My name is Brandon. I'm a writer, cartoonist, husband, and father. This is the online space where I talk about life, family, art, videogames, and anything else that interests me. Disclaimer: a lot of things interest me.

An Open Letter to Prospective Suitors


Dear Future Boyfriends/Girlfriends of Ruu,

I hope this letter finds you well. Today, I saw this image on Facebook, and it made me think of you. How is the future? Is Facebook even still a thing?

Never mind that. I’m getting off topic. The picture above is what’s important. You should know that I find the “hovering dad” role creepy. Personally, I think it sends the wrong message both to you and my daughter. While she is a treasure to me, metaphorically speaking, I will not treat her as if she is a priceless trinket to be hoarded. Rather, she is a gift to be shared with whomever she chooses. She is precious but is not Precious, if you get my meaning. No? The image below should help clear things up.

She is not THIS.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the kid and would do anything for her, but such possessive protective behavior is beyond ridiculous. Yes, she’s going to make stupid decisions. These will likely lead to heartbreak. Some of them will be your fault; but if I’m being perfectly honest with myself, I know that the piece of me that lives on in her is not only the virtuous bits. I have done stupid things. I hurt people and was hurt myself. It is my earnest hope that I have nurtured a strong, independent woman that knows how to mourn her losses, and then quietly put them away and move on with her life. I hope she is strong enough to admit her faults and seek redemption when she is wrong. The bottom line is this: when she is in pain, I am her safe place. Her solace. I can be her protector, but if I’ve done my job right, she doesn’t need protecting. She will be a protector.

With the images above and these thoughts in mind, here are a few things you should know:

  1. I don’t care about an impressive paycheck, but do what you love and do it well. Be professional at it. I know that if you do this, then you are striving to be happy. Hopefully you will share that happiness with my daughter.
  2. Understand that I want to like you. I want to believe that my daughter has sound judgment and that you are a decent human being. Not perfect, mind you, but decent. I won’t hold you to an impossible standard, but it’s not too much to ask that you conduct yourself with a sense of empathy and good will. I hope that long after the relationship is over, my daughter is a little better having known you. However, my opinion toward you is inconsequential. Her happiness is what matters.
  3. I could threaten you with the notion that I’m always watching, but I don’t need to do that. Screw up and you’ll understand why.
  4. You hurt her, she’ll hurt you. (Didn’t see that coming, did you?)
  5. Respect the curfew, but don’t try and get on my good side by bringing her home early. Nobody likes a kiss ass, and besides, are you trying to say my daughter isn’t an enchanting companion?
  6. In the event of #4 you may need a lawyer after she’s through exacting her vengeance. I’ve spoken to her about this, but really, she’s a force of nature that no one can hope to contain. You should know that her mother is a lawyer, so my daughter always has one on retainer, just in case. You are fairly warned.
  7. You will probably lie to me. When you do, I’ll be disappointed. I may even think poorly of you. But if you lie to her? Yikes. See rules 4 and 6.
  8. You may think of yourself an intrepid explorer, a conquistador, a marauder. That’s okay. You should know that the best hunters seem the hunted until the trap is sprung. Read the short story “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell for clarification.
  9. In case rule 8 wasn’t clear, she is the hunter.
  10. In spite of my willingness to get along with you, my desire to like you, and the practice of allowing my little girl to stumble and fall in her life’s journey, you need to understand something. Pay attention, because this is critical. My daughter is a queen, and I am her champion–a soldier willing to die in her service. There has not been a patriot or suicide bomber in the history of the world more fanatical. By her command, I will end you for the glory of her rule.

Peace to you, and prosperity to all your endeavors.


Brandon Johnston, Ruu’s Dad

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