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Fathers Everywhere

I'm not a dad — not yet, anyway. But if all goes according to plan, I'll probably become one sooner than later.

My wife assures me that I'm going to be the Objectively Greatest Dad in Dad History; she says it's half the reason she married me. But now that I'm facing down the potential of a fatherly future, it's also a little terrifying.

However, I'm fortunate to have some friends who are in the throes of fatherhood themselves.And as I've watched them all dadding in their unique ways, I've learned a few lessons that I hope to carry with me when I embark on that same journey.


Me and my dad in matching ugly sweaters, circa ... 1990? He did a pretty good job of teaching me the ropes, too.

1. To Anik, for warning me that my priorities and perspectives are going to change — and that's OK.

Even though you wanted to be a dad, you said your wife would always be your #1 priority. But then Ronan was born and, well, I think you'll both admit that he's taken that top spot (which is totally understandable).

Now when we go out and talk politics, you're no longer interested in abstract ideas about making the world better for the future. Now the policies you care about are so precise because they're things that make a difference for Ronan.

Also, I kind of love that every time I tell you about a play or short story I'm working on, you start suggesting ways that I could make it accessible for RoRo.

All photos courtesy of their respective dads, used with permission.

2. To Dave, for letting me know that dads can still have fun and be responsible (even if that does mean carting children to a brewery).

You've taught me that a balance exists between parenting and leisure and that I don't have to fill some boring, stuffy dad stereotype.

Sometimes when I see you, it's a quick hello to trade some cans of microbrew; sometimes we're drinking those cans on your back porch while your parents look after your little girl inside. You've found a way to keep yourself happy and sane with the music, painting, and brewing that you love so much, but in ways that still let you look after your new #1 priority: your daughter.

I hope I can do that, too. I also hope you're able to buy that dream house you've been looking for soon, where she can safely play in the yard and neighborhood while you keep an eye on her from wherever your drums are set up.

3. To Nick, for teaching me that there's nothing wrong with staying home — because dads need self-care, too.

When Elliot came into the world just as your graduate program was ending, with your post-graduation plans still up in the air, I was understandably concerned.

But then, when your wife went back to work, you rose to the challenge by staying home and being a dad. I still tried inviting you to concerts, movies, and games, sometimes goading and negotiating because I thought it'd be good for you to get out of the house, and I felt like a lousy friend when you couldn't come along. But now I realize that you were doing what you had to do for your wallet, your family, and your mental health.

And it all paid off, because when you go back to school in the fall, you'll finally get to be the Space Doctor Dad that you've always wanted to be.

4. To Andrew, for knowing how to dress a child.

This isn't surprising because you were always the most impeccable dresser in our group, second only to your wife. Every time I see another picture of sweet little Rae in a dinosaur costume or some kind of silly jumpsuit, I'm in awe. It's impossible to look at those precious photos and not feel a smile stretch across your face.

You've set a high bar of cuteness for us future parents to strive toward — because let's face it, adorable baby photos are of the utmost importance.

5. To Jake, for reminding me that sometimes the only thing harder than being a dad is not being a dad.

I know I said that, if all went to plan, I'd probably be a dad sooner or later. But as I've watched you and your wife struggle with conception this last year or so, I'm reminded that things don't always go according to plan.

We hear a lot about unintended pregnancies, but we don't hear as much about the people who are longing for that kind of happy accident, who are ready and willing to face the challenge of raising a child — if only they could.

I can't fully understand yet just how much it hurts when you see other dads bringing their kids to the record store. But if we end up having the same struggle, I'll know that it's nothing to be ashamed of and that you'll be there beside me no matter how big or small either of our families are.

Image via Aaron Cohen/YouTube.

So to my dad friends on Father's Day: thanks for all the accidental advice and for giving me another thing to celebrate this year.

Fatherhood can be intimidating, and there's no one right way to do it. But I'm glad to have friends like you around to point me in the right direction when I'm struggling to fill those fatherly shoes.

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She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

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"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.