Becoming a Swiftie Dad, and other skills I’ve learned

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Having raised three daughters, I’ve gained, in the words of Liam Neeson, “a very particular set of skills.” Unfortunately, none of these skills would be useful in the event of an international kidnapping.

Because two of our daughters (and some of our credit cards) are now in college and one is deep in the bowels of high school, I feel like an abandoned appliance that seemed pretty nifty at first, but the novelty quickly wore off. (Think – the Baby Yoda waffle iron.)

Below are a few girl-dad skills I no longer use much, but I think they deserve some recognition, maybe in my obituary.

1. I can style girl hair in various complex arrangements – especially the gymnastics-class high ponytail and the ballet-class bun.

2. I can efficiently wash and fold sports bras and women’s/girls’ underwear. (I still have trouble re-inserting the bra pad thingies.)

3. Speaking of underwear, I know that Victoria’s Secret/PINK stores have additional inventory in the “secret drawers” (see what I did there?) under the display tables.

4. I can navigate the feminine product aisle at Target with confidence and expertise.

5. I no longer have to ask for directions in Ulta.

6. I’m aware that “simpin” is bad and “rizz” is good – I think.

7. I can spot a fake Stanley cup a mile away.

8. I know the locations and prices of most reputable nail salons in the area.

9. I know how to make a teenage boy nervous just by looking him in the eye, shaking his hand and smiling.

10. I know how much a Squishmallow or reversible plushie (usually gifted by a simpin teenage boy) will bring at a garage sale.

11. I know the difference between ombre, highlights and balayage – and that all of them will put me in debt.

12. I can order an iced caramel macchiato, a vanilla chai latte and a double shot espresso with steamed oat milk without having any idea what they are, exactly.

13. I can discreetly use a toilet plunger during a multi-girl sleepover without anyone identifying the guilty party.

14. I can invoke a teenage eye roll faster than you can say, “Hi, Hungry! I’m Dad!”

15. I can name most of Taylor Swift’s albums – probably in order. Yes, I’m a shameless Swiftie Dad. My favorite songs are “Style (Taylor’s Version),” “All Too Well (10-minute Taylor’s Version)” and “Delicate” (still waiting for Taylor’s Version) – even though I don’t understand most of the lyrics.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t look to Taylor Swift for my politics, my worldview or my NFL preferences. I just think her songs are catchy, and listening to them makes me feel a little less like I’m ready to pick out my embalming fluid.

Although I, sadly, no longer use most of these skills, I’m going to try to stay sharp because I may have granddaughters someday (hopefully far, far in the future).

Until then, I’ll be keeping it rizzy! (I’m not sure that’s a word.)

Copyright 2024 Jase Graves distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. Contact Graves at [email protected].

Jase Graves is an award-winning humor columnist from East Texas. His columns have been featured in Texas Escapes magazine, The Shreveport Times, The Longview News Journal, and The Kilgore News Herald. He is also a frequent contributor to The Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop, which named him Writer of the Month for June of 2017, and he has served as a judge in the Erma Bombeck/Anna Lefler Humorist in Residence program.

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists says, "Whether he's breaking down the common types of yard sale denizens ('The Lingerer . . .she was here so long, I'll probably be able to claim her on my next tax return') or sharing cautionary tales of mattress shopping, Jason flays suburban life with a sharp wit. Shopping for his daughter's swimsuits, he wonders if he has 'strayed into the first aid section and . . .was looking at a new line of colorful ACE bandages.'"

Other than writing, his hobbies include berating the television when the Texas A&M Aggie football team is playing and sleeping as late as possible.