George Jones’ “Old-School-Dad” Dating Policy I Plan To Enforce With My Kids

George Jones country music
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Hint: it’s not the “ride your lawnmower to the liquor store” policy.

George Jones is, of course, best known as arguably the greatest country singer of all time, as well as one of the most notorious drinkers of all time. But according to his youngest daughter, Georgette Jones, in her memoir, The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George,” The Possum was also one of the most old school dads of all time, thanks to one incident that made my list of “Dad Goals” this week.

In the introduction to her book, Georgette tells a story that describes her famous father’s policy for dating his daughter: you’ve got to talk to Dad first.

At 16, Georgette’s trip to the movies with an interested guy was interrupted by her stepmother, Nancy, who had chased them down in her car only a few minutes after she’d been picked up. As Georgette wrote:

“She pulled up and said we needed to come back to the house before we went anywhere. I must have looked confused, because she started shaking her head. 

‘I know, I know. But your dad says Lonnie didn’t come talk to him. He says he’s not letting you go to a movie or anyplace else with someone he hasn’t spoken to, no matter who it is.’”

Just like that, one of my favorite old school country artists showed his range by also becoming one of my favorite old school country dads. Imagine walking into your girlfriend’s house to meet her dad, and George Jones is sitting there, whiskey in-hand, pistol on the table, and the ‘ol Possum eyes staring straight through you.

A story like this is what makes me so stoked for the upcoming miniseries, George and Tammy,” which is based on Georgette Jones’ book. She wrote the book in part to set the record straight about her famous parents.

The stories most people know and remember are the more salacious, sensational tales about drugs, drinking, and aggressive behavior at the urinal. So, it’s refreshing and interesting to see the two legends from a more human perspective.

And as an old-fashioned guy and father of two, I could do worse than emulate a George Jones dad story like this one. Before I proposed to my wife, I visited my future father-in-law for a meeting that had me simultaneously shitting my pants and earning his respect (or at least his approval). So it won’t be hard for me to continue the old-school, protective dad mentality when I coach my sons about dating (which might be sooner than later, thanks to the four-year-old heartbreaker I’m raising).

And in the event I have a daughter someday, please educate your sons about the George Jones Dating Policy I’ll be enforcing. Because it’ll be easier to earn my respect if I don’t have to chase them down with my car for our first meeting.

Shitting their pants is optional but encouraged; a small price to pay when you’re hit with the Love Bug.


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock