Modern dad Thiagesh Menon sets his two girls and their swains-in-waiting some tough dating rules to live by…


Dear Ishana and Eashta,

The other day, the highlight of which was the fact that you both went to sleep at 8pm (epic, I know), I settled on the sofa to watch TV. I fought off your mother’s advances ― for the remote control, not me ― and switched on the TV, just in time to catch Bad Boys 2, a movie from my youth which I have watched a zillion times.

I only watch these movies to remind myself that there was a time I used to watch testosterone- laden movies, instead of cartoons with talking pigs and amorphous Korean characters speaking in English.

There’s a scene in the movie where Martin Lawrence and Will Smith harass a boy who’s about to take out Lawrence's daughter on a date. That instantly ruined the movie for me because all I could think about was how I would handle the both of you dating.

Badly, very badly. I pride myself as a liberal father, but that said, I also may or may not have a shotgun in my cupboard. Since I can’t speak any further about that proverbial gun that I don’t have a licence for, I’ve decided to set down some ground rules when it’s time for you both to start dating.

1. You can only have brunch dates

If you want to go out with a boy, you can only have brunch with him. Brunches happen between 10am and noon. It will be bright and sunny, leaving little room for any hanky panky. Parks will be also be swelteringly hot and given how expensive brunches are, most boys will probably give you a miss. You may well ask why breakfast is out? I know what a boy means when he asks, “Want to have breakfast tomorrow?”.

Boys with tattoos have character. They know what pain means…they will therefore understand how much of pain they will suffer, should they make my girls cry.

2. Always date someone who has insurance

Insurance is always important, especially in these uncertain times. Unexpected events, such as your boyfriend being run over by a mysterious driver or falling off a cliff for no apparent reason may occur. I’m not saying it will happen, but if it does, he’ll be well taken of.


3. You can date boys with tattoos

Boys with tattoos have character. They know what pain means, especially since they have been under a throbbing needle, sometimes for hours. They will therefore understand how much of pain they will suffer, should they make my girls cry.

I know I can set all the rules I want, but knowing you girls, you’re probably going to break every single one of them. All I can do is grit my teeth and watch. At the end of the day, all I want is for you both to be happy and I hope you find someone who keeps you happy the way I do.

If you eventually find your one true love, I'll be the happiest man in the world ― after I'm done with him, that is.

By the way, one more rule ― you’re not allowed to watch Bad Boys 2 until you turn 18.

Your loving dad

Thiagesh Menon, 35, a lawyer, is dad to Ishana Daenia, 3, and Eashta Ivania, 7 months.

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