five things | i learned from this months' esquire featuring mark wahlberg


1. mark will always be THE ultimate. no matter how many ted movies he makes.

2. fatherhood is supremely sexy if it's done well. if it's half-assed, you're just the ultimate douche who deserves sterilization.

3. when mark was a child, his dad called him monkey, a moniker mark wasn't fond of. during a sit-down heart-to-heart, mark asked his dad to stop calling him monkey and his dad apologized and promised to never call him that again. he then asked mark what he wanted to be called and his response was mikey. i take two things away from this: transparency and honest communication is so very important in relationships, even parent-child ones. it leads to mutual respect and camaraderie. and, secondly, i have a very hard time picturing marky as a mikey.

4. in the how to: be a dad portion of the magazine, somewhere between how to fix stuff and how to eat salami, rests a chapter on how to console. there is a picture of an ice cream cone and a sweet story of a dad and his son who lost his little league game (and season). the writer's consoling consisted of telling his son that he, too, had lost a little league game and that there will be more chances. he ended this conversation with "you want some ice cream?" coincidentally, my dad's first reaction to me shedding even one tear- besides the desire to kick someone's ass- is always the power of distraction by way of ice cream. for example, when joe and i broke up years ago and i was pathetically sad and far too thin, almost every day began with an emailed offer to take me to lunch, which, was really just code for you need to gain weight so i'm going to attempt to be sneaky even though i know you see through it and walk by your favorite ice cream spot and force feed you the gluttonous milky goodness. and, no, i don't care if you're lactose intolerant. take one for the team, kiddo. i guess there is a manual, after all.

5. want to hear an alarming statistic? according to the last US Census, the number of american families without fathers has grown from 10.3 percent in 1970 to 24.6 percent in 2013, with 17.5 million children currently fatherless in the united states. many people are calling fatherlessness a national tragedy and an epidemic. on the flip-side, the fathers who do stick around are doing fatherhood with an unprecedented intensity. they are more hands on, more present, and far more affectionate.



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