The Publisher's Desk: Is there ever a time not to act like dad?

I almost went into dad mode at my sister’s wedding recently.

I’ve only been a dad for 18 months or so but I’ve found that I can access the facial expressions and tone very quickly now when I see children acting out. I feel the urge even if the children aren’t technically mine. 

The adults at my sister’s wedding are not technically mine, by any means, but I still felt the urge to give a friendly “dad-lecturing-and-scolding” when I saw some of them “misbehaving.” 

They might have had a little too much to drink. They might have been laughing loudly while grouchy old me was trying to clean up. They might have been running on six-inch high heels and jumping onto a moving platform with wheels to try and ride it across the room, risking a crash and an injury to their heads — for example. 

When I noticed this while carrying giant trash bags across the room, the dad in me suddenly flared up and I was afraid I was fixing to scold them the way I might scold Darci for misbehaving. 

“No ma’am,” I would have said, while frowning, furrowing my eyebrows and pointing at them. “Get down, now,” I would have said while pointing downward. “That is a no-no.”

Then I would have asked them to tell me where the no-no is, have them point to the moving platform on wheels and repeat the phrase, “no-no-no,” just like Darci does. But I didn’t do any of those things. 

Thankfully they stopped “misbehaving” just as the instinct kicked in. Maybe my dad look is more effective than I thought. Or maybe they just got bored. 

It was actually hard for me not to be in dad mode for the whole wedding. I’m not really a relax and party kind of guy. 

Even at my own sister’s wedding, I was focused and a little too intense, just like always. 

Just ask my poor mom, who was on cleanup duty with me. Or my sister. As kids, I always bossed her around like I imagined a dad would. Even as adults, I’m a little too quick with advice. 

And at the wedding — from trying to help coordinate pictures, to looking for a lost camcorder, to helping my dad find the wedding location, my attitude is always get-it-done-and-think-of-the-jokes-you-wish-you-would-have-said-later. 

So to my sister, who was beautiful and funny and surprisingly calm on her wedding day, I’d like to say congratulations and best wishes on your new life with Colten in El Paso. What a whirlwind adventure for you. I think it’s going to be great. I’m not sure how well I conveyed that at the wedding.

I’d also like to tell her the funny joke I only thought of after the wedding, but ... I still haven’t thought of it. Typical me — I’ve probably been too busy acting like a dad.

Scott Dykowski is the publisher of the Dublin Citizen and can be reached at 445-2515 and

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