Daddy Vogue

jcrew tennis shoes

I don’t know if I’ll ever get remarried.  Perhaps in time, but I guess I’m not in a rush.

My mom says that she’s not going to die until I do.  If I want to keep her around, I should probably not – it might give her incentive to keep on trucking.

I have dated some.  The girls reaction has been funny.  They are supportive, but they find it difficult to believe that anyone would actually, without being under some sort of duress, would want to go out with me.

Me:  “DJ, I’m going out to dinner on Friday night.  Can you babysit?”

DJ:  “I guess.  What are you doing?”

Me:  “I have a date.”

DJ:  “Seriously?”

The seriously isn’t framed as I’m upset you’re going out.  The tone behind the word clearly conveys Poor, poor pathetic woman.  To be desperate enough to go on a date with my dad – even if he is paying.

Someone told me to try online dating.  There may be a day that I get to that – but it sure isn’t now.  I did, however, wonder what my profile might be:

Nearly 50-year-old widower

Skinny with slight love handles

Three teenage daughters (now that’s a selling point)

Works for a nonprofit ($$$)

Will always love his deceased wife

Might write a tell-all book about you at some point in the future

I mean, who wouldn’t be into that?

A few weeks ago I was heading out and went upstairs to give instructions to the troops.  DJ looked at me.

“Dad, are you meeting a woman?”

“Yeah.  Just a friend for a drink.”


She continued, “Dad, I like your shoes.”


“I also like your pants.”

“Thanks baby.”  I am so very, very cool.

“However, I don’t like them together.  Go change.”

I began my defense, “These are cool tennis shoes and J Crew cords!  We’re just going to a bar!  It’s casual!  Uncle Jesse has shoes like this!”

“No.  No he doesn’t.  This situation,” she pointed to my lower extremities, “is not working.”

I wasn’t about to let a 16-year-old dictate my wardrobe.  I’m a confident man.  She couldn’t tell me what to wear!

As I walked through the kitchen, I complained to Michelle, “Can you believe DJ told me to change my shoes?”

She glanced down from the iPad and down at my feet.  “Thank God.”

As I slipped on my boots I was disgusted with weakness.

I really haven’t dated that much and am in no big hurry.  It is difficult to find time.  But it is nice to occasionally hang out with females who aren’t married to my friends or whose primary concern isn’t acne.


Conversation Starters by Michelle

Posted by Danny

On Monday, Jesse and I were on the front porch talking about life – not an unusual occurence.  Michelle can’t stand for two people to be talking without being in the middle of the conversation.  She sort of senses that others have congregated without her, and she quickly finds a way to jump in the middle of the conversation – and in the middle of your lap for that matter.

I’m not 100% sure how the conversation moved to dating, but somehow it did.  And she asked, “Jesse, what do you talk about on a date?”  Jesse responded, “Sometimes it’s easy to talk on a date and sometimes not so much.”  We laughed.

Michelle said, “Jesse, you ought to ask the girl if she can cook.  Because you need that.”  I concurred with her line of thinking and prodded for more.

“What else could Jesse talk about on a date?” I asked. 

She then proceeded to give him a list of ten questions that could be conversation starters.  These were her other suggestions:

Do you like sports?  Because you’re really gonna need to if you marry me?

Do you like weird guys who sing all the time?  

Do you mind guys who wear shirts with holes in them?

Do you like guys who wear black short socks all the time, I mean ALL the time?   Even to church.

Do you mind guys who rock out in a green, old minivan?

Do you like guys who go to weddings almost every weekend?  (wearing short black socks)

Do you like guys who can play any song on the piano, without the music?

Do you like guys who can do math?  Tell her you’re really good at math.

Do you mind a guy who stays out really, really late at night? 

I particularly like the first date opener that includes the reference to marriage!  Clearly a great way to start a new relationship. 

I think he should take these questions on his next date.  I’m not sure it would last that long but it would certainly be interesting to watch!

I Can’t Even Imagine

Posted by Uncle Jesse

I almost wrote this post in February (hence the attempt at an avant-garde photo of the Tanner house Valentine’s wreath). It recently became relevant again.

Danny says he could take all the posts I’ve “almost written” and we’d have two blogs: The Real Full House blog and The Posts That Almost Made It Out Of Jesse’s Head And Onto The Real Full House blog. He’s a funny guy. But point taken–I’m not quite as good as Danny with the consistency piece.

Another thing I’m not as good as Danny at is listening. The guy is a human sounding board. I can’t imagine what it’s like for him having to feign interest in all the inane sports stuff I throw at him. Not that I think he’s a phony–he tells me his general interest in sports has grown (and I can attest that his knowledge has), and I believe him. Perhaps I just find it impossible for anyone else to care about the difference between the NBA and college basketball traveling rule. But you know what I’m good at? Talking. So I prattle on. And, even while cooking dinner, he plays the role of the engaged listener well, maintaining eye contact (glancing down briefly to empty the trash) and asking follow-up questions.

The same goes with stories about my weekends, my triumphs and frustrations with trying to start and grow and small business with my good friend, and the stupid MTV shows I watch. I don’t mean to suggest he gets nothing out of it–I do enjoy sharing music with him and I know he likes adding to his collection of tunes. I can’t yet tell if he’s sold on Chapelle’s Show, which I’ve been making him watch as Comedy Central replays them in summer, but he takes my word for it when I tell him the show was seminal, and thus puts up with the episodes I make him watch.

Some of my favorite conversations with him are about God. We talk about things we’ve read, or heard in church, or had explained to us but disagreed with. We both approach the subject with curiosity and humility. As Danny will attest, when I am certain I am right about something I will plow through any argument to the contrary (and enjoy the challenge along the way–perhaps a little too much). But most times these conversations involve phrases, “I think what makes the most sense in my head,” and “what I try to do is…”. The discussions always have the feel of two people trying to help each other learn more about a vastly complex subject, and I like that.

But there’s one thing that–though as we’ve talked about life and love and Lord, it has come up–I have trouble dumping on the guy:

How do you turn to a guy who lost his wife, best friend, lover, and mother to his three beautiful daughters….and complain about a broken heart?

Uncle Jesse’s Night Life

Posted by DJ

Thursday Night:  Asleep by 9:13

Friday Night: Asleep by 8:57

He’d be an exciting date wouldn’t he?

Dads Against Daughters Dating

Posted by Danny

This is my favorite t-shirt.  D.A.D.D.:  Dads Against Daughters Dating. 

Two summers ago, DJ was at the beach with friends.  I received a call from her in the middle of the day.  I was at work.  “Dad, I found a t-shirt I think you’re really going to like.  It says Dads Against Daughters Dating.  It’s $11.  Do you want me to buy it?”

“Are you crazy?  Buy two!!  I’ll have the money waiting for you when you walk in the door.”  Every time I wear it a father comes up to me to find out where I got it.  I proudly announce that my oldest daughter bought it for me.

I guess I have dating on my mind this week because the school dance is on Friday.  I’m fine for DJ to go.  I just don’t want her to go with a boy.  And frankly, I’d just assume her not dance with one either. 

I used to share my dating philosophy with Lisa.  She would home-school the girls when they got old enough to date.  That would insure that there weren’t a lot of opportunities for them to meet the fellas.  They would attend Meredith College, two blocks from our house.  I’d drop them off on my way to work.  After class, they’d wait in the library until I could swing by and pick them up at about 5:30.  We’d come home, start their homework and watch a family movie each night at 10.  

The thought of Lisa homeschooling our kids really does bring a smile to my face.  I’m not sure exactly what would have happened, but I can assure you it would not have been pretty.  And she would readily admit that as I dreamed out loud.

I’m a sap.  I can never give my girls away at their weddings.  I was once in a wedding when the minister asked the father of the bride, “Who gives this bride to be married?”  And the dad responded, “Her mother.”  That’s my kind of man!  I was so counting on Lisa to do the heavy lifting on that special day.  This just adds to my angst about dating.  It just ain’t happenin’ on Dellwood Drive.

I chaperoned the school dance DJ’s sixth grade year.  Lisa was running the student council at school and asked if I’d help.  I gladly volunteered. 

I perched on the bleachers in the gym high enough up to see the goings on.  The principal of the middle school was a hawk – I admired her so.  It’s a Christian School so she could rightfully walk through the crowd during the slow dance yelling, “Leave room for Jesus!  Leave room for Jesus!”  The kids laughed, but their arms got stiffer, exactly as Mrs. Reedy had planned. 

When I would see one of those beady eyed eighth grade boys snuggling up a bit too close, I’d leave my seat and stroll close to him.  I was sure to catch his eye.  A cold stare from a forty-year old.  Brow furroughed.  Chest poked out.  Eventually the kid would get uncomfortable.  Was it my demeanor?  Or was he just freaked out by the weirdo in the gym?  Didn’t matter. 

Yeah.  Back away buddy – You heard me.  They’d break up and head over to the opposite end of the gym.  My job was done.

I felt I owed it to all of the other fathers who weren’t allowed to attend the dance.  My stare was for all of them.  My presence was a message to all those young boys.  Don’t get too close to our daughters!  Or else.

We have to look after each other guys.  If you see a dude at the mall making out with his girl, it’s your duty to intervene.  Wouldn’t you want that if it was your daughter?  Walk right up – demand that they stop.  Offer to call her father, she’s probably dying to get away.  Call the cops if necessary.  This is important. 

Get out there men!  Take a stand.

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