If my husband has a “soft spot”, it is that corner of his heart that is 110% devoted to his two daughters. From the first moment newborn Laurelle, grabbed hold of his little finger in the intensive care nursery and their eyes met, he was in love, and she’s had him wrapped around her little finger ever since! The same holds true for our youngest daughter, Carmen. (Our son, Brett, has always claimed another significant “corner” of our hearts, but today it’s all about the girls.)
From the time Laurelle was a little girl, we prayed for her future husband. We knew (and know for both Carmen and Brett), that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives and that includes a perfect spouse for each of them. We praise God that He brought Matt into Laurelle’s life. He was the answer to our prayers for her and he has been such a blessing to our family!
That said, as much as we prayed, Charles was not above using his own intimidating selective process to weed out some of the less than desirable boyfriend candidates himself. Charles has always been that “immovable force” that boys have had to impress and move in order to continue to date his daughters. When Laurelle was a teenager, Charles threatened to mount a mannequin’s head on the wall with a plaque reading: “Laurelle’s 1st Boyfriend”. I remember Charles greeting one of Laurelle’s boyfriend “candidates” at the door wearing his combat fatigues, and camouflage makeup. Another time, Charles drove Laurelle to a youth event and a misguided young man made the mistake of yelling a less than complimentary remark at Laurelle from across the parking lot while in ear shot of her protective father. Leaping from the car, Charles grabbed the boy by the collar and then slowly lifted the young man over his head with one arm and calmly demanded that he apologize to her.
Charles admits he wasn’t quite as successful at intimidating Matt, but it could have something to do with the fact that our son-in-law is 6’7″ and wiry. Still, Charles tried to work the poor boy to death while Laurelle and Matt were dating…figured if he couldn’t chase him away, he would at least see if the boy had any staying power and stamina! Congratulations, Matt, you survived!
Someone sent this to me years ago and every time I read it, I think of all those protective Dads out there, my husband especially. In fact, I’ll dedicate Rule 10 to Charles. He’s got his camouflage makeup ready for Carmen’s boyfriend…
Daddy’s Rules of Dating
If you pull into my driveway and honk, you’d better be delivering a package, because you’re sure not picking anything up.
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter’s body, I will remove them.
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don’t take this as an insult, but you and your friends are all complete idiots. Still I want to be fair and open-minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: you may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place at your waist.
I’m sure you’ve been told that in today’s world, sex without utilizing a “barrier method” of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to you even thinking about having sex with my daughter, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, cars, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is: “early”.
I have no doubt that you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh or fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don’t you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops with spaghetti straps, midriff t-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka – zipped up to her throat. Movies with strong romantic themes are to be avoided; movies that feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
Do not lie to me. I may appear to you as being this pot-bellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been, but you could not be more wrong especially on issues relating to my daughter. I am in fact, all-knowing, all-seeing and possibly your worst nightmare. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and four acres behind them.
Be afraid, be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper flying over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange kicks in, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway, you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.