Justin Halpern of ‘S— My Dad Says,’ sucks at girls
Justin Halpern has become a national phenomenon due to the curse-laden advice of his father. Unemployed and living with his parents in his late 20s, Halpern began the now-legendary Twitter account “S– My Dad Says” which then became a book and even a TV show (which has since been cancelled). But Halpern is bouncing back with an alternately hilarious and heartbreaking memoir of all of the times he screwed up in romantic relationships, fittingly titled “I Suck at Girls.” We asked him to recount some of those cringe-worthy moments.
This book deals with some of the most embarrassing moments you’ve had in dating. Which one was the most traumatic for you?
I think — probably as silly as this sounds — after I lost my virginity. I thought it was going to be this seminal point in my life where I was going to become a man, and it just ended so anticlimactically. … I was 20 years old and I wanted to have a relationship that was really cool — the kind you see on TV. I feel like there’s a lot of different media out there that talks about “with each relationship you learn something and you move on” and all this kind of stuff. I look at love as this kind of series of really humiliating experiences that end in pain and then hopefully at the end, you have one victory.
Given that your dad was largely responsible for your first success, did you hesitate to include him in the stories, as you did here?
He’s such a big part of my life that if he was prominent in the story, then I was going to put him in it. And he also is much more adept at framing things in a way that I never could. He has this very unique and interesting way of dishing out advice, even if he hates it when I call it that.
What’s next for you?
We’ve sold this book as a show — we wanted to do a “Wonder Years”-y type thing set in the early ’90s that was a little bit more focused on these 13- and 14-year-old kids learning about women. The early ’90s were the last innocent moments this country really had. You can just Google and find porn anywhere now, but back in the day, there was still mystery left, even speaking about women anatomically. I didn’t know how they worked.
How does your dad feel about his fame?
There’s definitely been a trajectory. At first he really didn’t care, did not give a s– at all. And then it was the source of amusement. Now he’s sort of settled into the fact that he is that way, and he kind of enjoys it but doesn’t think about it often. I think with this one, he just really liked hearing stories from my perspective of things that he remembered.