I met my future father-in-law on the night of my first date with DeAnne. We were home later than we said we would be due to car trouble on DeAnne’s part (she almost unintentionally stood me up), and I didn’t want my first impression with her folks to be one of carelessness or rule-breaking. So when DeAnne told me that her dad was probably still up, I asked if I could meet him.
He seemed impressed by the fact that I came in to meet him when I could have easily avoided doing so, but I’m afraid that is where my good impression ended.
“So are you into hunting?” he asked, subtly dropping the fact that he was a man with firearms in his possession.
“Not so much,” I said. “I’m a pretty good shot, but I don’t know what I’d do with a deer if I killed one.”
“How about sports?” he asked, looking for some kind of common ground.
“Um,” I said. “I’m not what you’d call a ‘manly man’. I don’t really hunt or follow sports. I’m more into books and stuff.”
“Oh,” he said. “Well, it was nice meeting you.”
“You too,” I said.
I was sure that my lack of testosterone-inducing priorities would be a stumbling block to my relationship with my future father-in-law. At the time, it may well have. But since then, I think the opposite has become true.
Because he knows that my priorities aren’t focused around hunting or sports, but around his daughter and his grandchildren. When other guys may want to go out and watch a football game at the bar with their buddies, I’m watching Finding Nemo with my kids. When the guys at work as me about my basketball playoff bracket, I don’t have a clue what teams are even playing.
And I don’t regret it one bit. Give me awkward male to male conversation any day, as long as I can go grocery shopping with my beautiful wife.
Some guys will read this post and label me as “whipped.” I know that, and I pity them. Because I feel confident that I am doing my best to be a good husband and father and that on my death-bed, you won’t hear me say, “I wish I watched more sports.” But while they lay on theirs, they may think, “I wish I had spent more time with my family.”
That said, it isn’t like I don’t have hobbies, and I don’t mean to criticize people for taking an interest in sports or hunting. I spend a portion of each day sitting at the computer and writing. But I’m pretty confident that my wife knows that she and our daughters come first.
So spend your time however you want to. Just make sure that you won’t regret how you spend that time later.