Sunday, June 16, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on March 12th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 1 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 1

Bedazzled and confused

Krider learns not all jeans-or genes-are created equal


I'm a survivor. No, I didn’t survive cancer. And I didn’t survive serving in the armed forces during wartime. I simply survived the 13th year of my daughter’s life. I don’t get to wear a ribbon, and I didn’t earn a medal of valor. All I am rewarded with after surviving my daughter’s 13th year on this planet is the opportunity to attempt to survive yet another year with her. It turns out this is a vicious cycle that can only end with my death (which, if things keep moving along as they are, seems quite likely).

It is important to me that I am a good dad, so I do the best I can to be a solid and caring parent, but sometimes my best just isn’t enough. Unfortunately for me, my public education hasn’t helped much. In college, I never took a class on What To Do When Your Teenage Daughter is Crying and Won’t Tell You Why. Instead, I took a class at Cal Poly in SLO (and this is a true story) called “Recreation and Leisure Management.” We were given extra credit if we cut class and went surfing. Embarrassingly, I actually found a way to fail the course.

I don’t have recreation and leisure in my life now; I have a teenage daughter. We do things like talk in circles, stare into our phones instead of speaking directly to each other, and watch hours and hours of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. My days are filled with writing large checks for cheerleading uniforms, traveling to stores to find the “exact burgundy-reddish-brown with a tint of purple” hair dye, and discussing what happened at school that day, which seems to always be “nothing.”

When I pick my daughter up, here is how the conversation goes every single day. For effect, understand that her impatience with me exponentially escalates with each response.

“Hey, sweetie. Did you learn anything today at school?”


“What did you do today?”


“Really? All day, you didn’t do anything?”

“No, nothing.”

“They didn’t teach you anything today?”

“No. It was just review.”

“What are you reviewing? You’ve told me every day they’ve taught you nothing. In math class, are you reviewing the numeral zero?”

“I told you: nothing, Dad! Please leave me alone. I’ve had a hard day.”

“I thought you said you did nothing today. How hard is that?”

“Dad, you don’t understand.”

“Of course I don’t understand. You haven’t given me any information.”

“Let’s just go home. I’m tired.”

“Tired of what? Doing nothing?”

Eventually, I leave her alone since my goal is to connect with her, not to further damage her emotionally. It is a tough road because I want to communicate better with my daughter, but sometimes I’m not sure how.

The other night, my daughter said she would like to go shopping. At least shopping was something. My wife and I thought shopping with our daughter would be fun, so we took her to the mall. We were on the hunt for blue jeans. I ignorantly figured buying blue jeans couldn’t be too difficult of a task since there are plenty of stores with copious amounts of jeans. I assumed we could pick up a pair of Levis, grab a scoop of ice cream, and be out of the mall in about 30 minutes. It turns out sometimes I really am the stupidest dad on the planet.

The first store we went into was a multi-story monstrosity called Forever 21. We walked around and around, burning calories up and down the stairs, while having Justin Bieber songs pumped into our eardrums.  We found lots of blue jeans, but they weren’t “the ones.” Then we headed to the Lucky Jeans store, where paying $150 for a single pair of jeans somehow makes you “lucky.”

Our daughter wanted some Miss Me jeans, which aren’t cheap either, and thus should be called I Miss My Money jeans. We went to lots of different stores and they all had Miss Me jeans, but they weren’t “the ones” our daughter was looking for. She wanted a pair with at least three thousand small plastic diamonds glued to the butt of the pants. The pairs we found only had 2,900 plastic diamonds bedazzled to the butt area. Anyone showing up to high school with 2,900 plastic diamonds on their butt cheeks is a total nerd, especially when the cool kids have 3,000 plastic diamonds on their more popular behinds.

The search went on. In the mall I was like a pirate navigating the seas in search for diamond treasure. Finally, we found “the ones” but, as luck would have it, they were the wrong size. This seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The jeans were too long for my daughter, but instead of just buying them and having them hemmed she decided to emotionally batter her dad:

“It’s all your fault I’m short!” 


 “Yes. You’re short, so I’m short, and now I can’t find any jeans that fit!”

“I’m sorry, sweetie, I guess I should have waited until I was taller before your mom and I decided to have a baby.”

“You should have!”

“I’m being sarcastic. It’s a habit I picked up while growing up at the height of 5-foot-8. I think a lot of short people are sarcastic. It’s our way of fending off a tall, oppressive world.”

“It’s unfair!”

My wife, whom I love, decided I had done enough damage, so she tried to calm the waters: “Your dad’s short, you’re short; that’s life. Just build a bridge and get over it.”

Wow! What a profound thing to tell a 14-year-old girl enveloped in crisis in the juniors’ section at Macy’s. Just when I thought I was the worst parent, my wife came along and made me feel better about myself. I knew I loved her for a reason. We make a swell team. Wish the two of us luck as we take on another year with our teenage girl.

The happy ending is that we finally found some jeans online that were the perfect size with the requisite 3,000 diamonds.


Poor Rob never did get his ice cream. Send condolences through

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Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

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