1. Your flaky friend.
Dads don’t appreciate flakiness; they find it confusing, unsettling, and much too complicated. It follows, then, that they don’t appreciate that one “really good friend” of yours who only texts you back 30 percent of the time, makes plans with you only to forget she had a thing to go to, and ramps you up to do cool stuff with her like take a cross-country road trip or steal away to a ski resort but then never follows through. When your dad proclaims, “This friend of yours seems like a damn waste of time,” he is right.
2. That neon off-the-shoulder bell-sleeved mini-dress.
Your dad may not be the most fashion-forward individual you know, but in spite of those stark white running shoes and pit-stained “Old Guys Rule” t-shirts, this is actually a blessing. He can act as a new, unique kind of fashion police — rather than calling you out for something that’s unfashionable, he is capable of calling you out for something that’s too fashionable. In the fifth grade, my dad referred to my new platform mary janes as “clown shoes.” At the time I probably said something really hurtful to him like “You’re an idiot!!! You don’t even know who Jonathan Taylor Thomas is!!!!!!” Now, however, I look back on pictures of myself in those shoes and think, “Holy. Shit. Clown shoes.”
3. Going with your gut.
When presented with an important decision like whether or not to take a new job, break up with your boyfriend, or buy that spandex maxi-dress that may or may not make you look like a poor man’s Kim Kardashian, the dads of the world would usually recommend you “go with your gut,” a point of advice I’ve found to be apropos about 95 percent of the time. If we all had one-inch-tall dads living inside our heads, we would make a lot less senseless mistakes and would probably look a lot less like mediocre, wannabe Kim Kardashians. Did I jump from A to C too fast here, or are you still with me?
4. Your boyfriend.
Kind of like how girls have a radar for spotting crappy girls, dudes have radar for spotting crappy dudes. Your dad is a dad, but he’s also just a dude. This means there’s a guy in your life who cares about you more than you know and who can give you a heads up when the person you’re seeing is actually a total dick. Don’t treat this as an annoyance; treat it as a convenience. Besides, do you really want to go through the pain of maintaining a relationship with someone who your father doesn’t want to be in the same room with? That sounds like a recipe for stiff greetings, passive-aggressive commentary, and zero sharing of the top-shelf whiskey.
5. Anything alcohol related.
There’s an 85 percent chance your dad has had more drunken nights and hungover mornings than you have, partly because he has a few decades on you but mostly because fraternities in the 70s were no laughing matter. If he warns you not to drink that vodkamargatini after having already had seven beers, resist the urge to say “You’re an idiot; you don’t even know who Jonathan Taylor Thomas is!!!!!!” Take his advice and then maybe take a pizza break. Let’s face it, you want a slice four times more than you want anything with the suffix “tini” in it anyway.