John Pfeiffer, 2011
After sharing the exciting news that we were expecting with a close friend of mine who is a recent father, I was handed a copy of Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad! to add to the pile of expectant parenting books that my wife and I were collecting. My friend did preface the gift/loan with the admitted warning that this book is written at a pretty high level and is full of a lot of cliche humor. He had read it on a Mexican vacation over a single tequila infused evening. From my friend’s advice, this book requires little attention but does provide a few good moments of thoughtful inspiration that makes it worth the read.
Perhaps I should have had some tequila at my side because in my reading I found it challenging to find any sort of inspiration in these pages. The style of this book is so dumbed-down, self-centered, and chauvinistic that I found myself cringing at every page with embarrassment. I did finish the book eventually, just because it was light reading to have on the side of my other readings, but it took me over two months to get through what could have been finished in a day or two because I could only stomach reading two or three pages at time before I found myself rolling my eyes with embarrassed disappointment. The target audience is definitely a young 20-something frat boy who is overly focused on the sexual impact that pregnancy has upon his BMP “baby-making-partner” and how the new child will affect his bro-time. Not only is the frequent reference of partner as BMP totally objectifying, it is simply cliche for a book with “Dude” in the title.
Not more than 2 or 3 pages passes before there is a ridiculous reference to the impact that pregnancy has upon the bro’s all important sexlife or how the child would affect the dude’s frat style that it became apparent that the author is trying really really hard to be funny at the expense of being informative. Take for example the following passage about prenatal visits to the Obstetrician:
“The key here is to remember that the alternative to these boring, repetitive visits would be a visit where something is wrong with the mother or child. This is obviously a worst-case scenario, so unlike a first date in which extreme boredom signals us that yet again we have underestimated personality versus looks, we will celebrate and embrace boredom when it comes’ to the doctor’s visits.” (48)
Or this passage about selecting a name for the unborn child:
“Do not try to sneak in a name that represents something funny to you but if your wife finds out, you’re dead. I know it’s tempting. You’re thinking that every time you see your child, you’ll get a little giggle. Names of old girlfriends, that stripper you thought you loved in college, and your online avatar are off-limits.” (79)
And this discussion of C-sections was so over the top stupid that I couldn’t help but be embarrassed for my manhood:
“Certain circumstances call for the doctor to go ahead and, for lack of better verbiage, bring the baby into the world by cutting open your BMP’s abdomen and lifting the baby out. Slightly gross. Some women prefer to do this to help maintain their appearance. They’re either planning on leaving you very soon or they’re extremely vain.” (141)
Writing like this is meant to be left on the toilet and flipped through during those moments that require distraction during slow relief and that is what I did with this garbage book. This book was total garbage and an embarrassment to read.