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Why Hyundai-Style First Dates Don’t Work In Real Life


Despite its lack of death, which we learned in 2015 is a formula for a really good Super Bowl ad, Hyundai is being lauded for its ad about car finder, its newest feature. Kevin Hart, playing a concerned father, used the technology to track his teen daughter throughout the evening and make sure her date didn’t get too fresh.

The spot, which won USA Today’s ad meter, is being praised. As a father of three girls who regularly jokes about buying piles of shotguns or faking a zombie apocalypse and moving my family to a remote cabin in the woods, I get that praise.  Part of being a father is thinking about being the crazy father.

Such as: when your kindergartener seems a little too eager to give a certain little boy a Valentine, you contemplate going into the classroom and showing him who’s the boss. But everyone knows dads aren’t going to act like this that. They just want to.

We Dream of Plans that Just Go Too Far Enough

Actually acting like that would take things a little too far and might even be counterproductive. Remember, if “Seinfeld” taught us anything in the midst of its nothingness, it’s that girls go for the bad boy. Running off a young suitor, declaring him beyond the pale, is a good strategy for creating a bad boy. “Seinfeld” also cautioned against getting carried away. Not to mention, who has the time and energy to run around as Hart did in the commercial? No one, that’s who.

The kids went to a movie. Then to a carnival. They even explored parking in a really wide-open area. The thing is, unless your daughter’s date has a device that controls the flow of time, they’re not getting all that in. Especially when you consider the necessity of various Instagram posts, Snapchats, and whatever the hell else the youngsters are using these days.

Hart could’ve stayed home and just sent a menacing selfie rather than all the drastic measures he took. It would’ve been more effective and might have actually interrupted the date in real life. It also would have made for a less effective commercial.

The Antidote Is Less Cowbell

I mean, point by point, the logistics are a nightmare for the young man and really working in our favor as fathers. Nothing is going to happen at the movies. Maybe some light petting, but we can burn down the suitor’s house later if the situation requires it. The carnival occurs outdoors. Again, not the most conducive environment for anything other than burning down piles of cash.

Those hormonal balls of incompetence courting our daughters are even more incompetent than we were when we were that age.

And parking? It’s 2016, and there’s no privacy anywhere. Skynet is watching, plus some bums would knock on the windows, and modern fuel-efficient vehicles don’t have reclining seats or room for humans. Especially Hyundais. That may be the real reason Hart loaned out his vehicle.

So dads, while we want to protect our little angels—and while we remember what we were like when we were teenage boys—it’s more important to remember the latter. Those hormonal balls of incompetence courting our daughters are even more incompetent than we were when we were that age. Thanks, technology! You can’t snap a conversation, and girls, even those who love to selfie, will scoff at being sent direct messages from across the table. Back in our day, we actually had to be inept solely with our mouths and brains. We couldn’t pull up a meme to overcome our ineptness.

Sit Back and Enjoy Your Drink

So when that smooth young man comes over to pick up your little girl, relax. Don’t let your fever dreams take over. Rather, revel in the fact that your fever dreams are but dreams. Fun, but impractical. Savor that. Soak it in. Dial it back a notch, sit back in your favorite chair, stroke your shotgun with one hand, pet your Rottweiler with the other, and smile pleasantly as you tell them to have fun and not to stay out too late.

So when that smooth young man comes over to pick up your little girl, relax.

Not only is that strategy more enjoyable, it’s also way less taxing on an old man’s body than dangling from a helicopter or being hit with balls in a carnival game, even if we only imagine it and don’t make it a reality.

It’s also more plausible because, let’s be real, we’re old and we’re not going to be able to keep up with a couple of teens packing more activities into an evening than Ferris Bueller did into his implausible day off. Plus, in this more reasonable scenario, we can drink, both in the knowledge that everything is going to be fine, but also Scotch. And relaxing and drinking Scotch is every father’s real dream. Make it a reality. It’s only plausible option.