Having Dad’s Word

Some of the best advice the fathers of Team Man Repeller have bequeathed us


Dads: can’t live without them, can’t live without them.

In considering how to celebrate Father’s Day this year, the ladies of Man Repeller pooled together several different ideas, honing in on whatever specific details and characteristics we could muster that have made all of our fathers so uniquely ours.

“Well, my dad always told me not to be a dick,” Kate suggested, “so maybe we write a story on how not to be dicks?”

“A big one for my dad is animal kindness,” Charlotte chimed in. “Maybe we should dress up like endangered species and photograph it?”

Though that one was tempting, it was only really once I started rattling off the plethora of seemingly sage advice that my father has not only graciously and generously donated but at times, forcibly rammed down my throat in the previous twenty-four years (see: “Dad, I’m bored,” “there’s no such thing as boredom, Leandra, only lazy minds,”) that we realized we already had the story.

The topic of mentorship is a hot one right now–and though the spectrum of that which constitutes a “good mentor” varies widely, we thought there was no time like the two days leading up to Father’s Day to remind our dads that in spite of what Sheryl Sandberg might advise in conjunction with those developmental relationships, no matter where we go, what we do and who we speak to, the real mentors of our lives will always be our dads. The illustrations above were drawn by Charlotte Fassler. Slides 1-4 feature advisement care of Kate’s father, Randy Barnett, slides 5-6 are from Charlotte’s father, Ron Fassler, and slides 7-10 come care of my father.

Now, you tell us–what’s the best advice your dad has given you?

Get more Humor ?
  • Casey

    “Be reasonable.” He’s been saying that to me since I was 5.

  • Perry

    But I love when conversations get convoluted and people can’t follow, like myself.

  • michelle

    Don’t let the bastards get you down–dad, on the majority of people I tell him about

  • saejalo

    Live and let live- Dad, while wearing shorts created by converting his old trousers into cut-offs.

  • Best advice I ever received from my Dad: “After dark, always avoid streets named after civil rights leaders.”

    • Marion

      what kind of a racist comment is this

  • dad: i know that guys are into all that necking and post officing but don’t ever feel like you have to do any of that to get a guy to like you. respect yourself and they’ll come flocking.

    me: wait what is post officing??
    dad: better that you never know.

    to this day i still have no idea what post officing is so i’m pretty sure i’ve stuck to my guns and never done it.


  • ela’s world

    nice read… also, check out the ela PreFall13 collection here: http://elabyela.com/elas-wolrd

  • Kate

    My Dad taught me how beautiful and fleeting life is, and that we should embrace that beauty each and every day. He only got 56 years here, but they were amazing years filled with enough love, laughter, and fun to have filled 100 years.

    • Lola

      Beautiful post.

  • grace kane

    Don’t run over the sprinkler!!! oops too late.

  • CDJ

    Be a team player. He was a coach. Our family meetings are called “team meetings”. Oh, and pull the car all the way up to the end of the driveway so more cars can fit.

  • Francoise

    “God hates a coward.” “Never sit with your back to the door.”
    My dad is like Harrison Ford crossed with John Wayne.

  • @Francoise My dad’s favorite is also a John Wayne! “Slap some bacon on a biscuit, we’re burning daylight!”

  • Carrie L

    My dad’s best advice was “its only a screw up if you do the same thing twice”…generally said as I was sobbing about picking the wrong boy…I picked a lot of wrong boys but there was always a different reason!

  • Anita

    Cheapest is best, free is better

  • Mattie Kahn

    Just one gem among millions: “Only talk to people you love and who love you on your birthday.”

    • Leandra Medine

      Oooooh. I love this one.

  • Hudson Berry

    “Everything in moderation. Especially everything.”

  • Allison H

    My dad’s terd theory: In life, there is a conveyor belt of crap going by you all the time, opportunities in the form of terds. Most of them look like terds, most of them are terds. Some appear as gems, but those are usually fakes. The key is to find the opportunity-terd that is really a jewel covered in crap. You could call this ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but my dad prefers poop talk.

    • Allison H

      er, turd? my dad would be very disappointed with my spelling…

  • mcb

    “be good be strong.” he liked that one so much he also made it the wifi password.

  • Vanessa Pritchard

    My dad’s dead. Thanks for reminding me. However, while he was alive, he made it very clear that it’s important to enjoy your life. Have fun. Get fucked up. Meet people. Appreciate the beauty of the world around you. Do what’s important to you. Work hard if you want to work hard, and if you don’t want to, don’t. Do whatever you ENJOY. Life is indeed very short.

    • Leandra Medine

      Sorry to hear your dad passed–unfortunately, Kate lost her father as well. We wanted to frame the story this way because distilling the advice they’ve given us is a wonderful celebration that transcends mortality. Thank you for sharing his.

      • Vanessa Pritchard

        I couldn’t agree more. It’s always nice to have an opportunity to reflect on how great my dad was, and now lucky I was to have him for the time that I did. It is very warming for me to read this post and the advice on the comment reel. Rather than wallowing in the depths of grief, I prefer to, like you said, celebrate the aspects of him that live on through time, such as his sick sense of humor. In the style of my father, I had meant the first two lines of my initial comment as a joke, but since death is such a sensitive subject, people often balk at such “humor”. Even though the joke fell flat, I appreciate your thoughtful, succinct, and kind response.

  • the lovelace club

    I got this one recently since I just relocated across the country to a new city, new job, and a place where I don’t know a soul.. “It takes some nest fluffing to make a house a home.” Definitely gave perspective/made my day

  • Guest

    “What are they going to do, take away your birthday?.” -Dad, talking me out of any and all worried frenzies

  • Stephanie Dutenhafer

    “What are they going to do, take away your birthday?”- Dad, frequently talking me down from a worried frenzy

  • Don’t worry so much. Just be happy and live in the moment!


  • Zoe Smythe

    “Orange is best” – Dad about anything.
    Strange advise but it has helped me choose on a number of occasions. It’s amazing how many things that applies to.

  • Rose

    Don’t burn bridges
    Kindness matters
    If you’re going to do something stupid, don’t get caught

  • Rebeka Osborne

    One time, when I was crying over a breakup my dad told me, “Rebeka, you’re pretty and popular and everything is going to be ok” haha. Thanks dad!

    • Leandra Medine

      One time when I was crying becayue my high school friends were cunts my dad told me the people who rock in high school suck in life.

      • Rebeka Osborne

        That’s so true! Your dad is wise.

  • Maggie

    When launching my line “It’s not overwhelming, you just have to do one thing at a time and it will all get done” – and it did!

  • RWo

    “You don’t want to be with someone, who doesn’t want to be with you.” (so simple.)

    “Never settle.”

    “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

    Big Fan of this post!!

  • rach xoxo

    “Your body is born a blank canvas, Be careful what you paint it with. At the very least you must respect it, and if you can appreciate it for its blank beauty you might just be happy.”

  • Martha

    “If you accept yourself people will accept you” and ” don’t regret anything you do, because it makes who you are”


  • How not to be dicks!!! I’d love to see that.

    Cheers from Jakarta,

  • ChicTrends

    One of the funniest things my dad says to me to this day is “You better take working out seriously, Marie. You don’t want to die of a heart attack going up the stairs”.

    Needless to say, I drag myself to the gym more often nowadays.

  • Jennifer Elizabeth

    My dad is alive, but we don’t speak to each other for many reasons so this story was kind of tough- and reading all of your comments makes me wish even more that I had a dad, you gals are very lucky

    • Leandra Medine

      The advice is for all of us! Make it yours 🙂

  • D

    “The first 100 years of life are difficult”
    Daddy <3

  • rhiarhia

    Clean as you go.

  • Hen

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions

  • Karen S.

    My grandfather has been my father figure and although he doesn’t churn out the beautiful quotes, the way he lives his life says it all. He is gallant, hilarious, caring and a great singer. I’ll take all your beautiful quotes and apply as needed :o)

  • Brooke W

    my dad on relationships: “everyone should break someone’s heart once and have their heart broken once”

  • TheScreenSiren

    “Just keep chopping wood.” Whenever it seems like nothing is working out in my life my dad reminds me to go out there every day and just keep trying.

  • “Do whatever you want, just don’t get caught.”

    This was always said with a side-glance and a devilish smirk whenever I walked out of the house to play or hang out with friends. My father was WAY more of a troublemaker and rebel in his youth than I ever was, and while he wanted me to grow up to be smart, independent, funny, well-mannered, and all that…which I think I did…he also impressed upon me that getting into a little trouble now and then makes life more worthwhile. Without his subtle endorsement that I lighten up and have fun, I never would have experienced half the mildly dangerous, thrilling, fun, and memorable moments in my youth that I look back on fondly.

    It’s also the attitude I want to take into being a parent one day. There’s importance in being smart and behaved…but there’s also got to be importance put on fun, daring, dreaming, and learning how to get yourself into (and out of) trouble.

  • ASH

    If on a date a guy leaves you sitting alone in a restaurant while he goes to the restroom, finishes his dinner before you, and lets you walk on the side of the cars during a date on the street, HE IS NOT FOR YOU.

  • Sofia

    “You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family”

  • Rachel

    “It’s important to love what you do.” and, on a related note, “Find someone who appreciates who you and the things important to you.”

  • Megan Myers-Bell

    Over the years, my dad has said some real doozies. Most are too vulgar to post, but one in particular was uncharacteristically insightful as well as surprisingly free from profanity.

    In high school, I was often late to Sunday morning mass. My dad assumed it was because I couldn’t decide on an appropriate ensemble. To get my ass in gear, he always said, “It’s not what you wear, it’s that you’re there.” In actuality, I was just really hungover, but his words have proven applicable to all aspects of life. Regardless of whether you’re wearing Payless or Prada, you have to show up.

  • elizabethhalt

    I don’t remember any specific advice. I think my dad taught more by example. Like: Apologize when you hurt someone. Go above and beyond for the people you love. You can learn most anything.

  • Lois

    “This too shall pass” – this quote from my Dad has helped me through many a bad day.

  • “What men can do, men can do.” It’s short for anything that anyone has ever done is within the realm of possibility for you.

  • chat Noir

    Whenever I whined & worried about what other people thought about me, my Dad would say, “What the Hell do you care ?!”

    He’s been dead nearly 10 yrs , but I still hear his words whenever I start worrying about ppl’s opinions.

    Thanks, Dad….

  • Selena Delgado

    “Don’t be a statistic” (basically, don’t get pregnant… I was 17)

  • aclappingritual

    love this post. My dad always leaves us with “be safe and be smart”. I end up saying it to my friends haha.

  • CarlotaLMorais

    I’ve always been very lasy about studying, I always liked school but when i had to sit down and study for hours my brain would just stop working, and my dad could see that so he told me:

    “Stop pretending that you are studying, you’re wasting your time. Go do something productive and then come back.”

    Always works for me now! 🙂

  • Delphine

    “Sois digne, ma fille!” in a half-joking, half-proud voice. It translates approximately to “Be worthy/dignified”, and it is definitely the phrase I heard most when I was growing up. Actually, I still get it once in a while.

  • Sasha

    “I’d rather say sorry than please.”

    My father, regarding generally minor disobedience of authority, in which my anxious child self was very unwilling to participate.

  • mom

    Your dad is a wise man… you are lucky to have him

  • WrySmile

    “No good deed goes unpunished.”

  • Olive

    “Make good decisions” when leaving the house for parties, school, chopping fire wood etc

  • Olive

    “Make good decisions ” as i walked out the door to parties, school, to get the mail etc

  • sieff

    “to achieve 100%, do 200%”

  • laura

    “excuse for many, consolation for fools” in spanish… or something like that. “mal de muchos, consuelo de tontos”.

  • “don’t get angry about things you can’t change”

  • Leann

    ‘if you want something done, do it yourself’, and ‘ as long as you’ve tried your best, thats all that anyone can ask of you’

  • Colleen Kiron

    “Don’t talk past the close.” Teaching me to be a salesperson since birth 🙂

  • tdgor

    “When the penis rises to the sky, the brains fall to the floor.”

  • My dad, being the doctor, constantly reminds me to drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. No, I am not an athlete.


  • zoe_whip

    My dad was a dick. He’s dead now and I really wish I had the memory of him not being a dick.

    The best advice someone gave me once was, ‘TALK to STRANGERS.’ It was the best advice I have ever been given. I have had the most interesting, most memorable conversations with strangers — and I didn’t even know their first names.

  • Carrie

    My Dads two best quotes, “If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.” And my favorite ever… “Bullshit is universal.”

  • Xtina

    “Don’t worry about a hen in the bush when you already have two hen in your hands”

  • Tory

    “Don’t drown yourself in a glass of water”, he tells me everytime i cry. IT drives me crazy!!!

  • Ariel

    “You always have to anticipate.”

  • TheGirlWithFireHair

    My dad always told me, “You don’t need a man. You can support yourself and be happy without a man. Never feel like you’re incomplete without a boyfriend.”

  • Lea

    Just keep going forward and don’t look back. Never stop fighting.

  • Sarah

    “Spend your life doing what you love. It’s an irretrievable waste of time to live solely for dead presidents.”