We asked writers for the best advice their fathers ever gave them. The results were touching.

We asked writers for the best advice their fathers ever gave them. The results were touching.
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Here are the best little pieces of advice dads have given their kids.

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Hopefully, someone was there to help you through life's many turns.

Just in case you're spending Father's Day racking your brain trying to remember the helpful wisdom your own dad tried to impart, here are some of the best examples of advice we had time to collect:


"Don't give away too much of yourself online"

My stepdad said this to me after reading a piece I wrote about a huge dick (both emotionally and physically) that I encountered. He called me immediately and told me I should really stop giving so much detail into my personal life. While I was mortified that he read my "Giant Dick" article, I'm also thankful that he looks out for me and only wants the best for me. He reminds me to preserve some part of myself for in-person interactions, and not to give my whole life away on the Internet, despite my inclination to do so for my writing career. Sorry you had to read about my sex life, Jim. I promise it's not going well right now anyway, so you won't have to read about it again any time soon. — via Kelly Diamond

But, on the other hand...


“If you don't write exactly what you want to, you're letting yourself be slut-shamed."

I was working on a project which very lightly fictionalized every relationship that I've ever had. I was holding back on certain stories, worried about what people would think of the “narrator." My father insisted, as he always has, that I had to tell the exact story that I wanted to tell. He then line-edited every story, never flinching at any of the sordid details. “You've had experiences! The uptights are just jealous!" — via Hannah Schneider

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"Never move furniture when wearing flip-flops."

via Jake Currie

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There to make you a winner.

"Your tear ducts aren't connected to your feet."

As my soccer coach, this was my dad's way of saying, "I don't care if you're crying, get back in the goddamn game." I was one of four girls (no brothers), so my dad dealt with more crying than anyone should have to in one lifetime. Basically, he knew he couldn't stop the tears, so he encouraged his over-emotional daughters to keep living our lives in the meantime. And guess what? It totally worked. That's why I have no problem walking around in public with tears streaming down my face. Thanks dad! — via Ashley Bezgin

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"If something's not your cup of tea, pour it out and fill it with coffee."

My dad's Moroccan, so he doesn't always get his English sayings exactly right. But the sentiment is clear: Don't live somewhere you don't want to live, don't stay at a job you hate, don't date someone who is tea. Follow your bliss. — via Shira Rachel Danan


"Professional wrestling is the only sport that matters."

True story. — via Brian McGuinness


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"(something something something) sunk costs (something something)."

Just because you've already wasted a bunch of time/money/energy doing something stupid doesn't mean you should keep doing it. I'm not a very good listener, but he used that phrase a lot, along with "I'm going to call an audible" when he changed our family plans, which is the most football exposure I ever had as a kid. — via Johnny McNulty


"Stop pulling and just let go."

I was caught up in one of those terrible, dramatic, exhausting romances everyone goes through in their mid-twenties. I was constantly upset by the struggle of keeping this Can't-Tie-Me-Down guy interested until my dad told me: "Love is a tug of war. The harder you pull, the more this guy will resist. Stop pulling so hard." So I let go, the guy fell on his ass before scrambling up to run after me, and I never doubted my dad's wisdom in the ways of love again. — via MJ Wesner

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If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times...

"You're not better than anyone else."

I was about ten, riding in a car with my dad. I was complaining about kids at school, and just when I thought he would side with me he said, "You're not better than anyone else." I remember beginning to whine that he didn't see the point, and he added, "And nobody's better than you." I guess he was trying to impart the important lesson that we are all equal, but I would have preferred to hear it the other way around. Way to bury the lede! — via Abbi Crutchfield

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"Don't ever date a Republican or a vegan."

When I came out a year or so later he said: "same rules still apply." — via Genya Shimkin


"Never underestimate the power of pussy."

(I can get my mom to email on behalf of my dad for verification...) When my friends believed that their romantic troubles were unique—that their problems with significant others were somehow special—my dad would drop that line to remind them that love/lust has made man do stupid things since the dawn of time. — via Brenden Gallagher

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"Life's too short to eat mediocre fruit."

via Abby Weil


"Watch your drink up there..."

It's probably hard to believe this story if you don't know Bopper Baker (my Dad), but to the 600 people in my hometown, this will make perfect sense. Right before I went away to college, he said, "Missy, you gotta watch your drink up there at them bars." I was I was like, "Daaaaad I knoooow." But he continued. "Yeah, watch it, and make sure don't drink after anyone, that's how you get THE AIDS." — via Missy Baker

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"Calm down, don't be stupid, and try not to suck."

First of all, you have to imagine these words being said in a Southern accent by a no-nonsense lawyer with a great sense of humor who would always rather be eating cheese dip. That's my Pop. If I could follow this advice every day of my life, I feel like I'd be a much better person. Sometimes I'd like to offer this advice to other people in my life, but I kind of don't like being punched. Just when I feel like a failure at anything, I think about these words. Then I calm down, remind myself I'm at least trying not to suck, and make the smart decision to dust myself off and try again. — via Lauren Ashley Bishop

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"Never get married"

Then he'd storm out of the house and slam the door. — via Mike Cannon

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Everything the light touches belongs to The Man. You gotta go out there and earn your way.

"If it's not a big fire...don't fan it."

Once when I was wrestling with a difficult decision, my father told me: "If it's not a big fire, don't fan it." Which doesn't really make sense, because small fires are precisely the ones that need fanning if they're ever going to amount to anything. But what he meant was if there's something you're feeling lukewarm towards and aren't truly passionate about, whether it's a job, a relationship, or what-have-you, you shouldn't keep chasing it just because it's something you used to want. The more common expression "don't add fuel to the fire" is probably what he was getting at. It's the idea that sometimes it's best to "let it be." The Beatles even wrote a song about it, called "Yellow Submarine." — via Stefan Sirucek

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“DMT is a sometimes drug but YES! Try DMT!"

My father never told me not to do drugs. He told me not to do heroin or meth and, because he was so reasonable, I listened. He told me not to take drugs from people I didn't know and to do the real drugs with close friends. — via Hannah Schneider


"You know, it's OK to masturbate."

When I was thirteen, my father took me on a week-long trip to California as a Bar Mitzvah gift. Halfway through the trip, this unprovoked talk occurred. There was never any further discussion on the subject. — via Justin Laub

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And finally, here my own father's advice to me:

"Don't kick the moose."

This phrase referred to a news story about a guy who was killed after his wife told him to kick a sleeping moose so it would look more interesting in a photo. What my dad meant was that I shouldn't needlessly put myself in danger or tempt fate for stupid reasons. It was particularly helpful when I was a teenager dealing with cops, knowing not to mess with them just for the fun of it (which my brother and I often did anyway). Also, don't listen to your wife if she tells you to do something dumb. — via Dan Wilbur

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