Over the next months, I’m encouraging guest bloggers to share about themselves. As we all know, writers, like other professions are multi-dimensional beings. Authors have lives and interests outside of writing.
Given that, I’m opening up my blog to writers to showcase their style, their loves and passions, their humour, and their knowledge on various subjects.
The goal is to allow the author’s own voice to create an interest in who they are.
So … let’s get started.
Remember Joe Hefferon? I interviewed him in December. He complained vehemently that he was one of my last interviews of the year.
He was joking … maybe.
Regardless, I’m making him my FIRST guest blogger of 2014. See Joe? I was listening. ;)
If you missed his revealing Q and A, please go here. It’s a good one, and I’ll wait for you.
There are many sides to Joe as you can see, and one of them is a soft side. He might not want to admit it, but it’s there, and you don’t even have to scratch far beneath the surface to find it.
Read his humorous, heart-warming post about dads and daughters.
* * * *
Who is Joe?
Joe was in law enforcement for 25 years before he retired as captain, and is a single dad and father of two. He keeps his hand in law enforcement, teaching classes in Personal Safety and Recognizing Signs of Danger for corporate clients.
He writes a terrific column for About.com called the Inspiring Women Series.
He is the author of the noir crime novel, The Sixth Session and a personal development book inspired by the principles of architecture called The Seventh Level. Joe’s books are available on Amazon.
Joe is currently working on a noir crime novel set in L.A. in 1965.
* * * *
Dads, Daughters and “Honey, Where’s My Blue Shirt?”
“The graveyards are full of indispensable men.” – Charles de Gaulle
I can explain all my unfortunate lapses in common sense to any woman who has had the infuriating luxury of living with me.
I have a daughter.
Look, I love her to pieces and would slay dragons for her, but I’ve also had entirely too many awkward conversations in my life, way more than my friends who just have boys. They’re easy-shmeasy compared to these complicated girl creatures. My daughter is 27, so I’ve already experienced the following brain-seizing moments:
- Hey, guess what? I got my period.
- I’m in love with this boy at school. Yes, the one with the blue hair.
- No daddy; it doesn’t wash off.
- Do you want to talk about sex? I’m sixteen now and…
Most of the time, when our little girls say these things – out loud because they’re tiny sadists – we get instantaneously non-functional. Our mammalian brain takes over and our breathing becomes shallow; the room dims and our synapses misfire at will. We can only hear voices in a slow-motion, distorted garble. We can’t think or speak; our eyes twitch spasmodically; the hives make an audible popping sound as they pierce the epidermis and finally, just before our lungs collapse, we hear a progressively louder banshee wailing in our brains, “no-No-NO-NOOO!!!!”
But we recover, ’cause we’re guys. We are born with a dump switch in our brains that helps us forget most horrible things. It’s what makes it seem like a great idea to call an ex-girlfriend up for a dinner, even though she’s now a hermitic, raging, venom-spitting alcoholic because we dumped her. But that was like two years ago.
Now pay attention guys – I’ve figured something out about these dastardly damsels that might help, or not. Those girl-becomes-woman moments are designed to torture men. It’s like live-fire girl-school training day. They’re instantly good at it, and damn proud of their rite of passage. The worst part is; daughters tell you these dreadful things in a relaxed, detached tone that only tightens the straps on the jacket. “Here’s a crayon, daddy. Why don’t you draw your feelings.”
They have kept their desire for these moments cleverly hidden under hugs, tea parties and wounded teddy bears, but they’ve been waiting patiently, even adorably. Sometimes they smile in that “Oh and senator… love your suit” kind of way as they deliver the shiv. (For the cinematically challenged, that was a Silence of the Lambs reference. Try to keep up.)
Women get mad at guys for sprinkled toilet seats and selective deafness, but hey, we’ve been under a lot of stress. We have daughters. But here’s what else I’ve figured out. Now relax and focus because I’m going all multiverse on you.
Women have a way of communicating through an intricate system of parallel universes and even though they can inexplicably hate each other for wearing the same shoes to a party, when it comes to guys, they army up.
Whenever any of us do something unimportant like say, put an empty milk carton back in the fridge or check out her mom’s rack (not bad for 56), they send out a message through the ethers. Their scouts retrieve the messages from right under our hairy noses on Pinterest and Skinny-Girl margarita bottles and pass along the fire-when-ready orders to pre-pubescent daughters. Get it now? It’s actually brilliant but I’ll never admit it.
Knowing this only adds to my paranoia and my frustration. I saw two heavy-set Nigerian women whispering in the mall yesterday and I know they were talking about me. (add accent) “That’s him right there, holding in his stomach for the sales girl. He said he loved her, but he lied. Kill that one slowly.”
I get frustrated because I know that every guy who reads this will forget it as soon as Sports Center starts, and will thus be horrified during football season when his teen-angel bends over for a tostido chip and flashes a whale-tail in front of his buddies. He won’t know what else to do but sit wide-eyed as the lager runs from his mouth. “Maybe they didn’t notice,” he’ll growl in his empty head. But someone did just a few months ago – a woman, a mother.
In early July at a neighborhood cookout, his friend’s teenaged daughter climbed out of the pool like a scene from Wild Things and well, he noticed – so did the girl’s mother. She observed the ‘notice’. The message went out. His own daughter received it through an Amanda Gomez song. Within days she was wearing underwear you could fit in a shot glass.
So what’s the lesson here, relationship-wise? I don’t know. I have a daughter.
We could try putting out the garbage before they ask, noticing their hair and only looking at our own feet when we’re in public. It might ease the stress a little, might make a few days more congenial, but long term it’s a lose/lose.
Guys can’t be blamed for this vicious cycle of stupid acts paid for with insidious revenge tactics. The problem is; the attacks of the girl army only make us more inept. Or maybe we just don’t care. I forget. Stay connected…
* * * *
Connect to Joe