Thursday, December 01, 2011

Pressing my "dad" button

My dad was like Archie Bunker. He used to say grumpy shit that didn't make sense, that he didn't even mean, just to hear himself being grumpy.

"If [insert Democrat's name here] becomes President, we're moving to Canada."

"I'm never buying anything from Japan again." (Even though the TV he had just bought me for my room was by Sanyo.)

"I'm never going to another baseball game again." After the first baseball players' strike in 1981. OK, that was true. But because no one ever invited him to another game, not because of his heroic anti-labor stance. Anyway, you get the idea.


Unfortunately, my oldest friend is flirting with a man who is leaning heavily on my dad button. They met through some SoCal dating service and have traded emails and spoken on the phone. Because I am very protective of her -- and because she doesn't need anymore shit or heartache -- I have been cyber stalking this guy. Between Twitter, Facebook and his blog, he gives me a lot of material.

At first he gave me pause because he wrote that he was so sorry that Joe Paterno is a victim of this Penn State mess. What the fu ... Oh, well, the guy used to be a sportscaster. Maybe he can't stop looking at the world through that prism. A little baffling for a father and a grandfather regarding the subject of child abuse, but I'm a barren spinster, what do I know?

Then he complained about Black Friday and how he will never shop at Wal-Mart or Best Buy again, since those two retailers pander to our lowest instincts and encourage us to act like animals.Really? Really? You will never shop at Wal-Mart or Best Buy again? HONK! HONK! Dad button goes off loudly.

He's done with Bette Midler because of something she tweeted. He guesses she doesn't want conservative fans like him.  HONK! Dad button again.

Today he's mad at OWS because they have taken over parks paid for with tax dollars and he wonders what's next. Are they going to camp out all night in affluent neighborhoods to protest people who work for a living and earned what they have?  HONK! HONK! Yes, Dad, that's exactly what's next. They're pitching their tents on Kirk Kerkorian's lawn right now.

Like my oldest friend, he has had a lot of health problems lately. Perhaps they are weighing heavily on him, and that explains the dearth of joy in any of his posts.

But still, he sounds like an angry man and I'm getting a very toxic vibe from him. With everything my friend has been dealing with, I don't know that Archie Bunker is really who she needs right now.

Therefore, as mean as this sounds, I hope he cancels on her. I really do. I know how sad and lonely she is, but she's already looking at this man as her "soul mate" and talking about which cologne she's going to wear for their first meeting. I'm scared for her with this guy. Not physically, but emotionally.

I hope I'm wrong. I'd love to be wrong. Please let me be wrong and please let her have her happy ending.


  1. You make such a good detective! Hopefully, she'll figure it out before too long.

    What a pal you are!

  2. Anonymous10:07 AM

    I dunno. Sounds like a guy set in his ways having a hard time coping with change. Lots of guys are like that. Maybe most. You must admit, not all change is for the better.

    Seeing things go downhill, but not quite knowing the reason, old guys start to grouse about everything. And I share his snetiments about Joe. The guy has four and a half decades of sterling service. Do you really throw him out with the trash for a single misstep?

  3. When the single misstep regards child rape, I think so, yes. Funny how I don't have kids and I'm repelled by this argument, but the man I wrote the post about has children and grandchildren and makes it.

  4. Oh, my, I'm sorry this companion for your oldest friend isn't up to snuff.

  5. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Well....the way you put it....yes. And no one is saying that child rape is not sordid. But if I understand correctly, the report to Joe was not "child rape," it was "horsing around" in the shower. What's an old guy to make of that?

    Joe remembers a time, as do I, when you swam naked in the YMCA pool, boys and men alike, without the slightest thought of impropriety. That's the era he comes from. "You kids quit horsing around!" is what everyone's parents used to holler at them. Again, nothing sexual at all.

    Should he have grilled the asst coach more closely? In hindsight, it appears he should have. He says so himself. But hindsight, which everyone has in spades, is a lot easier to judge from than foresight.

  6. Tom, child rape IS sordid. And nude "horsing around" between an adult male and an adolescent IS a red flag. And it wasn't an isolated incident. No one involved even pretends that it was.

    Joe Paterno should have been less concerned with his image and his program and more concerned with what went on in that locker room. What could he have done? Put his assistant on notice that this shit is inappropriate and WILL NOT BE TOLERATED ... Spoken to the boy and the boy's parents to find out what really went on ... Conferred with a counselor to see what appropriate boundaries are/should be between adults and children in today's world. It's an infinite universe and Paterno had dozens of options. How many examples do I have to give to illustrate that this powerful old guy should have done more than he did, and there are consequences to the pain he allowed to befall others?

    Joe Paterno managed to change with times well enough to speak to and motivate generations of young men. I do not believe he could have done that so successfully if he was as ignorant of changing social mores as you insist.

    Geez, I don't even have children and this disgusting mess offends me. It's ALWAYS the role of the bigger and more powerful to defend the smaller and more helpless.

    Furthermore, it's not even what my post was about.

    I'm more concerned about my oldest friend and the REAL victims of Penn State than I am about Joe Paterno.

    BTW, do we know each other?

  7. Anonymous11:22 PM

    I don't think so. Having written on a subject, I sometimes troll around to see who else has written on it. Part of the blogging process, you know.

  8. The reading part, sure. The "trying to convince a complete stranger she's wrong in the comments section of her blog, even when the post in question isn't even about what you wrote about in the first place" part? Not part of my blogging process.

  9. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Am I missing something? From your heading:

    "If my musings resonate with you, please visit my blog again sometime"

    They did, so I did. If you don't want comments or you only want them from select friends, please adjust your blog settings that way.

    I'm not "trying to convince a complete stranger she's wrong in the comments section of her blog..." It's not a personal challenge I'm issuing. I gave another viewpoint, that's all. And you disagree. It's not a big deal.

  10. Anonymous10:07 AM

    Nonetheless, I apologize for the intrusion. No ill intended, I assure you. It won't happen again.

  11. Gee whiz, now I am supposed to reset my years-old blog settings because of YOU? You certainly do have a lot of self regard. I commend your self esteem.

    If *MY* musings resonate, you are welcome to comment. Since this post was out of heartfelt concern for my oldest friend, a woman you have somehow never once mentioned in *any* of your comments, so obsessed by you by Paterno, I think we can agree that you don't understand musings at all, and therefore they don't resonate with you at all.

  12. Anonymous6:49 PM

    I don't know how to back out of this. I've apologized. Even that doesn't seem to work. Believe me, I regret ever having commented here.

    One can always delete unwanted comments. Why didn't you do that, if you feel mine were so outrageous? Why don't you do it now?

  13. First you tell me to change my settings. Now you tell me to delete your comments. Perhaps you'd like me to refresh your water glass, too? I totally live to serve you.

    Why don't I simply delete your comments? BECAUSE IT WOULDN'T STOP YOU FROM COMING BACK! Is this part of that "blogging process" you speak of?

    Nothing seems to stop you from coming back and commenting again and again! I don't know how to get rid of you. Please, just leave me alone.

    One can always return to and search for and find more unsuspecting bloggers ready to be wowed by that same cut and pasted "Joe remembers a time, as do I" comment, can't one?