I did not realize all at once that I had attained membership in a Discourse community whose central definitional tenet I lack. No, this realization was prolonged: for months, maybe years, it was but a dull, aching throb in some deep recess in my mind–a thought I couldn’t quite conjure up–and then one day it popped out like an egg, fully formed, and stunned and blinking, I looked at it.
I’m a member of the dad Discourse community.
The reason it took me so long to make this realization, as you may have guessed, is I’m not a dad. I don’t have children. But over the course of my adult life, and even as far back as my late adolescence, one fact has been perhaps clearer than any other in my life: dads love me. And dads love me because, aside from, you know, the part where I’m not actually a dad, I am fluent in Dad-speak. If I had a nickel for every time a dad has given me a look that essentially says “Wow, this kid knows his shit,” I would have, I’m quite sure, somewhere north of $7.35. Do you want me to belabor some obscure detail about the second side of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA? Buddy, that dog’ll hunt. Need someone to discuss the 1968 Detroit Tiger’s pitching rotation? For some reason, I’m your huckleberry. Want to crack a dang ice cold brew while I throw a couple of burgers on the grill? The burgs are already over the flames and here’s your dang ice cold brew. I already cracked it for you. Want to DIY a restoration of an antique table? I have working knowledge on that topic.
These are the passions of the dads. And they are my passions.
I am the dad whisperer.