Interview with Justin Halpern of Sh*t My Dad Says and I Suck at Girls

shit my dad says

We caught up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Justin Halpern, best known for sharing his father’s nuggets of wisdom in Sh*t My Dad Says. In the more recent I Suck At Girls, Halpern bravely talks about his unfortunate interactions with women, ultimately admitting that, yes, he does suck at girls. Here, the writer dishes on his dad’s advice, his wedding planning advice for guys and more.

Don’t miss our exclusive Twitterview with Justin tomorrow, May 22, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST on Twitter.com/TheKnot!

Amanda: What’s the most quality (not necessarily useful) piece of advice your dad ever gave you?
Justin: Failure is an option. He always stressed that if you try your hardest you still might fail. People that refuse to teach their kids about failure seem to do them a disservice because then when they leave the house and the world kicks the crap out of them, they’re not prepared. They’ve been told their whole life “you can achieve anything you want,” and that’s not true. So, for me, it was amazing advice because he wanted to nurture my dreams, but he wanted me to accept and understand the possible consequences.

A: What about his best advice on women?
J: To not listen to advice about women. All women are different and unique, and he always felt that if you try to generalize them all as a whole, it makes you a a real a-hole.

A: When you told your dad you were proposing to your girlfriend he wasn’t ecstatic, you could say. Did he tear up at the wedding? Make a heartfelt (drunken) speech?
J: He doesn’t really get drunk. He drinks a lot, but he never seems drunk. But let’s say he “had a lot of drinks” and gave a speech where he sort of roasted me (predictably) for about five minutes then complimented my wife a bunch and ended it with saying he was proud of me, which was nice.

A: What’s your take on wedding planning – were you involved?
J: Here is my advice to guys who don’t have a whole bunch of interest in planning weddings, which was me; if your wife asks you to weigh in on something, give your opinion. Don’t say “whatever you want,” because when it goes in to their brain, it gets translated to “I don’t care about anything.” Weigh in and then if they have a different opinion, let them do what they want, since you don’t care. Then you come off as both reasonable AND a good guy. JEDI MIND TRICKS ON THE LADIES.

A: What were your wedding vows like — did you write your own?
J: I wrote my own, which, I don’t think is necessary. But I’m a writer, so I think she would have been a little disappointed if I spend all day writing my own stuff, but then come wedding day I’m like “Yeah I was too busy working on an essay about getting a boner at a waterpark so here’s a poem from Robert Frost.”

A: You wrote an inner monologue of a married guy during sex – now that you’re married, is it like that at all (maybe even a little)?
J: No. That was totally based on my old boss, who was in his mid-forties and would always come in to the office and describe sex with his wife like it was a trip to the dentist or something. I still get ridiculously excited for sex with my wife. I think she’s hot and have to actually calm down a little or else it’s gonna be a short trip.