I'm not much of a joiner.
Since I got kicked out of fifth grade chorus for singing too loud, I've been weary of being a member of a group. In fact, there are many reasons why I don't want to belong to them.
Too many meetings.
Too many rules.
I don't like to leave the house at night.
Every night is my TV night.
Last fall, at Wrentham Day, I was exposed to a group that I have belonged to and didn't even know it. In the crowd, a man was wearing a D.A.D.D. T-shirt, otherwise known as Dads Against Daughters Dating.
They sell very cool T-shirts.
While I believe in the cause, I don't necessarily believe in the threat of violence, D.A.D.D.'s Facebook page is filled with tales of fathers greeting their daughters’ would-be dates by loading rifles or sharpening tools while entertaining the young men who have the gall to date our daughters.
Be cool, my brothers in arms.
I understand. After all, this is war, and we have to do things we don't want to do in order to protect our lovely, beautiful daughters. Since they are put in our arms for the first time, they are the apples of our eyes.
I have two of them, one is my stepdaughter, who I consider my flesh and blood, in her 30s, and the other is a sophomore in college.
I will never ever like a boyfriend-serious boyfriend-husband of theirs.
If I had my way, both of them would opt for rewarding careers as nuns. That way I could sleep at night in peace.
I have a son, too. The main rule for him is not to upset another father of a daughter like me. He is to be a gentleman at all times.
There is no "Boys will be boys" here in the House of Hardman.
Soon after I married her mother, my oldest daughter brought a guy home. He was a hard-working type and a pretty good guy. He was very respectful of my daughter and her mother.
I didn't like him.
"Why don’t you like him?" my oldest asked.
"Let's get this straight. I'm never going to like or love him. That's up to you. To me, he is the enemy and always will be. Men can never be trusted."
We've been through a lot of boyfriends since then and gone through a lot of "Do you like him?" The answer will always be no.
I spy on my daughter in college. She talks about her guy friends, and I see their pictures on Facebook. We had the talk the other day about not letting them get away with anything. She's tough. I like that. She even took a self-defense class, and that was a proud moment.
The best these guys can hope for is toleration. If he's great to her, throws some grandchildren in and doesn't try to sit at the head of the table, he might have a chance.
Remember, this is my Pride and I'm the Lion King.
Guys out there who have young daughters - teach them to be tough and stand on their own two feet.
That's our only hope against the enemy, which used to be us, and you know what we were up to back in the day.