When I first got married, I remember telling people that the most important husband code was “mmm”. It’s the perfect word. Depending on how you use it, it can mean, “I agree”, “I’m contemplating”, “it’s delicious”, “I remain noncommittal”, “huh?” and a world of other things.
But it wasn’t until I became a dad that I realized that that was only for speaking with a spouse. When you’re interacting with another dad, you don’t need words. Men convey everything through a nod.
I’ve mentioned this phenomenon before, but since Father’s Day is here, I thought I’d crack the code a bit more thoroughly.
Here’s how dads use the nod to mean different things in different situations:
|Where||What It Means|
|Passing each other||Hello|
|Entering the playground||Oh, hey, there’s another dad here. Hello.|
|Running around the playground||How beat are you? I’m totally beat.|
|One in a car, one on a crosswalk||Stop, or I will punch your car for getting too close to my child.|
|Restaurant||Yes, our kids are sharing toys, that’s cute, and if we were moms, we’d be exchanging phone numbers now.|
|Beach||We are both going to be scolding our children about kicking sand on people, but please don’t let them kick sand on me.|
|School drop-off||I’m sorry you have to drive a minivan. I feel your pain.|
I could go on. Women often say that men don’t talk or share their feelings. We do. Whether it’s “mmm” or a nod, we speak volumes. You just have to know how to crack the dad code.
And for all you dads out there, let me just nod a Happy Father’s Day.