How your Valentine’s Day will likely differ from Don’t Tell Daddy 2

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, which means that if you haven’t made dinner reservations yet, you will likely spend the rest of your life alone. You’re cooking a lovely meal for her at home, aren’t you? That’s a terrible mistake. When a woman looks at you, the last thing she wants to see is a lifetime of romantic holidays spent at home, repeatedly setting her forearm down in the sticky spot on your kitchen table. Chances are, your perceptions of what Valentine’s Day is supposed to be like have been warped by the defining medium of our age: internet pornography. Even if you did manage to make dinner reservations, you are probably still laboring under a lot of misguided expectations. As my father used to say, the only thing that can really hurt you is hope, so you should be prepared for the kind of evening that doesn’t come to you via a fiber optic network. With that in mind, here are several ways in which your Valentine’s Day will probably be different from Don’t Tell Daddy 2.

1) Your date will not be a schoolgirl who has lost her way.

Your date will be the same woman with whom you spent last Valentine’s Day, or possibly a woman you just met who turns out to be eerily similar to the first. This woman—whom you will ideally recognize when you get to the restaurant—will not spend the first five minutes of the evening trying to finish a lollipop as quickly as possible. Instead, she will spend the first five minutes asking questions, first of you—how was your day? did you read the book I gave you? don’t you like to read?—and then of the waiter. Unlike Don’t Tell Daddy 2, none of these questions will be “Is this how you like it?” They will instead be about the ingredients of various menu items—more menu items than she could possibly plan on eating, really—and this will not be how you like it.

2) You will not be able to just sit there and make grunting noises.

While you are in the restaurant, it is critically important that you not grunt, breathe rhythmically or interrupt your date midsentence by shouting, “Yeah, nasty!” Your date will want to talk about vampire books and feelings, not the ways in which she is a bad girl. Attempts to turn the conversation toward that subject via rhetorical questions will be greeted not with loud moaning, as you might expect, but with suspicion. You can navigate the conversation portion of Valentine’s Day by saying “Oh, yeah?” where you would normally say, “Ooh, yeah.”

3) The girls in Don’t Tell Daddy 2 eventually stop talking about their fathers.

Your date will never do this.

4) Midway through dinner, your date will not suddenly be joined by another woman you’ve never seen before.

Unless your date has decided to use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to break up with you in a controlled environment with lots of alert bystanders, no one else is coming—not her roommate, not her twin sister who doesn’t really look like her, not a stern but very committed female principal, nobody. Not only will your date be the only woman that you see over the course of the meal, but she will also be able to see you. Remember, at all times during dinner, your date can see you. It is critically important that you conduct yourself accordingly, and not try to end the date after eight minutes by throwing your napkin on the table and pressing Quit.

5) Your date will not be impressed by how big and strong you are, how she always wondered what eating dinner with you would be like, the ways in which you are an older male authority figure, or your being so good.

You are none of these things, which is why you do stuff like eating dinner at Chili’s and buying Jason Mraz tickets off Craigslist instead of waxing yourself and running a school for delinquent girls. Your complete failure to have six-pack abs, a house in Glendale with a pool and no furniture in it, a completely hairless torso or an erection immediately upon taking off your pants will be obvious to your date—at least the first three, and the fourth one she can get by induction. In your complete absence of these qualities, you will have to fall back on qualities the men in Don’t Tell Daddy 2 don’t have, such as your high school diploma and your shirt. You should wear  a shirt.

6) Don’t Tell Daddy 2 does not end with the main character going home and watching Don’t Tell Daddy 2.

And your date won’t end with everyone getting way too into coke and eventually dying alone. After Sunday, there’s no way you’ll be able to afford coke.

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  1. “As my father used to say, the only thing that can really hurt you is hope, …”

    Thats friggen brilliant!

    After all these years and I could have never put it so succinctly.

    I wish my dad was as insightful and inspired as your dad. My dads full of that dreamy hopey shit. It could have saved me 30+ years of heartbreak and crushed expectations.

    BTW: Now that you’ve brought it to my attention, my valentines day WILL, in fact, be an exact copy of “Dont tell daddy #2”.

    ( Bet ya didn’t see that coming ;) )

  2. Great stuff. I literally lol-ed.

    And your choice of focus is absolutely spot-on–‘Don’t Tell Daddy #2’ is the rare instance of a sequel overshadowing the original. The conclusion to the trilogy will likely be a letdown, though.

  3. Dan, you are hysterical. Perhaps the pride in knowing that can be some sort of vague substitute for female companionship this weekend, should you uh, you know, be alone.

  4. I love your blog most when you do exactly the thing I ordinarily hate in all other “cultural criticism”: you pretend that your pathological self-analysis is actually in indictment of society at large.

  5. That may be the best description of my operation yet. Amanda Nazario once remarked that I wrote about the human condition, by which she meant the condition of being Dan. I would like to state, for record, that I have not actually seen the Don’t Tell Daddy trilogy.

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