A fit of consciousness struck me over the holiday and I can’t shake it. Mainly because it came from an unlikely source, within my own clan.
I was watching some YouTube videos with my daughter. Specifically, videos on how to create different crafts using duct tape. Did you even know this was a thing? Far be it for me to judge. I can remember more than a few fads from my childhood that most likely made my parents roll their eyes. (My buddies and I used to watch Beat Street and try to break dance like they did.) But one of these videos started to roll and I had to laugh at its absurdity.
YouTube: “I’m going to show you how to make hair bows out of duct tape!”
I immediately jumped into ridicule mode, and shared this picture to Twitter. “This dish made a hair bow out of duct tape. wat.” was the text that accompanied the photo. But there was a problem.
My kid looked over my shoulder, read my tweet, and told my wife what I had written. (No one likes a tattletale, sweetheart.)
I consider myself extremely fortunate to be married to a woman in the same profession as I. A lot of what I do for the sake of “personality” doesn’t need to be explained. Furthermore, I rarely need to defend my actions as it’s all part of “the show.” She just kind of looked at me with a sort of disapproving look which I’m sure she has worn after reading or hearing most of my work. The guilt from my tiny human, though? Well, she took an Easton aluminum bat to the bridge of my nose.
“You shouldn’t do that, Daddy. You’re being mean.”
Shit. Well, I guess the fun’s over for me.
Let me use this as a platform to state that every day my efforts are pure. I really want to set the best example I can for my family. My heart feels like it’s in the right place most of the time. Truth be told, I have a hard time sleeping at night because I think of the world that my daughters will grow up in and I’m terrified. We are raising a generation of deluded narcissists. If you’ve read this far into the article, you’re probably okay. It’s everyone else I’m leery of.
We’ve become ultra-sensitive, horribly spoiled and it’s my hope that we can reverse course.
The Universe wants me to be angry. Perhaps a little harmless shame and embarrassment is necessary. It wants me to ridicule the fool who uses the amazing technology we’ve been granted in this life to share a picture with the world of their cardboard coffee cup from Starbucks. (“It must be the holidays! The cups are RED!”) It wants me to defend poor Brent Musberger (nice apology, ESPN) for calling a young woman beautiful on national television. (“How DARE he! CREEP!”) It even begs that I point out how ridiculous someone looks wearing a flower made of duct tape in their hair. (“Sorry kid, you’re not going to school wearing that.”)
Someday…soon even, my kids may find this article. They may give me the same disappointed look their mother has patented. You both should know why I react the way I do. It’s because Mike Cautious isn’t a brand anyone is buying. It’s because you can’t spell ‘Danger’ without ‘a-n-g-e-r.’ It’s because daddy needs to flip a switch sometimes and the character he plays on the radio is going to put you through college. When it’s all said and done, I just want to be your hero…someone you won’t be ashamed to look up to.
And that duct tape wallet you made? I love it.