Pretend everything's fine: an emotionally repressed dad's guide to getting through Blue Monday

MOST depressing day of the year? Only if you fall for that nonsense. Stoical father Steve Malley tells you how to get through it by not feeling emotions: 

Pretend it’s fine

Once you get used to bottling up your feelings, like I did in childhood and my dad did before me, nothing affects you. Yes, I occasionally have furious outbursts when doing DIY or trying to park, but that’s because those things are bloody frustrating, not because they’re my only outlet.

Never talk to anyone about anything

Communication is a sign of weakness. Women do it. Instead, get through Blue Monday without saying a word about anything to anyone. Yes, it’s hard when co-workers grunt ‘Good weekend?’ so don’t beat yourself up if you gush ‘yeah had a quiet one mate’. Nobody’s perfect.

Think about sport

Sport’s good. You can rely on sport. Most of the emotions associated with that are good and healthy and negative, especially if you’re shrewd enough to support Shrewsbury Town.

Treat yourself

There’s no need to, because this is just any ordinary day and nobody believes that bollocks, but don’t be afraid to indulge yourself if necessary. Put on your hat, coat and gloves and spend lunchtime watching a documentary about Nazi architects on your phone in your car.

Take the dog out

No supposedly emotional moment cannot be countered with ‘I’ll take the dog out.’ Daughter’s announced she’s pregnant? Son’s announced he’s gay? Wife’s announced she’s leaving you? Walk the dog. When you come back everyone will have simmered down and stopped the dramatics.

Just don’t be sad

It’s as simple as that. Other useful phrases are ‘Buck yourself up’, ‘Stop whinging’ and ‘Ah well, can’t be helped’. If those don’t work you might as well give up.

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Lame, crazy and other words desperately offensive to your Gen Z teen

THE vocabulary you use around your teenager must be interpreted as ungenerously as possible because you personally are the patriarchy and racism, mum. Avoid these: 


As a Gen X parent, emboldened by your correct use of ‘dude’, you attempt to win your scowling child’s favour by called the Red Hot Chilli Peppers lame even though you’ve seen them twice. She tore mercilessly into you for associating disability with negativity. Good luck trying to rebuild that bridge.


You might have thought describing the council’s new bin collection schedule as ‘crazy’ was a common idiom with no prejudicial intent. You were very wrong. As your son pointed out, mental health advocates aren’t laying down their lives, which they aren’t, so you can go around stigmatising them, which you aren’t.


Knowing your daughter lionises YouTubers who give out money, you boast you did a good deed and bought a Big Issue from a homeless guy. When it’s ‘person experiencing homelessness’, or ‘unhoused person’, if you can get that into your condescending judgmental 90s skull.

‘Spirit animal’

Back in 2016 you shared a fun meme to your family group chat, saying ‘This platypus is my spirit animal’. Your son, who was innocently searching your posts for anything he can hate you for, found it. You’re blocked and staying blocked until you stop being complicit in the genocide of Native Americans. Possibly First Peoples. Definitely Indigenous.


Even though you were describing Jacob Rees-Mogg, who your kid hates with ever-burning passion and also makes frequent memes about, this off-hand comment turned into a lecture about intellectual disability and your complicity in eugenics and hate speech.


If you think any of the above are ‘dumb’, break down and weep with shame. Wanker. Which is still fine, for now.