 2010 [13 favorites]

I had a normal dad without any of the issues that your dad has and I can't articulate any touching story like the above. I have an okay relationship with him, I guess.

I infer from this that imagining what would be different might be okay but focusing on an idealized vision is probably not too realistic.
posted by k8t at 7:17 PM on September 29, 2010

troublemenot, my relationship with my dad didn't really approach the stress of yours (mine wasn't around at all, disappeared when I was a baby, more here) but I always grew up acutely feeling that abandonment. I can go on and on about how my dad's absence messed me up, and it really did, but here are the good things about having a shitty dad.

1. I know not to make my mom's mistake. By the time I was 25, I was over dating narcissistic garage rock musicians who sound like the subject of 50% of anonymous ask.metafilter questions written by neglected girlfriends. I don't take shit from men the way my mother did, and I definitely, definitely won't have kids with a guy who would make a terrible father. I'm engaged to someone who, in addition to being all-around awesome, makes a better parent to his cats than most fathers do with their own children. It was really important to me that my own kids have the dad I did not. No matter what happens in our relationship, I know in my heart that if (heavens forfend) things don't work out, he'll make the effort to be there for his kids when my dad just gave up and faded away.

2. I am my own gatekeeper. A lot of women with dads talk about how these older burly men sized up potential boyfriends and prom dates and scared these teenage boys shitless. That sounds neat, I guess, but I never had that person as a youth. I realize that I need to screen people myself, and if necessary, be enough of my own person to let dudes know that they can't mess around with me.

3. I can move forward without him.
This has been the hardest aspect of being an adult woman who didn't have a dad. Do I invite him to the wedding? Let him meet his grandchildren? Do I, in short, make the very adult gesture of forgiving his weakness and accept him as an individual and not as a bad parent? I still don't know these answers.

I don't know what your therapy necessarily entails, but I personally wouldn't want to envision my life with a supportive, loving father. It would have been nice, of course, but that's not really the point. What helps me deal with my father's abandonment is knowing that I've found ways to constructively make use of his disinterest, and ways to grow beyond being that kid who was left behind. I love my fiancé in part because he cares for others more than himself, he's a man of immense emotional integrity, and he embraces his responsibility for those who depend on them. Lots of people fall in love with people who are selfish and the casually cruel, hoping they'll change, hoping they were wrong, but I just can't. I just can't live through that loss again, and I can't have a life with someone who will leave the way my dad left my mother and me. So, lesson learned. I'd rather have that battle scar now rather than later.
posted by zoomorphic at 7:20 PM on September 29, 2010 [7 favorites]

I could reiterate what people said here about how a great dad can go a long way toward your success in life, but I'll just post a quote I found recently instead.

‎"There's a look little girls have who are adored by their fathers," Bea said. "It's that facial expression of being totally impervious to the badness of the world. If they can keep that look into their twenties, they're pretty much OK, they've got a force field around them. "
--Maile Meloy, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It.
posted by Mimzy at 7:39 PM on September 29, 2010 [10 favorites]

What positive things did your father teach you, women of metafilter, explicitly or by example, about your worth as a human being, about being in relationships with men, about selecting partners, about sticking up for yourself?

I have a really wonderful father. He has been telling me (I'm 24 now) since the day I was born that his relationships with his family (me, my sister, and my mother) are the most important things in his life. And now he also tells me that I've grown up in to a wonderful young woman and that he views raising my sister and I well as the most important thing he's ever done or ever will do. He's REALLY SINCERE about these things and reminds us often. And he

The only piece of specific advice about relationships he's ever given me was in the form of a very short letter he sent to me in my first week of college. He enclosed a check and wrote: "Please discuss and purchase birth control before having sex. Sorry I couldn't think of any other way to say it. Love, Dad." He never had any "fatherly axioms" for me to follow, but when the going got tough he always wanted to hear all the details and help me work things out. Still does.

Probably the most important thing I learned from my dad is how to be in a loving relationship. Of course, I learned this equally from my mom. In my entire life, they have had 2 fights. Other than that, they have managed to resolve their disagreements peacefully. I never had to listen to fighting. Neither parent EVER complained to me about the other in any way, but neither did they pretend they always agreed with each other. I am so grateful for that.

Of course, having a loving family hasn't prevented me from having my problems. I've sure got plenty of faults! And insecurities, as well. I'm sure that living with your father WAS difficult and HAS influenced who you are today, and while you may have struggles that I've never had, you probably also have understanding that I don't, too. I don't mean to minimize how difficult this is for you. I have absolutely no trouble believing in how damaging a toxic relationship with a parent can be. I just hope it is vaguely reassuring that even those of us who were lucky enough to have wonderful fathers still have all kinds of problems. Maybe that just sounds depressing, but that's not how I mean it.
posted by Cygnet at 7:43 PM on September 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

You know, I did, but at the same time, in very serious ways, I did not, so I probably should not even be answering this question. However, there was a piece of wisdom given to me that I wanted to pass on to you, to keep and remember for when & if you decide to have children. It is this:

We have two chances in life to experience the parent-child relationship. The first is with our parents, the second is with our children. The opportunity for joy has not passed you by; you can live it from the other pole when the circle comes 'round again.
posted by Ys at 8:03 PM on September 29, 2010 [5 favorites]

Do I have issues with men? Yes. But none of them come from my father, grandfather, or uncles. They showed me that men can be expected to be as loving, kind, and dedicated to their families as women. And they're both from the rural South, too, which has always primed me to expect and demand men from any part of a country to respect women.

Ah, gotta love the Good 'Ol Boys in my family. My (late) father and the male relatives I've always been close with are all Southern and from an early age, I knew that I had their love and respect and would always be treated as an equal. I'd also guess with my dad - he grew up around women and saw what his mother and his sisters went through as single moms trying to support their families. One thing he definitely insisted on for my sisters and I (2nd generation of the family is all female) is that we would get an education and financially independent.

If there's been any issue I've had with the opposite sex, it's simply been when somebody doesn't live up to the standards I was raised to expect from men. Kind of like how they say you can tell what somebody's like from how they treat service staff - I always pay attention to how men treat the women in their family.
posted by green_flash at 11:16 PM on September 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

My dad is nuts and we've had issues, but overall I can sense he loves me and siblings very dearly.

I think one thing I've gotten from my father, for better or worse, is that I expect the men in my life to be loyal and never, ever cheat (or at least super-amazing at hiding any infidelities, or thoughts of infidelities!)

So I am super shocked and genuinely puzzled when I ever hear about cheating. This might make me more naive than most people, but there you are.
posted by The ____ of Justice at 11:36 PM on September 29, 2010

A piece of advice my father likes to give:
"Eat when you're hungry, sleep when you're tired, and life has no guarantees, so please follow your dreams."
posted by vienaragis at 12:00 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

My dad somehow managed to teach me that I am simultaneously no better than anyone else but also every bit as good as anyone else. Meaning he raised me to be kind, polite and respectful in all situations and amongst all people but not to take shit from anyone and to always trust my own mind and judgement.

The "not taking shit" part of things has definitely caused a few jobs to not work out for me (i.e. anything in customer service) but on the other hand, I've always kept my pride.

As to relationships, like green_flash, I always ended up comparing the guys I dated to my Dad, as in "my Dad would have gone out and bought me NyQuil when he knew I was sick instead of making me walk to the store myself", and having them come up short. I have a pretty well-honed "jerk" radar, at least for big-time jerks, like abusers and cheaters. I can usually pick up out when a friend's new boyfriend is going to turn out to be a creep from a mile away. On the flip side, I sometimes feel like I can act a bit of a brat with my husband, having grown up with a sometimes overly indulgent father.
posted by Jess the Mess at 12:00 AM on September 30, 2010 [2 favorites]

Well, since my father died, there are a whole slew of topics that I no longer have anyone with whom I can talk about them. We were very close. A lot of people said we interacted more like siblings than father-daughter.

He insisted that we have opinions.

He insisted that his sons and daughters would have exactly the same opportunities.

He let all of his kids know that hitting women was never ok. One of the few times I remember my brother getting punished was when he "raised his hand to your sister." (I was evil, and took unfair advantage of this prohibition).

He wanted to be very sure that we picked things to do with our lives that we would love doing. "Find something that sets you on fire." He worried about us until he was confident that we had found or were on track to finding that thing.

He was very respectful of our (my sister and my) physical spaces. He never entered the bedroom I shared with my sister once we hit adolescence. This puzzled me for a long time because he never explained it. It now makes my eyes well up with affection. Both the fact that he did it, and the fact that he didn't explain it.

When I was getting married he told me the same thing he had told my elder sister when she got married: "If he doesn't treat you right, kick him in the rear and come home."

When I was trying to decide whether MrBardophile was the right guy to marry, he wanted me to be very sure that MrBardophile understood my specific, and rather unconventional (by Pakistani standards) expectations of gender roles, etc.

When we were coming back from the airport having sent my sister off to college in the US, he commented to my uncle: "You know, when they're babies, you spend your whole time trying to make sure they don't fall and hurt themselves. You don't realize at the time that really you're going to be doing that forever, it's just the kinds of fall and hurt that change."

He would take us to the library. He would read to us. I was often in trouble with my mom because I would have "taken a break" from my chores to listen to some poetry he wanted to share.

Good luck with your journey. I know I have been greatly blessed in who my parents are/were. I hope your search for surrogates is successful.
posted by bardophile at 12:30 AM on September 30, 2010 [7 favorites]

I hope no one minds me breaking in to say this, but I am a father with two daughters (age 2 and 11, with a pair of boys in between) and this thread is showing me that the job is huge, but it is hugely important because it will pay off handsomely in strong, grown women.

Carry on.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:21 AM on September 30, 2010 [3 favorites]

My Dad is probably best described as "stoic" - emotionally undemonstrative, almost transactional in his dealings with my sister and me, and hesitant to really engage with us on anything other than an intellectual level. I always got the impression from him that he was afraid he'd break us if he played with us or roughhoused or something.


1) He taught us to be self-sufficient. I learned to change a tire, change oil, adjust a timing belt, wire an electrical box, drive nails, chop wood, and use a power drill from him.

2) He taught us to be constantly aware of our surroundings. He calls it his "danger sense", and although that sounds hokey, I've gotten out of more scrapes because of that than I care to think about.

3) He insisted we work hard, get an education, and although he is himself a Catholic, never pushed us into religion. He preferred to teach us right from wrong, and let us make our own minds up about how we wanted to express that.

4) He never meddled in our affairs or tried to influence our decisions one way or another, unless he felt it was really important. As a result, when Dad weighs into a discussion on something I'm making a decision on, I'm much more likely to pay attention to what he has to say.

5) His own interest in tradition and in maintaining old and dying ways of life is something I share with him, so I'm continually going to him for his knowledge. As a result, I've learned to make cheese, wine, and homemade sausages. I've learned how to sharpen kitchen knives, smoke meat, and make maple syrup. His abiding love in Celtic music is the reason I'm such an addict of it today - I'm teaching a course in it at the local university this semester.

6) He and Mom may have fought in the 35-some years they've been married, but they've never done it in front of my sister and me, and they've never gone to bed angry with one another. Having folks that put up a united front was comforting to little me. It really conveyed the message that "we're in this together".

And bottom line, although he's never uttered the words "I love you" to me in my entire life, I don't need to hear them. He's been "telling" me in other ways.
posted by LN at 7:35 AM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

My dad's getting on and his mind isn't quite what it used to be all the time, so it's a bit difficult for me to think about this question. But anyway, three things come immediately to mind when I consider how having an incredible father has shaped me.

First, he never has indicated that something I wanted was not possible to achieve, from worthy pursuits to harebrained schemes. So I have never hesitated to go after something I wanted, and I can be a stubborn and formidable force against anything standing in my way.

Second, he is a book lover and reader. He taught me that formal education is great, but everything can be found in a book somewhere, and that intellectual curiosity is continually rewarding.

Third, he has worked to develop a relationship with my partner, independent of me. They talk on the phone. They do projects together. They genuinely enjoy each other's company. It's so neat to me that the two most important men in my life are so cool with each other.

I kind of feel like Bedelia.
posted by CheeseLouise at 8:00 AM on September 30, 2010

I have an awesome dad. He's a feminist who always supported me wholeheartedly in everything I've done while also pushing me to be better in a loving way. He also showed me a lot of affection when I was a kid.

Things I learned from him/ways he affected me as an adult (some of this is due to my mother as well, so credit where credit is due):

- Someone upthread mentioned being friends with men and not viewing them as the "enemy" or "foreign" - I relate to this. I've always had lots of male friends and definitely never saw them as threatening or "other" in any way.

- My parents have an egalitarian partnership, to the point where I really just can't accept anything less in a relationship. It's really powerful to have learned so much about feminism from my father. I think a lot of my friends don't really believe that men can be full partners in raising a family, and that idea is foreign to me.

- Professionally, I feel confident that I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough. The real world has bruised that sense at times, but it's great to have that core faith in myself to go back to.

- I've never seen my parents have an argument that didn't end in them laughing about it. I'm sure they had larger conflicts that I didn't see as a kid, but for me and my brother, they modeled how to have a disagreement, resolve it, and then go back to being OK fairly quickly.

- He never talked down to me or kept his topics to "girl stuff." From an early age, he'd talk to me about politics, sports, culture, whatever. This made me really articulate and world-aware at a young age. Now we work in the same field, and I love being able to talk shop or get super-specific career advice from him.

- Despite his awesomeness, no one is perfect and I think he made a few mistakes when I was a kid with how I was raised. But as an adult, I've been able to talk with him about these things and he's been open to hearing it. This has helped me learn how to "air grievances" with someone I love and have our relationship grow from it.

I kind of feel like Bedelia.

OMG, me too. The first time I saw a Bedelia sketch, I was like "That's me!"

This is a great thread.
posted by wholebroad at 12:36 PM on September 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

I can't think of anything my dad taught me that would apply to the wider world, as opposed to the situations I got myself into specifically, but he did say these immortal words about drinking and drugs, which I shared with all my friends: start slow and don't be stupid.
posted by Grafix at 8:33 PM on September 30, 2010

My father taught me to hang siding, patch drywall, bake cookies, be professional at work, always pay my debts as quickly as possible, some great (albeit outdated) dirty jokes, and how to tell if a man was worth my time or not. I remember telling my dad about a boy who wouldn't slow dance with me in middle school and my dad said, "Whaddaya wanna date that asshole for anyhow?" and it's been a fine assessment standard ever since.
posted by ShadePlant at 11:50 AM on October 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

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