Please Don't Grow Up To Be an A-hole | Ask Your Dad Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Please Don't Grow Up To Be an A-hole

Please Don't Grow Up To Be an A-hole

Dear Offspring,

Today, if I could impart just the tiniest piece of fatherly advice, it would be this: Don’t grow up to be an asshole. Yes, being an asshole can be fun and somewhat liberating, but it leads down a dangerous path to a very scary reality. That reality is that everyone thinks you’re an asshole.

There are many different kinds of assholes. There are inconsiderate assholes and aloof assholes. There are violent assholes and cruel assholes. I’m fairly certain you won't become one of those, but there is one breed of asshole that I am afraid you may be genetically inclined towards becoming: the sarcastic, condescending, self-righteous asshole. I'm sorry to say that those genetics don’t come from your Mom.

Being an asshole will be tempting. I can only imagine it is going to get worse as you come into your teenage years. See, you are at a considerable disadvantage. Thanks to the universe’s somewhat cruel parental selection process, you are fated to grow up in a home where sarcasm, cynicism and satire will be hardwired into your brain as your main tools of defense for dealing with the stupid, stupid people of the world.

Often times you will want to tell these people how incredibly stupid they actually are. You may even think that you are actually helping these people by showing them the error of their ways. These are the moments when I am going suggest that you close your eyes, think of this letter, and just let it go. Telling someone how ridiculously dumb they are will not make them any less dumb. Yes, it may feel good at the moment, and provide you with a small kernel of satisfaction. You must ignore that. You must also ignore that if your kernel of satisfaction is combined with hundreds of other satisfaction kernels and heated over a fire of smugness, they will expand and explode making delicious, crunchy, self righteous popcorn. I know It tastes good, but every once in awhile a piece of a kernel will get stuck on the very far back of your tongue and no matter how hard you try and get it by cramming your finger back there, that sucker is stuck. Seriously, it’s almost as if it is suction cupped to the back of your tongue. It’s horrible. Horrible! Sorry, that stopped being a metaphor and started being a literal critique of popcorn about half way through.

My point is that it is a fine line we must walk. Putting up a wall of assholy sarcasm is an easy way to isolate yourself from some very good people. The problem is, when you view the world through a veil of cynicism, you end up seeing everyone’s faults and none of their positives. Kindness and compassion have brought me more joy in my life than any time I have found it necessary to point out that a person used the wrong there/their/they’re.

So do your best. I know it is hard. More often than not, I don’t follow my own advice. Your mom is a good filter for me, and for that I am grateful. I went through much of my early twenties without a filter. Because of that, I often met with the aforementioned consequences of being a sarcastic, condescending, self-righteous asshole.  

So to recap: Be nice. Understand that people are different and have different views. Just because you think you’re right, doesn't necessarily mean you’re right (unless they’re Republicans, then you’re usually right.) If people use improper grammar or use the wrong their/there/they’re, don’t correct them unless their paying you to be there copy editor. Bottom line: Choose to be the person that people call, not the person people call an asshole.

AND on the rare occasions that the stupidity of the world is just too overwhelming, when sarcastic rage bubbles up in your throat begging to come out and you know you MUST be an asshole or explode… make sure you’re a funny asshole.

Love,

Dad



P.S. If you haven't already joined us on the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page, you should. No assholes allowed. OK, a few. 

16 comments:

  1. I love how you snuck in "don’t correct them unless their paying you to be there copy editor".

    I find you're sense of humor vary amusing.

    :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm so glad you enjoy it. Invite your friends! There's free admission Monday-Sunday.

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  2. Awesome post! That's some damn good advice!

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    1. Love this! Thank you to Mrs Duh for sending me over here :-)

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    2. Thanks to both of you. Amber, glad to have you as a reader!

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  3. I feel like I could have written this! I wrote something similar for impending parents: http://goo.gl/aZFZr

    Assholes are everywhere and it's up to us as parents to prevent them from multiplying!

    www.dadandburied.com

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  4. Wait, was the improper use of "their/there" in the copy editor line intentional?

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  5. I found your blog because of your post to your Hypothetically Gay Son (which I have floaty hearts for), but I had to comment on this post, because I think I want to make "self-righteous popcorn" part of my regular vocabulary because I love it so much! :) Nice work!

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  6. Like Brekke above, I found your blog thanks to your post to your Hypothetically Gay Son (which is awesome), and am loving everything else I've read so far and will be following your posts in future. I really enjoy your humor combined with honest and thoughtful attempts to deal with the stickier matters in life. This is a line I want to write down and remember: "Choose to be the person that people call, not the person people call an asshole." I hope I'm not much of an A-hole (at least not most of the time!), but I still think it's a motto worth keeping. Thanks for that!

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  7. I really don't appreciate your republican slam. I wish you could see how that comment in itself perpetuates hatred. And you are doing so in context of a conversation with your child. Breeding hatred. No good. No good at all.

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    1. Worry not dear reader. I love Republicans. I have too, they comprise most of my family. The Republican joke was meant as just that... a joke. Continue reading and you'll get a better feel for my humor. I apologize for offending you Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous. I promise to still love my kids even if they are Republicans.

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  8. Anonymous here...reply thread not working properly. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for that. I've been avoiding a few of your blog posts for exactly that reason. I'm a native Californian that spent my teenage years in Utah, and as an adolescent the "us" vs "them" mentality was one of the biggest challenges of my life particularly because I landed SPLAT in the center. The world needs more tolerance and less decision. Regardless of

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    1. ..devision.....regardless of color, religion, sexual AND POLITICAL preference. Find a common ground, and make it all about one love. I wish that for your kids. Great blog. Thanks again.

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  9. Hi, I'm Mitchell and I'm a recovering sarcastic asshole. This is brilliantly put and a pile of great advice. Assholes everywhere would do well to read it. With that, I think I'll post it on twitter.

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  10. John, enjoyed this, and obviously some pointed and meaningful stuff in it, too. It made me start thinking...how much of myself can I change before my daughter gets old enough to mimic my bad habits? It strikes me that the only way for future generations to be better than older generations is for their parents to be serious about fixing themselves, for the sake of their impressionable kids and the society their kids grow up in.

    Note to self: spend the day observing my daughter. Note the things that piss me off. Stop doing them myself, for the sake of humanity.

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  11. Great advice! I really enjoyed reading this.

    Jonathan

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