The world’s a different place than it was when you were growing up, dad. Everyone has World War I haircuts despite the fact that they’re more into craft cocktails than history. Microbrews have replaced macrobrews as a way to unwind on the weekends while grilling a steak on the back porch. People are doing a bunch of CrossFit-ish paleo supplement bullshit rather than going for a five minute run after knocking out some push-ups and pull-ups. I watched Mad Men. I know what things used to be like.
Me? I’d like to consider myself to be a worldly, modern man who also has some old-fashioned roots. I replace my divots, pay for dates, and don’t mix my drinks with soft drinks. But deep down, I am that millennial piece of shit that Forbes, The New York Times, and everyone else loves to skewer. And for that, and many other reasons, I’m deeply sorry.
I’m sorry I refuse your hand-me-downs because they don’t have a modern fit. It’s not that I don’t want a Burberry coat for the winter. I do, and I can’t afford one on my own which is why it pains me to tell him, “Ah, damn, it’s too big.”
I know, I know, Dad. That’s how they used to fit. But we’re in 2016 now and things have to be pretty tailored with a modern fit. I’m not oblivious to the fact that trends are moving towards a baggier look, but let’s be honest with ourselves — it’s not exactly in line with my aesthetic to strive to be “fashion forward.” I know you see me walking around in technical golf shirts that are at least one size too big which probably signals that I’d be okay with looser fitting clothing, but showing up to a wedding in an ill-fitting sport coat or baggy pants is a social death wish at this age. I might as well wear pleated khakis to work if I’m just going to do that.
I’m sorry I have no clue how to tie a bow tie. I’ve spent countless hours sweating in front of a mirror trying to figure out how to tie these damn things, Dad. I understand that I probably shouldn’t be carrying a buzz while I do it, but let’s be upfront with one another — you really think I’m going to this wedding sober?
I can see you hanging your head in disappointment when I tell you that I had to have another guy tie it for me in the bathroom of our hotel lobby. I’m not proud of it (nor should I be), but you always taught me to own my actions in life so I’m not going to run away from it. What’s done is done.
I know I can go on YouTube and find a tutorial, but would being taught my some random vlogging fashionisto online really that much better than having some random wedding-goer do it in the first place? Exactly. Let’s just sit down at your next family function, you and me, and get this out of the way. Teach me like you were taught as a child and we’ll pretend like this never happened.
I’m sorry I’m better with girls online than I am in person. This isn’t a product of my personality, Dad. It’s a product of my environment.
When I had my first playground crush, I didn’t know that texting, MSN Messenger, AIM, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and every other damn technology out there would cause me to be better with my fingers than my mouth. And yeah, Dad, I laughed at that last sentence too because you gave me that sense of humor. It just so happens that yours comes out in casual conversations and mine comes out when I’m typing. That’s the world we live in.
You come from an era of dance cards and checking girls in-and-out of their dormitories. Me? I was raised on flirting via SMS messages and wooing girls with photos that reduce my skinny-fatness. I inherited your great hair, but this world has corrupted me.
Finally, I’m sorry for spending more time on Snapchat than I do reading books. I’m not opposed to saying that it is an obsession. But what if you grew up with an app where you could watch all your friends look like drunken idiots while a bunch of cute girls used a dog-filter that made them look weirdly hot? Can you really blame me? Okay, I guess you can because, in hindsight, that sounds pretty fucking stupid.
But still. I don’t feel good about not finishing any fiction in the last calendar year. I don’t love that I coasted through high school by searching online for Cliff Notes to Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby You raised me better than that.
Just please, forgive me, Father, for I have sucked lately. Let’s talk this over while grilling some steaks and making fun of those beers that’re infused with fruits, okay? I’ll even keep quiet to mom if you tell me some of those stories about the girls you checked in and out of the dorms. .
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