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Bad boys to crazy fathers
I don't know what it is about men having daughters, who grow up into young women and all of a sudden dating becomes a huge dilemma


July 1, 2005

My wife and I have been married for twelve years. And for the past eleven years we have been dodging the question, "so, when are you guys having a baby?"

I have managed to stop Mom -- not Dad, but Mom -- from asking that question and making me feel guilty about that "grandchild" issue. Most of our friends, especially the new ones, don't even ask any more. They probably think we just aren't able to have kids. I don't care. Few years ago when my Dad's stupid cousin said something like, "well, maybe he just can't", I directly challenged him to send his daughter over to see if I am or not!

I have come up with 235 reasons why we don't want to have a child and not one good one to do so. One of those reasons is that I wouldn't want to deal with the boys when they come knocking on the door wanting to take my daughter out.

Couple of weeks ago, we made a weekend trip to Kansas City, where I lived for a while. We made a side trip to Wichita, where my very good friend and college roommate, Joseph, lives. He and I have stories from our younger days and some do include "girls". I won't get into details; he and I will take most of those to grave.

Joseph has three girls. The oldest one, whom I'm the Godfather to, is nearly 15. The big guy starts shivering, literally, when the conversation of "boys" surfaces. He simply shakes his head and curses quietly. Happy go lucky, fun loving, crazy roommate of mine, whom I had a world of fun with, goes crazy when we talk about the possibility of a boy taking his girl out some day soon? Why?

I visited my other very good friend, perhaps my best friend, Masoud about a month ago in San Jose, California. He and I have been friends for 26 years. We have shared many happy and some sad moments and actually have a very strong non-verbal, cerebral relation.

Masoud has an eleven-year-old girl. When I asked him about if he was ready about this "dating" thing or not, he got really quiet, looked down and shook his side from side to side. I don't know if he meant "no", "I don't know what to say", or simply, "I don't even want to think about it."

I didn't bring up the topic with Joseph or Masoud again. I think they're just going to ignore it, until they face it when it happens.

I don't know what it is about men having daughters, who grow up into young women and all of a sudden dating becomes a huge dilemma. Do we, men I mean, see those "boys" as how us guys used to be long ago? Is the thought, "if they are half of what I used to be, I'm never letting her out of the house" running rampant through our minds?

I don't know. All I know is that the feeling is not a good one. I can't feel what my friends are feeling. We can talk about our days as young men, elbow each other with a funny look in our face and say, "boy do you remember her?" But when it comes to our daughters, all rules change.

Actually, I feel very bad when this happens. I feel guilty for doing what came to me naturally as a man and now I suggest playing the same scenario as Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the movie Bad Boys. The two buddies go to the front door to meet the boy that is going to take their girl out, with guns and a crazy attitude.

I don't know what happens. Less than two decades we have gone from bad boys, ourselves, to crazy fathers. Often I see a little girl that simply brings fatherhood out in me. I melt with feels of having and holding her if she was mine. I have always told my wife, that I would love to see myself be a father to a little girl with long curly hair. I guess I would never know what it feels like to see her walk away to her first date, at least not for now.

In the meanwhile, I wish Joseph and Masoud all the patience and luck in the world and would like them to know that I'll be there, if they need me. I'd be right next to them, acting as nutty as they want me to, just to let that "boy" know that if he doesn't behave, there will be a price to pay.

A friend told me, just recently, that when his daughters were starting to date, he would meet the boys, shake their hands very firmly, almost painfully, and look them straight in their eyes for a long time, without saying anything. Knowing he had three daughters and they all got married to those guys who were on the receiving end of that firm handshake and the stare down, and all three divorced those same husbands, I told him, "I guess that didn't work, huh?"

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Hamid Bakhsheshi


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