Dear Sirs:

I am going to be a father soon. I am not going to get all wishy washy and go off on some tangential philosophical exposition about it, but I will say this: it has had a profound impact on me already and - even though I've said this all of my life, it's just that I really mean it now - I will be the greatest father I can be to my child. That said, I would now like to get to the real purpose of this letter: to all those fathers out there who divorce their wives and hardly see their kids anymore, who knock up a girlfriend and take off, who are still with your ladies in some capacity but still never pay any attention to your spawn, or you are with your kids plenty but spend that time abusing them, I would like to ask you all one simple question:

What the goddamn hell IS YOUR PROBLEM?!

I mean, seriously, what are you thinking? Who the hell do you think you are? Do you think you're too important or too busy? Do you just not give a shit? You have a kid there, sometimes a very new kid, a child who needs their father, a child who would love to tell their friends all about how great of a dad they have, and what do you do? Take off never to be heard from again? Move out of state with your new girlfriend/wife and only make one or two obligatory visits to your kid each year? Get drunk and beat your kid senseless for any minor infraction - or for no reason at all? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, you, sir, are an ASSHOLE.

Don't you see what affect you're having on your child? Do you care? What kind of father did you have? Did yours suck, too? You'll probably want to use that as an excuse. Well, guess what? I'm not. My dad never had much to do with us, even when he was married to my mother. According to her, getting him to do anything with us was like pulling teeth. It was a chore for him to take us out anywhere, have any capacity of fun with us. He took us to his mother's on Christmas every year, but he didn't see me or my sisters or talk to us at all between 1990 and 1992. Then when he did finally see us for Christmas in '92, he took us out for pizza. Whoo hoo, after two years of nothing we get to spend an hour with you talking over a pie. But I forgive and forget. I still see him several times a year and I'm nice to him and he's nice to me and the visits are pleasant. My sister wants nothing to do with him. He scarred her. She felt especially neglected. His little daughter, a girl he could have cherished, adored, like some fathers do (like my father-in-law was with my wife), hates him. She calls him "Yucko." And the ironic thing here is that she is his only biological child, as I and my other sister were adopted. Well, before I get too GTKY, my main point here is: my father was not a good one - he didn't have much to do with us, cheated on my mother (while she was giving birth to my sister I might add) - but you know what? I'm not going to use that for some pathetic excuse as a reason for me not to be a good father.

At least he paid child support, though, even when he wasn't under a court order to do so. Some of you low-life scumbags out there don't. Hell, a lot of you don't. Too many. One of my wife's cousins had two sons with a man and moved out to California with him. He came out of the closet, left her and their sons to starve, took off and joined the military. He has not paid one red cent of child support. Ever. With no money and no food her father had to go out there and get them and bring them back to Missouri. What a prick that guy was. What pricks a lot of you poor excuses for fathers are. Do you think that's right? Do you think it's kosher to just leave and not help support your kid even when you can afford to? I mean, I might be able to understand if you didn't have any money at all (get a job, or a better one, numb-nuts) but to those of you who can afford to pay it and don't, you need to go to jail, become somebody's bitch for a few years, and hand over all your savings. You need to pay your fucking child support, sorry if that means you won't be able to afford that new luxury boat you've had your eye on, you douche bag.

Why don't you love your kids? Are you incapable? I mean, you shouldn't pay the child support because the courts say you must, because you won't go to jail if you do, you should want to! There's this precious little life there that you helped create, something you can help mold and shape and become an awesome person, and you should love him, love every minute you spend with her. Even if I do ever go through a divorce from my wife - God forbid - I will pay whatever I need to and see my kid as often as I possibly can, anything to assure my child's happiness and assure that he knows I love him. Why do you not feel the need to do that? Why do you not feel that love? What's the matter with men?

That's the million dollar question isn't it? Sure, there are mothers out there who are terrible to their kids, neglect them, but there are far fewer of them than "deadbeat dads." You are giving all men a bad name. You are the reason for the popular stereotype "all men are pigs" that women like to throw around. You contribute to society's perception that most of us men out there are insensitive jerks who only care about themselves and how much tail they can acquire. You're making us look bad. Stop it. I'm not perfect but I'm a good man. I would never cheat on my wife or neglect my kid, and there are plenty of other men out there like me. I wish there was a way for our voices to become louder, for us to be heard more than the jerk-offs this node is about.

Maybe with more letters like this.

In closing, I'd like to sum up how I feel about all you inept father figures in an intelligent, well thought-out, biting - yet simple - statement: