I Need Me Some Authority


Will You Be My Coach?

Do any of you miss the voice of authority? 

Assuming that those of you reading it are, nominally at least, adults, and thus, have been your own authority for quite some time.

I’m not talking about the IRS, the President, or the cops, all of whom (hopefully) do not represent the kind of authority I am talking about.

I’m talking about the people who used to tell you what to do and you did it.  Not because you were necessarily afraid of them, but because at least on some level you knew that they had your best interests in mind and that if you did what they said it was inherently good for you, if not fun to do.  And also because you were afraid of them.

My wrestling coach.  My German teacher.  An ex-girlfriend I had lots and lots of great sex with and whose opinion I cared very much about until I found that she was already in a committed relationship.  My first writing professor at college.

All of these people – and more; my parents and a few aunts and uncles play no small part in this pantheon – made me do what I needed to do when I needed to do it.

Which is not to say that they so much molded what I wanted to become or what I should be doing as motivated me – actually, forced me – into doing things that were good for me but that were, well, hard.

Authority.  Painful.  And fucking annoying. 

And yet:

Would I ever have run five miles if I hadn’t had someone calling me a pussy?  Would I have learned a foreign language if my prissy foreign language teacher hadn’t threatened to ruin my university credit?  Would I have learned to get up at 6 A.M. with a hangover if I hadn’t had my father’s expectations and a potential shaming to face instead?

Does anyone else feel this way?  You spend all of this time growing up and then when you get there you figure out that there is all of this wondrous freedom.

You can do whatever the hell you want, really.  Within reason, which means whatever the hell you want.  Right?  Laws and constraints of economics pale in comparison with all of the shit we prevent ourselves from doing on a daily basis. Want to sleep with that chick at the checkout lane at Kroger’s?  You could probably do it.  What’s holding you back?  Want to shoot some heroin?  You know you’d get away with it.  Want to run a marathon?  Your employer or your children aren’t robbing you of that much time, are they?

Want to hang ass-naked from inversion boots for 48 hours every weekend, naked, eating Cheetos and rubbing that orange chemical shit all over your nipples while watching old reruns of Ren and Stimpy?

What’s that, you say?  Inversion boots are too expensive?

Shit, most of us are incapable of driving a different route to work, let alone thinking about something differently, trying a different approach, or speaking out in the face of even minor adversity.

So much for all of that glorious freedom and democracy Fox is always talking about.

Of course, as we were told a million jillion times growing up, with all of that glorious freedom comes all that responsibility.  You have to motivate yourself to get up in the morning, to learn new things, to run five miles.  I know that this isn’t such a profound concept.  Those of us who were told about the “real world” had ample time to prepare for it, didn’t we?

And that really fucking sucks.  That is the hardest part about being an adult.

I miss authority.  Quick, somebody come tell me what to do.

Anybody else?

Sincerely Yours

Wag the Dad

Wait.  There’s more:

I Totally Racked My Kid Today

Your Pubic Hairs, They Are Like The Pine Needles

Surviving the Birth Part 6:  Massage the Gooch


  1. I dunno, I have an ex-cop for a dad who still treats me like an ignorant 13-year-old… and I do now exactly what I did then: I just don’t listen.

  2. For me it is more about the decision making process. I want someone to step in ocassionally and make those hard choices for me; things like ‘what do I make for dinner?’ and ‘do I pay the water bill or the electric bill?’ and ‘which doctor/school/blah blah blah do I take my kids to?’ and today, perhaps, ‘do I take myself to the doc because I stabbed myself in hand, or do I wrap it myself and take an advil for pain?’. That’s the shit that wears me out.

    • Well I thought I would just second this motion because it is exactly what I would have commented. I’ve been complaining about this for years: I am SOOOOO TIRED of making ALLLLL the decisions…

  3. My father used to say, “I can’t wait for you to grow up so I can talk to you.” Um, he’s still waiting, so I don’t know what that means. I’m a big fan of taking a poll. (Yes, I just wrote that.) I canvass my husband, my father-in-law, my high school BFF and my neighborhood BFF. Then I make some sort of decision. As for you…I think you should ask Dead Cow Girl what to do…and tell us alllllllll about it.

  4. I’m with you. I’m so fucking tired of being the boss of me that I can barely stand to get up in the mornings. Maybe you think I’m kidding. I’m fucking not. Using the word fuck has become my only inflection. I’ve lost interest in telling myself what to do because I know that I don’t have to do it anyway. I don’t want to make decisions anymore. I don’t want to do anything. I need someone to scare the bejesus out of me so I’ll get back on track. I only wanted to be old enough to be out of the house and able to drink and stay out past curfew. I never wanted to grow the fuck up.

  5. I think I AM the voice of authority. At least, I like to throw my weight around. Tell me what’s bugging you and I’ll tell you what to do.

    Disclaimer: Results not typical. Do not try at home. Observe proper safety precautions.

  6. I normally have absolutely no problem with making decisions about what the right thing to do is. I was raised with a very clear-cut set of moral values, and a strong sense of responsibility. THAT is my problem. I’m not tired of being my own boss, I’m tired of always making the right decision. Tired of choosing (a) because it’s the right option and has the best outcome for me and my family when I know that (b) is totally wrong and possibly morally reprehensible but would be so much fun!!! All work and no play makes Kev a strong, sensible, financially stable and cripplingly dull boy……

    • I have the same problem. Making all of those financially sound, morally sound and guilt-ridden decisions about my life, my work and my family leaves precious little time for me to do other things that aren’t necessarily morally reprehensible, but would still be good for me, like working out, doing something like meditating, taking an hour during the day to read every once in awhile, etc. By the time I’m finished with all my morally admirable duties, all that’s left is an hour or so after 8:00 p.m., when it’s arguably too late to run (lest I be unable to sleep) and I’m too cashed to do much else other than occasionally wander around the corner with my neighbors to the pub, have a few, and come back and crash.

      • We obviously need to arrange a short break where the two of us can get away from our duties and cut loose for a while, obviously in the name of ‘blog research’. Amsterdam is about halfway between us, right???……..

  7. Every now and then the short people ask me something and I start looking around before I realize “Holy shit! There’s no one to bail me out! This is all on me…” It is both empowering adn terrifying that one moment when you realize that YOU are the voice of authority. Sorry, kids.

  8. Hmmmm….I may not be the best judge. My dear old daddy pitched me out at 17 for not putting gas in his car. It certainly taught me to never let the car get to less than 1/4 of a tank.

  9. growing up I was the authority for myself and the younger sibs… so when I moved out I didn’t learn how to regulate myself. Now, I am starting from the back and working my way forward and it sucks donkey dick. What am I saying… I understand this need for authority, though I think my need is likely a bit deeper seeded. Sadly I think I just need an assistant who will dole out an allowance and when I start to make a fucked up decision will say ‘hey bitch, you might want to re-think that shit so I don’t have to throw the smack down’. Funny how people that are good at helping others with their issues… suck at figuring out their own and doctors kids are always sick and mechanics cars never run….


  10. I am what I am because my parents had certain expectations that had to be met or else. That crucible formed the basis of everything that came after. I work insane hours, I tithe my time for charitable causes, I pay my bills and I do what I say I will do. This has created an uber workaholic which is perhaps not all that healthy on many levels, but I am not in prison, living in the projects with zero prospects and I have a pretty awesome life on balance. Having to deal with the right authority can make or break a person.

    As for you, Sars, you need my assistant who tells me where to be, when to be and hands me a file as I head out the door. I would die without her. Sadly, she is not for rent because my charity only goes so far.

  11. I spend a lot of time feeling like I’m pretending to be a grown-up. Maybe in another few years I’ll have a better grip on it but sometimes having to make the adult choice instead of skipping work to sleep in and eat ice cream all day fucking sucks. It weighs me down. And I have my 30th birthday coming up in a few months and I pretty much want to spend the next 6 months drunk so I don’t have to deal with it. But I can’t. Obviously. Because I’m a fucking grown up.

  12. I sure miss the voice of authority….. namely my own, considering I’m a teacher who lost his voice, what, four months ago and has been COUGHING ever since. Here’s a word of advice, as requested: DON’T GROW UP. NEVER GROW UP. IT’S OVERRATED AND LIFE’S TOO SHORT.

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