Rules for Dating My Daughter


When I was in high school, I used to be terrified of most of my girlfriends' fathers, who probably suspected me of wanting to place my hands on his daughter in places he would consider most-inappropriate. He was probably right.

He would open the door and immediately affect my attitude, holding out a handshake that, when gripped, felt like it could squeeze carbon into diamonds.

Now, years later, it is MY turn to be the dad. Remembering how unfairly persecuted I felt when I would pick up my dates, I do my best to make my daughter's suitors feel ... EVEN WORSE! (My motto: 'wilt 'em in the living room, and they'll stay that way all night!') So, I'll start with something benign such as "I see you have your nose pierced. Is that because you're stupid, or did you merely want to APPEAR stupid?"

As a dad, I have some basic rules, which, if you're considering dating my daughter, you might want to peruse to the right

My daughter claims it embarrasses her to come downstairs and find me attempting to get her date to recite these eight simple rules from memory. I'd be embarrassed, too -- there are ONLY EIGHT OF THEM, for crying out loud!

And, for the record, I did NOT suggest to a previous suitor that I would have these rules tattooed on his arm if he couldn't remember them. I've priced tattooing, and it is waaaaay too expensive. What I suggested was that writing them on his arm with a permanent marker might be inadequate, and that my wood burning set was probably a better alternative.

One time, when my wife caught me having one of my daughter's would-be dates practicing pulling into the driveway, get out of the car, and go up to knock on the front door (he had violated rule #1, and needed to practice the proper way to approach my home), she asked my "don't you remember being that age?"

Yes, I remember. It is as vivid in my memory now as it was then. Where do you think these rules came from?

essayist W. Bruce Cameron, claims ownership of  the Copyright on this essay, which he says was originally published in 1998

The Rules

Rule One:

If you pull into my driveway and honk, you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as heck not picking anything up

Rule Two:

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 for you right here-and-now.

Rule Three:

I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their pants so loosely that they appear to be falling off the hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but those who do this are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so here's the deal: 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 assure you that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your pants securely in place around your waist.

Rule Four

I am sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without using a "barrier method" of some sort can kill you. Let me elaborate. I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule Five:

In order for us to get to know each other, you may think we should talk about sports, politics, 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. The key word I need to hear on this issue is your definition of the word "early."

Rule Six:

I have no doubt that you are a popular guy, with many opportunities to date many girls. This is fine with me as long as it is O.K. 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 and she tells you so. If you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.

Rule Seven:

As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for something, YOU SHOULD NOT BE DATING. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a proces which can take longer than painting the Space Needle. Instead of just standing there, you could offer to do sometrhing useful, like changing the oil in my car.

Rule Eight:

The following places are NOT appropriate for a date with my daughter:

(a) Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool or bench.

(b) Places where there are no parents, police officers, or nuns within eyesight.

(c) Places where there is darkness, or near-darkness.

(d) Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness.

(e) Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff t-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her neck.

(f) Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are O.K. Hockey games are O.K. (see "e").