Something I will take pride in is teaching you how to dress appropriately. For example, when you want to impress (or intimidate) someone, wear a necktie.
My (secret) goal is to always “outdress” every other man in the room; particularly in the office. I blame it on the Italian in me.
However, there are certain times in life where that concept completely doesn’t matter at all. The most obvious exception is when you go to Walmart.
Son, you can pretty much wear whatever you want when we go there. I have found the culture there to be extremely accepting.
And that’s exactly what happened last weekend. As Mommy and I are preparing to buy a house later this year, we are prepping our current townhouse to rent. We needed to check out the selection on toilet seat covers- and on a rainy Saturday night, Walmart was the perfect place.
Oh, and of course, we let you have a 98 cent Hot Wheels car and an 88 cent container of bright blue Play-Doh.
With it being all rainy day, you had been in your PJs for most of it. So we figured, why make you change?
After all, considering there is a website called People Of Walmart, which functions as a collection of “the best of the worst dressed” who are secretly photographed by other customers, I figured no one would give you a second look if we carried you around in your doggie pajamas.
I was right. You fit right in.
No need to wear a necktie to Walmart, in other words. But even if you did, I still don’t think you’d get a second look from anyone.
Everyone is accepted just as they are at Walmart. There’s nothing pretentious about it.
Number 1 clipper guard on the sides and back, blended into about one inch long on the top. That’s pretty much the official “dad haircut” these days.
There’s just something about springtime that innately causes a man to go get a haircut.
After an airplane flew over my son’s daycare two weeks ago pulling a giant banner advertising $6.99 haircuts at Great Clips, I figured I should take it as a divine intervention. So I went and did the deed.
I normally don’t go as short as a #1 guard, but as part of my lifelong project to find the perfect men’s haircut, I decided to go pretty short this time.
Over that weekend, I thought about how when I returned to work that everyone would give me a hard time about me looking like I joined the Marines or at least that I was trying to impersonate Adam Levine from Maroon 5.
See, that’s the thing about men and our own haircuts:
We don’t exactly know what we’re supposed to do; often fearing our next haircut will make us look like a member of Color Me Badd if we don’t know exactly what to tell the barber or lady holding the clippers.
Personally for me, it’s not the kind of thing I feel comfortable asking other men about nor do I want to spend a lot of time thinking about.
I just want something that it is easy, cheap, extremely low maintenance, masculine, and looks good on a guy who may or may not be aware of the fact that his forehead is getting slightly bigger every year.
And interestingly, there’s not a whole lot of realistic advice when you Google “men’s hairstyles.” Most of the websites that pull up are either booby-trapped with spam or are designed for metrosexuals and/or inspiring emo rockers.
So today I’m making it official. This is the American Dad haircut: Number 1 clipper guard on the sides and back blended into about one inch long on top.
It’s just long enough on top to put in a little Publix brand pomade to give that perfect balance of “almost messy” and “too long to spike.” Yet it’s short enough on the back and sides to bring to mind a military image.
Turns out, a lot of people at work complimented me on my new haircut. Here’s the funny thing:
I work almost entirely with other men; most of whom are dads in their late 20′s to late 30′s, who have a similar version of the haircut.
The positive reinforcement came mainly in the form of “Looking’ sharp, Nick” or “Nice haircut… what is that, a #1 guard?”
The way I see it, I would rather receive approval on a haircut from other dads and grown men, as opposed to women. Because it’s uncommon in our society for a heterosexual man to admit that another heterosexual man is handsome. It’s a rare feat.
So if I can get Big Kenny, with his Type A personality and thick New Hampshire accent to go through the trouble to say, “Look at you, Mr. Hot Rod,” I’m going to have to believe that I finally found the perfect default haircut.
Even if by writing this, I’m breaking Man Law because men aren’t supposed to talk this much about their hair, I think it’s about time someone finally revealed the Official Modern American Dad Haircut of 2012.
Actually, I think I basically stole the hairstyle from my son.
I admit it. Last week I became an instant fan of the new NBC sitcom Up All Night starring Christina Applegate and Will Arnett. It is described as “the funny misadventures of a ‘cool couple’ with a newborn,” on page 28 of the October 2011 issue of Parents magazine. So far, the main premise of the show seems to be how a new mom and dad attempt to remain cool people after having a baby. As simple and even as shallow as that may sound, it actually makes for a very creative and relevant TV show.
Maybe it’s a trait of my generation (I’m 30), but I feel like parents of young kids today focus more on staying cool than any prior generation. We clearly remember seeing the hilarious “Mom Jeans” skit on Saturday Night Live and their appropriate slogan, “Because you’re no longer a woman; you’re a mom.” After seeing that, I think it’s possible that we, as an entire generation, decided to be more proactive about our post-baby hipness.
Admittedly, as for myself, I don’t want to end up a bland soccer dad with an “un-ironic mustache” and the hairstyle of a weatherman, who wears my cell phone on a holster attached to my pleated khaki pants. But it’s not simply about fashion; in fact, that’s the least of it.
More than anything, I believe my generation’s “stay cool after being a parent” motto has more to do with the fact that in elementary school, we were constantly told how unique and special we were. Now, as adults, we find much of our own coolness in the very things that make us unique.
We don’t want to become a boring stereotype of a lonely housewife or a henpecked dad. Instead, we want to keep our individuality while proudly displaying our ability to effectively parent.
And let’s face it: Being a parent is officially cool! From the rise in popularity of the stay-at-home dads, mommy (and daddy) blogs, and simply just being able to share your baby’s pictures with your 800 Facebook friends, being actively involved in your kid’s life totally increases your “cool points.”
So maybe as new parents, we don’t get out as much, we’re physically drained by the end of the day, and we struggle to embrace our new identity; but that doesn’t necessarily make us less cool than when a positive pregnancy test showed up in our lives.
If it’s possible to gage one’s own coolness, then I would have to say that I’m much more cooler as a 30 year-old dad than I was as a 24 year-old single guy. The forced maturity I have had to obtain during the past year of my life has taught me to become more relevant to the human population in general.
So because I understand other people better, I become more relevant in my culture. And isn’t that kind of what being cool is about anyway; being culturally relevant?