Dad’s Corner: A Father’s Weakness

By Peter Könnicke

Is it really a smart move to buy my son a jersey with the name of a famous soccer player on the back? A name like Beckham, for example? Isn’t that significantly increasing the pressure on him to succeed? Do I then need to worry that he’ll only go swimming if suited up like Ian Thorpe? What does it mean when my wife asks me if I’m going for a run now, because if I am, then she won’t, because she doesn’t want to run into me in the park? Why not? It’s not as if she can look more exhausted than while trying to parallel park.

Questions like these haunt me. Since my son was born nine years ago, I’ve wondered if he’ll be a professional athlete one day. I’ve watched his every step and every move carefully in the hope of discovering some kind of talent in him. I’m 36 now, and I exercise so much that my wife regularly complains that our bathroom stinks of sweaty clothes. I’m struggling with the normal questions of a father and the daily life problems of a husband. From now on, I want to share them with you.

Let me give you an example from one of those weak moments when men tend to do stupid or inconsiderate things. In some cases, they buy a new car – or worse, a motorcycle. Or maybe they book a bus trip from Delhi to the Taj Mahal in the middle of the Indian summer. All this is nothing compared to what I did a few days ago. I told my wife that I wouldn’t watch a single game of the Soccer World Cup, on the theory that this was the best proof of true love that a man could offer his wife.

My son nearly choked on his toast when I uttered this mad idea. “Dad …,” he simply said. A moment later, he had recovered enough to sympathetically offer to tell me about every game, as he definitely was’nt going to miss any.

Now my wife tells me that I don’t have to prove anything – she knows that I love her. But are men ever sure if women if women really say what they think? Can I really be sure that she isn’t waiting for me to be abstinent for the four weeks of the tournament? I’m afraid that I’ll have to suffer – unless, that is, what I read in a magazine the other day is true. German’s national defender, Christoph Metzelder, was asked if soccer had become more feminine, because soccer players practice yoga nowadays. (My wife does yoga, too.)

Guess what Metzelder replied. He – a German defender, a giant in Germany’s defense – said he believed that it was metrosexuality that allowed men to show the occasional weakness! Metrosexuality? Weakness?

According to fashion insiders, metrosexual men display their feminine side quite frankly. They wear skirts and thongs; they shave their furry chests and other hairy body parts, they regularly get manicures and pedicures followed by a nail polish, and they go to the hairdresser with a passion. England’s soccer star David Beckham is known as the icon of metrosexuality.

What a wimp! I guess it won’t be hard to prove my love and stick to my soccer abstinence. It’s just that my wife won’t notice – she’ll be watching soccer while wearing our son’s Beckham jersey, freshly washed with fabric conditioner.

This article was written by Take The Magic Step™ team member Piet Könnicke, a writer for a newspaper in Potsdam, Germany and a lifelong runner.