I was afraid it was me.

There I’d be, on an outing with pH, at the art museum or OMSI or the Zoo or Powell’s Books, and I would do what Oregonians do: I would turn to the person standing near me with a kid and make a comment. Sometimes it would be polite. Sometimes it would be snarky. Sometimes it would be one of those, “Kids. Whaddya do?” comments. Sometimes I would just be so happy to see another adult I’d comment on the weather.

The response would be a look of terror and a quickly wheeled away stroller.

“Why did he do that?” pH would ask.

“Some people weren’t socialized well as puppies.” (This answer was more fun until she realized I didn’t mean it literally.)

I really did think it was me for  the longest time. But the response only came from one group: hipsterish men of about 30-40 with children. Random guys of this age? NBD. (Sometimes those guys flirt with me and I get unbelievably flustered. Flirting? What? I’m old!)

But the guys with kids, the unsocialized puppies? I call them Douchebag Dads (DBDs).

I had a DBD encounter this morning. I was not as nice to this guy as I normally am, but I’m going on five hours of sleep, I have a migraine, and it’s Monday. But good grief, I live in a friendly state, we are waiting for the same damed doors to open–and I talk to people…as one does here. Other than DBDs, no one else acts so bizarrely. Finally, after one of these encounters, I mentioned it to a friend–who knew exactly what I was talking about and had the same experience. She said, “They think you’re hitting on them.”

What? As if!

So, men with children who are terrified of talking to women with children: dudes, we are not hitting on you. I don’t know if I am really that frightening or if you’re afraid your kids are going to rat you out with “Daddy talked to a woman at the zoo today!” when your wife gets home from work or if you’re on the spectrum.

Let’s get something straight, though: I wouldn’t hit on you. I like being married. (You just try finding a fellow atheist to debate early church theology with, to discuss the history of science, or to argue the relative merits of HERO vs. GURPS as a universal gaming platform. I have one, and guys and gals, while he has his issues, he’s taken.) For another, I like a large brim on my men, if you know what I’m saying. (Actually, what I’m saying is that the trilby or pork pie does nothing for me, hipsters: kH wears fedoras and has done since long, long before hipsters started getting hipsterish on fedoras.)



PS: If you’re wondering about the distinction between a trilby and a fedora, do read this humorous, self-deprecating post.

PPS: Also, I’m totally going to go here: I probably know more about beer than you do. (I know I know more about naval history.)