Growing up as a Muslim-Albanian family with very patriarchal ideas on the way a family is supposed to operate, my idea of what a father should be was a very “man’s man” one.

He brings home the bacon, laughs maybe five times a year, and was really into Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorcese movies. Oh, and a Marlboro Red had to be perpetually hanging out the side of his mouth.

Fast forward years later and here I am, dadding it up, and I’m not that, like, at all. The manliest thing I probably do is hit the gym, bro, and not shave my chest hair. Other than that though, I’m nothing like the former generation of “guy’s guys” that raised me. Which I’m totally cool with, because I’m already learning special hair braids to try out on my daughter once she gets older. Because her old man might be a North Jersey meathead, but he’s going to be a meathead who doesn’t mind having tea parties and getting his nails painted with his little girl.


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