FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Touch and Die!!! Love, Dad.

by Dave Markwell

“Hey, Aden, do you know where my drill is?” I asked my 13-year old son. “No” came his predictable reply. We both knew he was lying about the whereabouts of my drill, but we also both knew that his personal safety relied on him lying about it.

My kids take my stuff. They take it like it is their stuff. The only distinction being that they actually take care of and don’t lose their own stuff. They reserve my stuff to bust and lose.

In high school while over at a buddy’s house after school, we found a note from his Dad on the kitchen counter that said, “Don’t touch my f***ing stuff!! Love, Dad”. We found another note in the stereo case that said “Touch and Die!!” referencing the father’s CDs.

At the time, I found the tone of these notes to be a bit abrupt and unnecessary. That was then. I now understand the frustration which motivated the Dad to write those notes. We took his stuff and broke it or lost it or left it outside to be ruined. I’m sure he asked us about his things and I’m sure we lied. Well, the circle is now complete and JK can rest assured that payback is in full swing.

Rarely a day passes that I don’t KNOW with certainty that a tool or my i-pod or something else I want or need and actually OWN will come up missing. I know where it goes. We all know where it goes, but nobody is saying. Self-preservation is a powerful instinct. My son understands this, as does my daughter, to an extent, but she’s a little more shameless and cavalier in her attitude regarding my things.

I think she actually believes my stuff to be hers. I will enquire, “Lena, have you seen my notebook?” And she will respond with “Yeah, it’s in my room. I’m using it.” I then go retrieve my notebook and find that she has doodled and scribbled and otherwise destroyed this book which I use regularly to record important information or just thoughts for this goofy little column I write.

When I express my displeasure for her desecration of my holy book, she acts like I’m wrong. She is outraged by the fact that I might not want her to touch my stuff. As far as she is concerned, it is hers, too. She gets quite indignant and is usually successful in making me feel like an ass for not enjoying her ruining my things. It is an illogical, but not uncommon phenomenon in my household which usually manifests itself in the relationships between the men and the women.

Once in a while, fate will throw me a bone. The other day my son asked me where his headphones were. It is worth noting that he has some pretty nice, noise-canceling, comfy headphones, while I have cheap, hard plastic buds which make my ears hurt and sometimes bleed. This is the part which really puzzles me about why my kids take my stuff. They shouldn’t. They have better stuff than me. My only guess is that perhaps the forbidden fruit is simply the sweetest.

Anywhooo…back to the headphones…when my son asked me if I knew where they were. I said “No.”

I did, in fact and of course, know where they were. They were in my truck tucked away, hidden from him, because I wanted to use them. He walked away knowing I lied, but resumed his search anyway. I felt good. Zero guilt. Less than zero. I felt like I won a rare victory. I felt redeemed….and then I went to look for my drill.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his new exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


3 Responses to “FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Touch and Die!!! Love, Dad.”
  1. Kristy says:


    At least we all know that we are not alone in the loss of our “stuff” due to our children 🙂

  2. Donna says:

    Who me? Good article, Dave.

  3. Sandra Higgins says:

    JK laughed at your article with satisfaction, Dave!

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