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Doodie calls

Your advice for the 25-year-old woman who didn't want to get involved with a guy with a daughter was disgustingly shallow. In supporting her not wanting to date single dads, you're saying, yes, segregate single parents, remove them from the dating pool! Yes, how dare they try to pass themselves off as people first, not as potentially inadequate mates due to being broke, having the psycho ex, and the bedwetting child?! Here's advice for you: Compassion. It's developed by seeing and sharing life. Try getting out of the shallow end of the humanity pool and seeing the wider world of relationships! Single Dad

Tragically, it seems you've lost your all-access pass to the dating pool.

Unlike when you were in nursery school, and teachers' aides saw that every kid got the exact same allotment of Jelly Bellys, advice columnists are not standing outside bars making sure everybody leaves with a smiley sticker and a hot 25-year-old. Grown-up life is harsh. Actions have consequences. Sorry to bring down the giant fly swatter on your free-floating sense of entitlement, but you gave up your Romeo status the day you let Tommy Trouser Snake out to play without his raincoat.

Parents aren't people first. They're parents first. Here in "the shallow end of the humanity pool," this means the parental agenda precedes all other agendas, as it should. In other words, you're a wee bit more likely than the single, 25-year-old stud boy to have your date interrupted by a frantic call from the neighbors: "Little Sprogly's shot the babysitter with the staple gun!"

Now, unless your ex died or ran off with the UPS man, or you worked a deal for some neighbor lady to be the oven for your bun, chances are you're not just a single dad, but a divorced dad. There is this notion of "the good divorce," but is there really such a thing? There are better divorces and worse divorces, and there are couples who aren't doing their kids any favors by staying together and continuing to chase each other around with an ax.

But, let's be real, even if you aren't alimony-bled, with a psycho ex-wife and a 15-year-old who's suddenly wetting the bed, divorce doesn't exactly simplify a guy's life or leave a trail of rose petals and cupcakes in its wake. The girl in question, who admitted she wasn't ready to handle a guy with a kid, could have a boyfriend whose only real distraction is getting his motorcycle re-chromed. Or she could have you. So ... if you were she, which would you choose? (Assuming you're looking for a boyfriend, not looking to become a one-woman chapter of the Salvation Army.)

Oops ... I forgot to ask if I could take your coat and your crown of thorns. And, please see that your stigmata don't drip on my white carpet. Next order of business: putting a tracker on my compassion. Actually, no need. I believe I left it in the kiddie pool with all the children of divorce. The last thing they need is for me to goad a girl who isn't ready to take on kids into taking them on anyway.

Sorry if I'm just too shallow to see it your way: Why urge some child-averse woman to bail now when she can bail a year from now, after your kid's really attached to her? On the bright side, what kids can't get in stability, they tend to take out in guilt, which may mean, before long, your kid'll not only be the proud owner of a miniature Shetland pony, it'll be living in her bedroom: "Daddddeeeeeey, Rambler missed the potty again!"

Altitude adjustment

I'm having a hard time finding a boyfriend, and my friends say it's because I'm too picky. I'm very tall and really only attracted to tall guys (6-foot-2 and up). How can I, as my friends suggest, be "more open-minded" on the height issue? Statuesque

People are quick to tell you: "It's what's inside that counts." Well, it counts for a lot, just not enough if you don't want to get naked with what's on the outside. Sure, relationships take compromise asking a guy to wait till you're at work to rehearse his death metal ukulele, requesting he clip his toenails into the wastebasket instead of the ficus tree. But, it's not like you can ask him to stop being 5-foot-2. Much as short guys scream, yell and pound their tiny fists at the injustice of height queens, what guy wants a girlfriend who's with him because her friends say it's the "open-minded" thing to do?

Tell your well-meaning but misguided compadres it isn't the size of the man ... unless the size of the man has you answering the question, "So, how did you two lovebirds meet?" with, "Well, one day I lowered my standards and there he was!"

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail adviceamy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com).

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