Tag Archives: Poker Face

I (Heart) You, Babe

St. Valentine’s Day come round again, bringing with it the pure joy and sense of togetherness that is love.

It surely wouldn’t bring with it feelings of inadequacy, panic, anger, frustration, sexual frustration, crumpling under pressure, performance anxiety, fervent desire to be somewhere — anywhere — else. Surely.

Ha, don’t call it Shirley.

I’m not sure if it’s a difference between dudes and dudettes, but the men I know really have no special affection for Valentine’s Day. To us, it’s just a day where we used to get candy in school and (at least for me) that inadequate feeling when the only Valentines in your bag were the ones that got given out to everyone in the classroom.

Even when I ostensibly grew up, I never saw all that much reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I probably got it from my AlohaDoc, aka my dad.

I can’t remember how many times he told me the story of how, when he was a young dude himself, he used to break up with whoever his girlfriend was at the time right around the first of February. That way he didn’t have to go out and purchase a gift.

Women, on the other candy assortment, seem to love Valentine’s Day. I found this out during the first Valentine’s Day I spent with the lady who would become my wife, known to me then as She Who Must Be Having More Fun Than Anyone I’ve Ever Met Before.

We were about to swap presents when she said, “I love Valentine’s Day. It’s always been so special to me.”

At which point my heart crumbled to dust, sifted out my body and landed in a small, dry pile on the linoleum of her dad’s kitchen floor. Because, being an idiot, I’d managed to get her something remarkably unspecial. Heck, it was so unspecial, I can’t even remember what it was.

What I do remember is the look on her face, the sadness trying to hide behind a really bad poker face. I’ve learned since then. Valentine’s Day is a big deal.

Me? Still not so much. The way I see it, I would rather receive spontaneous recognition of someone’s love for me during the year than have one day where that display is mandated. I mean, is it really special when you’ve got to do it?

I’m not so sure about that.

Anyway, I don’t want to come off sounding all cynical and anti-love. I’m not. Well, not anti-love. I can’t help being cynical. I mean, after all, my eyes and ears do work and I pay attention to the world. How could I not be cynical?

But not cynical about love. Love is amazing. Love. Love will keep us together. It’s just Valentine’s Day I have a problem with.

That said, I still went out and got some very nice presents to hand over to my Sweetie. I’m not telling because she’ll probably read this before I have a chance to give them to her.

The hug’s going to be nice. As for anything else. . .

See you later, dudes.

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The Guide: The Quickening

by Richard

As has become a bit of a custom around here, I’m taking Saturdays to introduce you all to the actual A Dude’s Guide to Babies, the book Barry and I wrote and are trying to sell to a publisher. Still. Yeah, we’re pathetic, but we’re funny to watch in our misery so enjoy.

Remember, Barry talks like this, while I talk like this.

You’re What?

Easily, by a very large margin, the biggest shock to get over is the very first one you’re going to get: when your wife or girlfriend tells you she’s pregnant.

I wouldn’t know. We adopted. But Rick’s wife is going to kill him…

I do know. It’s true, boy, is it true.

We’ve talked to hundreds of dudes out there and every single one of them felt the same way. Most described the feeling of learning they were going to be fathers as something like getting an axe handle to the back of their heads. It didn’t matter if they had been trying to get pregnant for years, trying for days or not even trying. When a woman walks up to you, smiles and says, “I’m pregnant.” it’s one hellluva shock.

Now here’s our first bit of inside information. When she tells you she’s pregnant, you need to get over that shock so quickly she’ll never even know it was there.

In fact, start practicing right now. Go find a poker game (live, not on-line) and start playing. Get the best poker face at the table. Learn to stare down hissing cobras, anything that will help you learn never to show shock on your face. The mother of your baby to be will not appreciate gape-jawed stupor on your mug.

Trust me on that one.

You’ll have plenty of time to digest the news later. The first thing you need to do is trot out your biggest smile, your happiest voice and your twinklingest eyes and don’t stop hugging her.

We’re not really saying you should fake anything. We’re just suggesting that you speed up your natural reactions pretty darn quickly. Why? We’re going to do a little stereotyping here, but we’ve found it to be true. Pregnant women are, well, sometimes, you understand, a teensy bit emotional and shock can easily be mistaken for dismay. And that is not the way you want to start out on your nine-month adventure in gestation.

Even if she doesn’t say anything at the time, she’ll remember that you weren’t instantly as happy as she was and that, friends, will come back to haunt you.

So, since we all want a household of harmony, peace and joy all the time, and especially during those emotional, pregnant times, it’s best to do your part right from the start. Once the initial celebrations are over and you’ve hugged and kissed and jumped up and down, when you’ve got a little time to yourself, that’s the time to uncork your emotions and realize just what you’re in for.

We recommend trying to get a little you time in those early days, so you can wrestle any doubts into submission and get ready to support her as much as possible as her body goes through changes your puberty never even thought of on its worst days.

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