Jackson is it?
Look here, pal.
I’ve got something to say.
I too was a 16-year-old boy once.
I’m not an idiot, I know how this works.
I’m glad that you and Raina are having fun together.
But listen up, buddy.
And listen good.
It’s 2020, and if you do anything to hurt my daughter
I swear to god I will be concerned and disappointed,
but ultimately step back
and let her navigate her own emotional growth.
Here’s the goddamn deal, Jackson.
By all mean, nervously come over to our house
with weird flowers, pick Raina up, and show her a nice time.
But know this, at every moment I am watching
myself and actively resisting my ingrained urge
to infantilize my daughter and deny her a normal
and healthy evolution into mature adulthood.
So every time you two lovebirds
go out for frozen yogurt and a movie,
I want you to remember this,
I will be sitting on the front porch with my Revolver
CD playing because I really love that wonderful album.
And you bet your scrawny ass
I’ll be ready and waiting
to hear about which film you guys saw,
and whether you liked it.
[Woman] Turns out dogs can’t drive.
[Dad] See champ.
If I ever, ever learn that you made my daughter cry,
or caused her any kind of distress,
I swear on my goddamn life that I will hunt you down
a nice card so that you can write her a proper apology
because we all mess up from time to time,
especially as young people.
And furthermore, I need to accept
that I don’t have the ability to shield her from all pain,
which is an inevitable part of life.
And even if I did, I would only be hindering
her development of coping strategies.
You got that, chief?
A lot of boys out there, Jackson.
Don’t think I don’t see ’em.
They’re on her dodge ball team.
They’re at parties.
They’re chatsnapping her nonstop.
And if you want my honest opinion,
no boy will ever be good enough for my princess
is a thing I’d say if I didn’t acknowledge
that princess is a fundamentally patronizing epithet.
And there are probably numerous boys
who are good enough for her
because that’s how dating tends to work.
I leave it to Raina to decide
whether someone’s good enough for her or not.
She seems to have decided that you are
and that is her prerogative, and nice for you.
Look pal, this is not easy for me!
The minute Raina was born she was daddy’s little girl.
However, I mean that only literally!
She was a physically small human
and her DNA strongly suggested that she was my kid.
It still does, but after a point,
that mentality is weird and gross.
And now I just nervously give her driving lessons
and proofread her essays, fuck!
And we go to basketball games,
and argue about the plausibility
of most of the plot points of Riverdale.
Would you like to stay for dinner?
I’m making some eggplant thing from a book!