Recently I have been shuffling around the apartment grumbling to myself, “Why is this light on?” “Why is this door open,” and“Why do the neighbors make so much noise?”
I never used to be like this. I was the one who left the lights on, played music too loudly to notice the neighbors or I was passed out drunk on the bed/chair/couch/floor/front walkway/back walkway to observe my surroundings.
This change in behavior started shortly after my daughter’s birth. At first, I excused it as lack of sleep, but these new personality traits kept visiting. I tried to be aware of it and change my demeanor, but I continued to get annoyed by things like cars driving too quickly the street or a doors slamming. Then I realized, this is who I am becoming. There is no fighting it. I am a Dad.
I also started to look like a Dad or a junky. They’re not that different, really. Both desperately need baths and sleep while walking around scratching themselves with a deadened look in their eye. The only difference between a parent and a junky is the parent wakes up with a house full of people they know.
In this bumbling state of fatherhood I can barely remember the time when I was cool, or at least had the delusion I was cool. Long gone are the days of vintage shirts and expensive well-fitting jeans cuffed over my three hundred dollar Red Wing boots. My new uniform consists of running shoes though I do not run, a spit covered hoodie and a pair of filthy sagging jeans with my boxers bunched up over the top. Sure, if I put forth a little effort I could dress a little nicer, but when you’re a parent you are so fatigued you leap at any chance to get a moment to yourself, so why the fuck waste time choosing a good/clean shirt when you can spend the extra minute in the shower or sitting toilet staring at your iPhone.
When my wife was pregnant I swore I wouldn’t turn into the dads I knew. I would stay on top of new music, see the latest movies and hang out with my friends. Oh, how foolish and naïve I was. The force of being a dad is too powerful. It’s like being bit by a werewolf the metamorphosis is inevitable. You will transform into the creature you fear most.
With my newfound uncoolness, I regressed to the things I once thought made me cool. I’ve returned to listening to the music of my twenties; Pearl Jam, The Beastie Boys, Nirvana and various Punk bands that most people under forty never heard. This is my subconscious enjoying the time when I was free and didn’t give a fuck about electric bills or receding gums.
There are other dad characteristics that have taken over like a sudden desire to own a grill and my deep love for Costco. Seriously, I mother fucking love Costco.
If two years ago, you told me I would get excited when I entered a big warehouse store I’d have told you someone stole your brain and replaced it with the brain of an idiot. Then, as a preventive measure, I’d have eaten mushrooms so as to have a spiritual journey to keep the concept of consumerism far-far-far away from my psyche.