The other night some disrespectful young women called me something behind my back that really hurt me. Now I’m not really the sensitive type, I’ve been insulted many times during my life and as a football referee I’m used to being called names--sometime by hundreds of people in unison. But even I, calloused as I am, think there are insults that should remain un-hurled, words left unsaid and thoughts unspoken.
It’s been almost a week since I was grievously disparaged and yet it still hurts—I just can’t seem to get over it. If you’ve read this far I bet you’re wondering what this girl said that so badly wounded someone like me whom my wife thinks has all the sensitivity of an elephant. Well, the pain is still fresh so I’m a little reluctant to write the word, especially in a family friendly forum such as this. However, at risk of censure from the FCC I’ll tell you what she called me, it was “Dad”.
Dad? Isn’t that an honorific, a term of endearment, a sign of affection? Of course it is--in the right context. The right context is when your son says “Dad, I love you”. The wrong context is when some insolent girl at the theatre says to your wife “your dad came to see you tonight”. So there’s no confusion, my wife’s dad passed away years ago (Bless his heart) and so she was referring to ME, the spouse!
Sure, maybe I’m a year or two older than my wife (OK, maybe it’s five or six) and even if she were “29”, I’m not in any universe old enough to be her father. (OK, OK she’s making me disclose that it’s “exactly 8.33 years older”). But even at exactly 8.33 years, we’re still members of the same generation, so unless I’ve aged in dog years I couldn’t possibly look like her “dad”.
In the 5,670 days we’ve been blissfully married, my wife and I have pretty much done everything together—making it logical to assume that we’ve aged at about the same pace and would look equally older. Of course, over the years a few minor physical differences have arisen that may account for some variance in "age-appearance" (I’ve lost hair, gained weight and added wrinkles) but I think that these fall safely within the margin of error and should be ignored.
Maybe the solution to the problem lies in the traditional remedy for middle age--a bright red convertible. With a car like that, everyone will think the hot brunette sitting next to me really IS my wife—and then they’ll feel badly that she married someone old enough to be her dad!