Back when I was in school, a book came out called “Eight simple rules for dating my teenage daughter”, by Bruce Cameron. My father took a real shining to this book, and especially the eight rules put forth by Cameron, which look something like this:
- Use your hands on my daughter and you’ll lose them after.
- You make her cry, I make you cry.
- Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health.
- Bring her home late, there’s no next date.
- If you pull into my driveway and honk, you better be dropping off a package because you’re sure not picking anything up (Alternative rule #5: Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once.)
- No complaining while you’re waiting for her. If you’re bored, change my oil.
- If your pants hang off your hips, I’ll gladly secure them with my staple gun.
- Dates must be in crowded public places. You want romance? Read a book.
If you like these, you should check out the originals on Bruce Cameron’s blog, right here: http://www.brucecameron.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=8-simple-rules-for-dating-my-teenage-daughter.html&Itemid=59
My father’s rule for me was always “No dating until you get your PhD!” Well, so far so good, and you never could say I wasn’t an obedient child (much to my grandmother’s chagrin).
But for my elder and fairer sisters, my father was constantly fending off unworthy suitors. There was one particularly bad one who would sneak in through the basement window to see my eldest sister, but there were plenty of just plain inadequate (according to my father) ones that my middle sister flirted with.
So during this whole debacle I did what I normally do, which is to sit back and watch and evaluate. A father’s role in this situation seems to be clear and there must be obvious selective pressure acting on him. By vetting prospective suitors to his daughters, he is ensuring the highest possible quality of genetic material in his bloodline.
Feelings of over-protectiveness aside, the eight simple rules are simply a product of natural selection. Logical enough. And perhaps this is where natural selection can still act on humans, in spite of our modern conveniences that undermine “survival of the fittest.” Now we have “survival of the most suitable according to the father.”
But here’s where things get confusing: why does the father’s reluctance toward certain types seem only to encourage wayward daughters?
This story is older than Romeo and Juliet. Girl meets boy, father says flatly “No way” and girl stubbornly continues to court with boy against her father’s wishes. Where’s the selection acting on that?
I guess I never did figure it out.