You can talk to your dad about anything, but some conversations are easier to start than others. Remember “the talk”? Yeah, he didn’t enjoy that very much either. The good news is, now that you are both of legal age, you can have those seminal, important conversations over a drink. From the best of times to the worst and everywhere in between, here are the conversations you should only have with your dad face to face, with a glass in hand.
You’re switching sports teams
It’s tough enough for Dad to accept that his NY-raised kid will never root for his ancestral Celtics, so a late-in-life, full-on sports team conversion could break the man’s heart, and warrants a sit-down confession. Maybe you got married and need to keep the peace, or perhaps you gave in to local pride when you moved out. No matter the reason, it’s probably best to have this conversation when Dad’s team (no longer your team) is doing well.
You’re having a kid
If your previous exploits have prepared Dad for the worst of drinking conversations, giving him good news -- like the fact he’s going to be a grandpa -- will be extra sweet. And Dad can help you manage the freakout that you will inevitably have next. Just remember, he did it, so you can too, right? ...Right?
You didn’t quite make it into grad school… ever
“Hey, remember how I said I was graduating in a month? Okay, so…. “ Few things are more embarrassing than admitting that you lied, especially about your entire life trajectory. There’s also the small matter of where that tuition money went. Now’s a good time to count on the “unconditional” part of unconditional love.
As much as you want to avoid admitting that you are not exactly killin’ it out there, you can only “forget” your wallet so many times before you need to fess up that there’s just… not much in there. Asking Dad for cash over drinks can help avoid that bait-and-switch feel, thereby assuaging some of your guilt over asking in the first place, and most importantly, make him more likely to say yes. You can get started on repaying him by at least getting the bill. Be classy.
You’re getting married
This is the conversation that combines all the others -- you need to know how he did it, how you can make it work, and also probably need to borrow some cash. After all the soul searching is done, though, the fun stuff begins, like picking out suits and learning how to lobby your fiancée for a chocolate fondue.
Another reason to get a drink with dad? TGI Fridays $12 Dine & Drink deal gets you an entree plus a grown-up beverage for that grown-up conversation.
Your mom is dating again
As uncomfortable as this thought is, your parents did like each other at one point -- even if they didn’t make it to "happily ever after." And that makes it much more awkward to tell Dad that Mom has a new boyfriend. This is the closest thing you can get to giving “the talk” in reverse, so be gentle, meaning be sure to stress that this guy is totally lame. In this case, perhaps wait until Dad is on his second drink before you drop the bomb.
You want him to teach you his ways
Growing up comes with the realization that Dad did a pretty damn good job. How did he juggle work, being a husband, and not screwing you up too badly? Show your thanks and probe him for nuggets of life wisdom over drinks. He’s earned it.
You strongly suspect that you’re adopted
Ideally, your parents would tell you that you’re adopted sometime in your childhood, but family histories can get pretty messy and hey, things slip people’s minds! If you want to address the doubts that have plagued you since your parents claimed that the dog ate your baby pics, a drink may help fuel Dad’s honesty. On the plus side, you might find out you’re not gonna inherit his receding hairline.
You need a fixer
Adulthood tends to come in stages, which often coincide with things going wrong in your life. First car breakdown? You need a guy. Legal hurdle? You need a guy. Your dad knows exactly who to talk to, and will set things in motion with an “enough said” should things escalate to new levels of unscrupulousness. Neither your dad nor “the guy” will ask questions -- like Mom would.