Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dear PR/Marketing People Sending Me Pitches for Father’s Day, Etc.

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Let me help you. Please.

I had your job before, making cold calls and email pitches. It sucks. Allow me to make your life easier.

Unless you are offering to pay me a decent wage (see #SwifferDads campaign) to write about your product or brand, or you are offering to give me a pricey and/or sexy product (think Bluetooth headphones, flat-screen TVs, sports cars, lots and lots of tasty alcohol, etc.), just save yourself the time and effort.

I have no interest in running your high-res photos of celebrity dads giving their kids BPA-free high colonics.

mad-men-open-sequence

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rite of Spring – The Big Dance Recital

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dance-recital-2011-crop
Front and center in 2011

This past weekend was the Perfect Storm of Uncool events: my birthday (not one of note, though my increasingly creaky back says otherwise), Mother’s Day and Li’l Diva’s annual dance recital. I write about the latter in this piece, which first appeared a year ago in Stamford Magazine.

It’s the heart of spring, a special time with weather warming, flora blooming and vacations approaching that ignited me so as a child but as an adult reduces me to ash.

Field trips to Cove Island, to Dorothy Heroy Park and – gasp – to “The City.” School concerts. School plays. Daily rehearsals for said concerts and plays. Little League practices. Little League games. Going back to the Little League field to retrieve a jacket left in the dugout. Funny how perspective changes when you go from kid to your kids’ chauffeur.

Monday, April 27, 2015

#SwifferDad Cleans Up with Modern Fathers

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The following is sponsored by Swiffer, which provided the featured cleaning products as part of its #SwifferDad campaign.

When My Love and I first shacked up, we'd tried to spend every Saturday morning cleaning the condo. Vacuuming. Scrubbing. Disinfecting. That was just the corner of the closet where we tossed my used underwear.

Saturday morning quickly evolved in Saturday afternoon. Then Saturday night. We weren't even that messy, for crying out loud. It just seemed to go on and on and on, week after week after week -- yep, three weeks in total. That's when  one of us quit. That would be ... my future wife. (If you guessed me, I am disappointed and shake a used and soiled Swiffer Wet Jet Pad in your general direction, you stereotyping sexist!)

Needless to say, every since, we've hired people to help around our home once a week with the heavy stuff. However, with two kids and a Labrador retriever who regularly loses huge patches of fur, there is plenty of messes and minor catastrophes that need cleaning up the other six-and-seven-eighth days of the week when they aren't around. And that work would be done by me -- modern, work-at-home father and Doyen of the Clean (Yet) Uncool Domicile.

Laugh and make jokes about me in a French maid's outfit all you like, but you are behind the times, buddy. Today's dads pitch in nearly two times more than their pops did, and half of those modern fathers (me being one of them) say they do the bulk of the cleaning in their home. How do I know this? Because I have lived it, friend. I also have the cool bubble graphics that prove it:

#SwifferEffect #SwifferDad Fact Todays Dads Clean More than There Dads Did

#SwifferEffect #SwifferDad Fact Half of Dads Do Most of Household Cleaning

Talk about sweet production value. Thanks, Swiffer!

Yes, Swiffer. The company has recognized that dads today have a hands-on role in keeping the home clean and have started a pretty nifty campaign to let us show off our mad mopping and dusting skills. Check out this new #SwifferDad ad, featuring follow City Dads Group dude Beau Coffron of Lunchbox Dad international fame (he's the one chasing his kids around the couch):


I'm like those guys, though, let's face it - far too attractive for a mere professional-grade video camera to capture. Trust me, if my kids weren't in the tween and teen years and too cool for appearances in my blog anymore, they would just as easily tell you who does the laundry, dishes, assorted picking up and the like in our home (me) as well as who pays for all of it (their mother). I'm totally down with that. They should see that dads and moms can fill either role in the 21st century. And, dang, we do.

To prove my meddle, Swiffer sent me a Big Green Box with a Swiffer Wet Jet, Wet Jet Refill and Wet Jet Pad Refills to let me put my cleaning skills to the test.


And what a test it was - the area of my home office where the dog hangs:


Ugh. Not a mess any more, thanks to Swiffer Wet Jet:


Traps and locks the dirt and grime instead of pushing it around. Now that that's done, I have time to catch my daughter's debut singles match for varsity high school tennis, then run up to the Little League field to run practice for the boy's team this afternoon. I kid you not. Parenting is all about being there whenever you can, and today -- I'm there, and they'll see me.

Leading the charge for today's groundbreaking, floor-mopping fathers is Anthony Anderson, star of the ABC-TV sitcom black-ish, a self-professed "dad who likes to clean" who served as a creative consultant to the ad. Dig what's he's dropping about modern dads not being the lazy, helpless cartoonish slobs of past portrayal:

 

The Swiffer folks are so into spreading the word of dads who dust and so on that they sent me a second Big Green Box to share with a fellow father. I chose my neighbor Andy, a long-time at-home dad himself who refs youth soccer, has served as chairman of the governance council of his son's school and volunteers at the local Boys and Girls Club. No slacker there. Here he is receiving his gift from Swiffer:



His kitchen, in the background, always looks that neat, so I think I made the right choice of recipient. That new Swiffer Wet Jet starter kit, which retails for $21.99, should keep that tile floor sparkling with less time and effort so he can spend more time with his family and adorable beagle. Together, we're going have the cleanest houses on the cul-de-sac.


Disclosure: Despite being paid off by Swiffer in the most legitimate of manners, all the opinions, bad jokes and spelling errors above remain mine and mine alone. No one buys me, but sponsors are welcome to always pay adequately for my time.

My Uncool Past

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