A funny and intimate look at fatherhood from the actor and writer/director of The Boss and Tammy that combines stories about his own larger-than-life dad and how his experiences raising two daughters with his wife, Melissa McCarthy, who also penned the Foreword, are shaped by his own childhood.
Though he’s best known for his appearances in the movie Enough Said, as well as his hilarious role as Air Marshall Jon in Bridesmaids, Ben Falcone isn’t a big shot movie star director at home. There, he’s just dad. In this winning collection of stories, Ben shares his funny and poignant adventures as the husband of Melissa McCarthy, and the father of their two young daughters. He also shares tales from his own childhood in Southern Illinois, and life with his father—an outspoken, brilliant, but unconventional man with a big heart and a somewhat casual approach to employment named Steve Falcone.
Ben is just an ordinary dad who has his share of fights with other parents blocking his view with their expensive electronic devices at school performances. Navigating the complicated role of being the only male in a house full of women, he finds himself growing more and more concerned as he sounds more and more like his dad. While Steve Falcone may not have been the briefcase and gray flannel suit type, he taught Ben priceless lessons about what matters most in life. A supportive, creative, and downright funny dad, Steve made sure his sons’ lives were never dull—a sense of adventure that carries through this warm, sometimes hilarious, and poignant memoir.
|Product dimensions:||5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Ben Falcone is a film director, writer, and comedic actor. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.
Table of Contents
Foreword Melissa McCarthy xi
1 Have Good Times: or The Value of Adult Friendships for the Sanity of Parents and Children Alike 1
2 It's About Who You Know: or Why Having Feathered Friends Will Keep Your Kids from Worrying About Your Crappy Job 9
3 Take It All in Stride: or Nothing Is Too Big of a Deal 19
4 The Big Sky Theory: or Sometimes It's Okay to Lie to Your Kids 25
5 Rip off the Band-Aid: or The Argument for Truth Once in a While 37
6 Parenting through Hypochondria: or The Time I Thought I Might Be Gay 45
7 Not All Vacations with Your Children are Magical: or Never Take Travel Advice from a Bird-watcher 51
8 Navigating Breakfast Conversations: or My Dad Never Had to Deal with This Stuff 63
9 Having Children of the Opposite Gender: or My Mom DID Have to Deal with This Stuff 67
10 Parenting the Parents: or The Art of Waking Up Your Dad When He Falls Asleep on the Can 77
11 Admit Your Faults: or Don't Mutilate the Chocolate Bunnies 85
12 All Hail the Road Warrior: or Being Grateful for What Matters 91
13 How to be an Inspiration to Young Athletes: PS: Maybe Skip the Mimosas? 101
14 Admit When You Have Said, Done, or Cooked Something Wrong: or The Apology Fish 109
15 High School-Let it be a Time of Poor Choices: or Forgive Them, for They Know Not What They Do 119
16 My Dad's Noises: (Oh Holy Shit, I'm Making Noises) 127
17 It's Okay to Let Them See You Sweat: but Sometimes I Sweat a Whole Bunch 131
18 Music Makes the World go 'Round: (This One Is Easy) 139
19 Stop Feeling Guilty: Your Kids Are Never Really Bored 143
20 Forget Counting Sheep When You Can't Sleep: One of the Many Reasons it Helps to Have a Sibling 149
21 Foster Political Ideas: or The Time I Was an Asshole for Halloween 153
22 Learn the Rules of the Game: or Never Leg-Whip a Priest 161
23 Always Support Your Children: Even When They Lose Their Way and Take Their Waiter Job Way Too Seriously 169
24 Teach Your Children the Value of Money: Spend It Now 187
25 Find a Good Lady to Spend You Life With: but Be a Good Husband 195
26 Appreciate Every Gesture: For Example, The Meat That My Daughters Made Me for Father's Day, 2014 201
27 It's Okay to Cry: or The Art of Gathering Wine 203
28 Choose Happy: and It Is a Choice 209
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ben Falcone, the husband of actress Melissa McCarthy, writes this charming and witty book recounting his experiences about and with his father, Steve Falcone. Using his upbringing as a backdrop for his own experiences bringing up his two daughters, Falcone tells us, in entertaining anecdotal fashion, that fatherhood is all about humor, love and kindness. In her foreword, Melissa McCarthy lets us know that her husband’s greatest attributes are his “gentle kindness and supreme weirdness.” All of Ben’s anecdotes about his father, from the boisterous gatherings with a close-knit group of friends to his whacky road trips with Steve, reflect these qualities in himself as well. Yet, by Ben’s own admission, he is “nothing like his dad, yet very much like him.” The existence of this dichotomy and his need to examine it against his own parenting style, are two reasons he felt compelled to write this book. Two of the most important lessons that Ben learned from his father about parenting are not to sweat the small stuff (which he found was easier said than done) and that material things are not nearly as important as just enjoying good health and good times with your kids. He says that his father “only cares that everyone is healthy and having a good time and truly believes that the rest of life is gravy.” I think the most relevant takeaway from this book is that, as a parent, there is no substitute for just “being there for your child.” I think that if more people would heed this advice in today’s society of kids falling victim to bullying in schools and the growing number of latchkey kids, there just might be happier homes with well-adjusted kids.
a review of Ben Falcone's Being a Dad is Weird What an amazing mirror! Ben Falcone shows us his dad, while mirroring his own quest to be the weird dad for his children. Weird is often good---it is certainly different. Being raised with a father who swears (been there---"Just hear it, don't say it") and one whom we fear at times but also find hysterical. Laughing, loving and sharing. Ben shares his story of growing up in a house where his mother was the main bread winner for most years of his early childhood and where his father was Mister Mom. Then his dad becomes a professor of English at a local community college and his world turns upside down in a good way. I saw through Ben's eyes reflections of my childhood, and I find that after reading this book, I longed to be the father I never got to be. There are some who may say his parents' methods may not be proper in raising a child (the drinking, swearing etc.) But look how Ben and his brother Flynn turned out. Pretty successful and happy. And Ben makes sure that we understand that beneath the chaotic facade, his dad was a most generous, caring and loving father. This book is about more than just the father aspect. This is about trust that when advice is given by a parent, it is probably a good idea to follow it. The parent has been there and done that and has much more wisdom than for which we give credit. It is also about letting the children be responsible for their own growing up. Letting them make their own mistakes and learning from them. Sometimes parents need to be in the background, and only come forward in the most expansive crises. I grew up in a similar household and during a time when, as Ben alludes to, we played outside till dark, went to the park by ourselves at five years old, and at times seemed to be raising ourselves. But Ben makes it clear. His folks were always there for him and his brother, just as he plans on always being there for his daughters. There is much humor in this book but it is not forced. He is not trying to be funny, he just is. The natural humor shines through. And most of us can relate to parts of or most of this book. He also talks about a Catholic priest who was very competitive when it came to playing sports. Beware of priests when it comes to basketball or as I found out years ago, tennis. I played tennis with my own "Father Carl." If I was not careful and did not play my best, my own Father Carl would wipe the court with me and then say, "Bless you, son." In this book we get an intimate look into the life of a producer, director, actor and just plain funny guy. But what I like most about Ben's writing is that he deflects most of the praise and attention to his father. He alludes to things he has picked up along the way that help him raise his own children. But he gives the main credit to his parents. And the love he feels for both are reflected strongly in this very engaging story. I wouldn't be at all surprised if many years down the road, one of Ben's daughters might end up writing a very similar book about her father. This is a quick but very poignant read. I found I did not want to put it down until I reached the end, and even then, I wanted more pages. jacob erin-cilberto (author of Rewrites and Second Chances)
Just read the book. :)
I won this in a GOODREADS giveaway -- a very funny set of Dad stories! Tell me another!