Three are these times when I’m watching tv and some commercial for laundry soap or toilet paper or some other household item and it shows a mom running around doing all the work, getting her kids together, mopping up whatever mishap may have occurred and I litterally mumble to myself ” fuck off”. I get that advertisers know the people they’re marketing too. I’m not expecting that they sat down and thought “hey, what about the small amount of dads out there doing this? Shouldn’t we waste our time focusing on them?” No, I get it. Hell that mom in the commercial probably has a husband too. We just caught her in a moment when she was cleaning up on her own. The dad’s probably just run off to the grocery store get more paper towels. I guess what makes me say fuck off is not the commercial isn’t sensitive to my situation, I honestly never give too much thought about whether something on the tv is talking directly to me. I also think that’s a healthy way of watching television “The tv is NOT talking to you” . It’s that now I have to see all these things that once passed by without any thought as a reminder. I mean a paper towel commercial now mocks me? Seriously?
Not that I’m going to get into my whole backstory here, but I am not the type of guy who used to think to deeply about silly crap like that. If you asked me two years ago about how many television commercials I didn’t feel properly expressed themselves to me I would have just stared at you blankly until you went away.
There’s some other commercpial for a stationary bike where we see this super fit young mom coming down the staircase of some huge modern open area home with giant floor to ceiling windows showing the beautiful forested yard this mansion is inhabiting. She’s wearing her workout clothes and has some small little top on showing her ripped abs. And listen, I like that. A beautiful fit woman getting her sweat on to start her day? Sure, why not. I can accept that happens. It even makes me jealous. I wish I could work out and get in shape Good for you lady on the tv. But it ends and she’s off the bike, rehydrating and still looking awesome and low and behold, a little boy comes walking down the stairs carrying his teddy bear and blanket. What?
She sits him up on their fifty thousand dollar breakfast nook and there he goes just eating away at a bowl of cereal, or granola or whatever whole foods nourishment she had same day delivered to the compound and that really pisses me off. You got up before your kids to do that!? Did you sleep in your workout clothes just so you could get an extra five minutes of sleep in? How big is this house? My kids wake up if I drop a sock on the floor to loudly. Now obviously it boils down to a deep seeded jealousy on my part, but fuck me. If that’s who’s buying that workout bike, then it is not for me. I think I’ve seen Mercedes Benz commercials that made me think “maybe I should trade in my F150 for that” when they were over. But the super stationary bike? No sir, that is not for me. I don’t think the basic service wifi we have would even pick up the online instructor that pops up on the attached screen. It would be locking up intermittently and I’d never be able to really feel the burn anyway.
I don’t think this is even a result of my widowhood. I think it’s a basic parent thing. And I’m a dad. I bet there are moms out there who saw that and after saying their own “fuck off” to the television wanted to see her slip on some organic milk her little boy spilled and crack her hip on the reclaimed mahogany floor. I’m sure the six pack abs three or four years after pregnancy were all any mom wants to see to get her to say “she is soooooo much like me” .
The thing is I find myself identifying with the mothers in these ads now. Like I want to say “you dads have it so easy, look at what we have to put up with”. Do you have any idea what I do to keep his house in order and take care of the kids!? I am jealous of my friends who are dads and have a partner. I won’t lie, it was so much easier. Just the idea that there was someone else out there as invested in my children as much as I was was so comforting. If I got sick or hurt myself, the whole parenting machine wouldn’t come grinding to a halt. That I could go out one night and know I would be able to sleep off whatever I did to myself was great. That Mel would be able to take care of the kids in the morning and give me a few hours to sleep in. It’s not like it’s so bad that I can never go out and drink in excess anymore. I mean one of the brighter spots of this whole mess is that I’m forced to behave now. Not that I was out there ripping it up every night, but now i just don’t have the option.
But in sixteen years Levon’s going to be off to college and then there’s going to be unlimited options! I’ll be peddling on my stationary bike watching the sun come up and sweating out all the toxins I injested just like I always wanted. Sixty one and flaunting my washboard abs!