The Definition of NOT Hot

I’ve learned a lot about parenting since Daughter Doin’ Work came into my life, but I clearly have a lot to learn about many other things. The most embarrassing example of this centers around the picture you’re looking at right now. Let me explain how this is such an epic fail.



About a month ago, Mommy Doin’ Work and I discovered a nationwide contest for “America’s Hottest Dad.” We both thought it would be a good idea for me to enter, but for completely different reasons. I wanted to enter because it would be a cool thing to do. MDW wanted to pimp me out to win the grand-prize (a family cruise). Two different roads to the same destination, I guess. After completing the quick questionnaire, we needed to submit a picture of me. This is how the conversation went down:

Me: “What if you take a picture of me holding the baby with my shirt off?”

MDW: “Um…you think that’s a good idea?”

Me: “Sure it is. It’s an ‘America’s Hottest Dad’ contest. What else would I do?”

MDW: “Let’s just be clear on this. If you use a shirtless picture, the only way you’re going to win is if all of the judges are gay men. If they’re women – especially mothers – you’re screwed.”

Me: “What do you suggest, Ms. Know It All? A picture of me and the baby going down a slide at the playground, or something?”

MDW: “That’s actually the best idea you’ve had in a while.”

Me: “What’s hot about that?”

MDW: “You don’t get it, do you?”

Me: “Of course I get it. What are you talking about?”

MDW: “This is a hot dad contest, so you should use a picture that shows your ability as a father. Mothers aren’t going to dig the whole shirtless thing while holding our daughter…it’s weird.”

Me: “Just take a picture of me shirtless, OK? You’ll be eating your words in a couple of weeks.”

MDW: “If I’m right about this, you’re going to owe me big time – and trust me, this will not end well for you.”

Me: “We’ll see about that.”

After she begrudgingly took the shirtless photograph, I smiled and realized that all I had to do is submit the completed questionnaire with the picture and wait for the votes to roll in.


Later on that evening, we ate dinner together as a family, I gave Daughter Doin’ Work a bath, read her “Green Eggs and Ham” twice, worked on some puzzles together, sang some songs, and put her to bed. After I helped wash the dishes, I decided to check to see if my picture was added to the online poll for fans to vote. Each dad on the website had two buttons next to their picture: “Hot” and “Not Hot.” Once a button was clicked, it would show the percentages for both categories – and I figured that I had to be running at a clip of 90% Hot to 10% Not Hot, right?


Dead wrong.

As a matter of fact, after a few hundred votes it was 13% Hot and 87% Not Hot. How could this be?? I told MDW, and she glared at me with her infamous “You fucking idiot. Why don’t you ever listen to me?” look. I countered with my astute hypothesis that most of the Not Hot votes must’ve come from the haters going after all of the “good-looking ones.” I assured her that the voting would turn around in my favor overnight. She rolled her eyes in disgust and went to bed. In the middle of the night, I could’ve sworn I caught her using her iPad to Google “How to kill your husband and make it look like an accident” but she denies it to this day. I remain skeptical.

I digress.

When I woke up the next morning, I figured that the numbers probably shifted considerably in my favor but I went with a conservative estimate. If the voting was 50% Hot – 50% Not Hot, I’d be good with it. Looks like I wasn’t going to be “good.”

It was 3% Hot and 97% Not Hot. I repeat – 3% Hot and 97% NOT EFFING HOT.

To make matters worse, a few minutes later I received a text from Grandma Doin’ Work (my mom) and she boasted that she voted for me over 60 times.


I’m not really sure what’s worse: Having 97% of people in an online poll think I’m not hot, or knowing that of the 3% of votes that listed me as hot, 2.9999% of them came from the woman who gave birth to me.

After punching myself in the face repeatedly, I slowly made the death march with my tail between my legs and conceded the loss to MDW. And yes, I had to listen to the inevitable 15-minute ITYS (I told you so) speech that wives love to deliver to their husbands when they screw up. Unlike previous ITYS speeches, she mentioned something that actually hit home, “Remember what you did after you entered the contest? You read stories to our baby, you played with her, you bathed her, you sang to her, and washed the dishes. The irony is that’s what makes you a hot dad – not your pecs or your abs. If I took a picture of you just being your normal self around our baby, it would’ve gotten you a ton of votes. You’re such an attentive, loving, emotionally involved, hard-working man who loves us and those are the most important qualities of any father. I know that I’m new to motherhood, but I bet you that most moms will agree with me.”

Boy, did I ever feel stupid after that.

Also during her ITYS speech, she explained that probably most of the men who received “Hot” votes were average-looking guys doing cute things with their children like (wait for it) holding their children as they went down the slide at the playground. And guess what? She was absolutely right…again.

To add to that thought, I asked a few of my mommy friends what makes their husbands hot, and here are the universal themes:

  • Great with the kids
  • Helps out around the house
  • Sensitive
  • Emotionally-available
  • Hard-working
  • Always puts his family first
  • Physical appearance was mentioned only as an afterthought
To recap, I learned that women don’t like douchebaggy shirtless pictures of men holding their children. I also learned that women define “hot” in a completely different way than men do. Who knows if I would’ve won if I used a picture of me and little DDW on a slide at the playground like MDW suggested (I sure as hell couldn’t have done much worse), but I realize now that such a silly contest has no meaningful importance to the big picture. As embarrassing as this episode was, it was a great reminder of the importance of humility, self-awareness, and how women operate.













Oh, remember when MDW mentioned that I would owe her “big time” and it would “end badly” for me if she was right about all this? Well, I have a riddle for you.

Who has two thumbs, didn’t take his wife’s advice, and has to sit through “Magic Mike” because of it? You guessed it. “This guy” **thumbs to chest**

Double-down on damn, please.

Nothing says “I told you so” quite like suffering through a movie that includes Channing Tatum and his band of merry muscle men dancing around shirtless for damn near two hours. Hell, if I didn’t know any better, I’d probably believe that my wife planned this outcome all along.

Wait a minute…..



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  1. Main Jane says

    HA! This is great. I love how you can be self-depricating and admit when you screwed up. I think you’re being a little hard on yourself, though. Anyone who loves his family as much as you do can’t be a douchebag. Next time I’m sure you’ll listen to your wife though :)

  2. Mary J13 says

    3% Not Hot?? Did you post this picture on a website for blind people? You sure would’ve gotten my vote. Wow!

    Oh, and great blog too :)

  3. Jenny says

    I absolutely LOVE your blog! A friend of mine recommended it to me yesterday and I have to say that I’m hooked.

    Your wife is right. Nothing is sexier than a man who loves his children!

  4. says

    LOL. That’s awesome. It’s about time you realized MDW knows best. I would’ve voted “hot” if you used a pic of you napping with DDW on your chest. That’s the only appropriate use of your chest in a Hot Dad pic. :-) P.S. I’ll see you guys at Magic Mike.

  5. says

    My favorite part of the shirtless picture is how my daughter has that sly smile as if to say, “Daddy, you know that Mommy is really going to make you pay for this, right?”

    And Annette – I’m working on a plan to fake my own death, so chances are you will not see me at Magic Mike if I’m successful.

  6. 101 Mom says

    Let’s see: You’re smart, funny, love your daughter and wife, you’re not afraid to poke fun at yourself, you have a killer smile and body, and you seem like a really nice guy too.

    We’re you built in a lab or something? :)

    I LOVE this blog! Keep up the excellent work!!

  7. says

    Thanks 101! I definitely was not built in a lab like Captain America or something (but it would be cool if I was). I’m just blessed to have Grandma Doin’ Work and Grandpa Doin’ Work (aka, my parents) who taught me right from wrong at a very early age. I just hope that I can do as good of a job with my daughter.

  8. says

    LOLOLOL Ok, as a mom, I do think the shirtless picture is hot 😉 (*trying to hide IP addy from Mommy Doin’ Work*)

    BUT I will concede that the second picture is ADORABLE!

    Well played, MDW 😉

  9. TropicallyAnon says

    Came here after reading your guest post on ScaryMommy – great post by the way! Gatta love the reverse psychology by your wife. BTW I would have voted for the shirtless picture … I think … I’m trying to type this and hide your pic from hubby :-)

    • says

      I love the fact that Scary Mommy gave little ol’ me the opportunity to post on her site. Thank you so much for the love and support! I still think I would’ve done better in that contest if MDW took a picture of me changing a poopy diaper or something (with a shirt on). Oh well, some of us have to learn the hard way… :)

  10. says

    This was great. My daughter and I sat and read this and enjoyed it completely. I had never considered the difference between hot man without kids and hot man with kids but wow… your wife is SOOOO right! Great post!

  11. says

    So… my K9 Web Protection just totally blocked this page and classified it as “Pornography” – I took a screen shot if you’re interested, LMAO! And I have to say, I agree with your wife, lol
    Momma recently posted..11 Days… and COUNTING!My Profile

  12. Erin says

    Bahahahahaha! This line made me laugh the hardest: Who has two thumbs, didn’t take his wife’s advice, and has to sit through “Magic Mike” because of it? You guessed it. “This guy” **thumbs to chest**

    You poor soul. <3

  13. Kristin says

    So glad you linked this to your “Tough” one today! You are definitely on the right track :-)

  14. says

    Your wife is spot on! And as a more recent reader, I would have assumed you’d go with baby-wearing; the hottest of all the manly activities (except of course for doing dishes). Good for you for putting it out there though, and for not letting the 97% percent get you down, that’s some strength!
    Angela Gilmore recently posted..Homemade Pizza RollsMy Profile

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