Father’s Day? C’monnnn

Father’s Day always seemed to be a silly idea to me. It’s just that I think if you asked fathers in general if they wanted a day they would probably say no. Most fathers are just happy if they get through the day without their children going to the hospital or their house burning down. Anything more than that seems superfluous. It’s like the powers that be invented Mother’s Day and then said to each other, “Well, I suppose we need one for fathers too.” No, not really.


Mothers, on the other hand, need their own day. Everyone knows that cooking and cleaning and washing is harder than any paying job, and if a mother has a job on top of that those chores are frequently waiting for her when she gets home anyway. While all you mothers out there are shaking your heads “yes”, let me add that you all frequently need to be acknowledged for you work. I guess in lieu of money it’s the least a family can do. Suggested acknowledgments are “boy that was a great meal”, “this place looks fantastic”, and “thanks for washing my socks”. You should probably avoid “this place looks like a bomb hit it,” “why don’t I ever have underwear,” and the never welcome “what’s that smell?”


Even when fathers get involved in the family chores, they don’t need any fanfare. They’re doing it to get something. They figure the next time there’s a golf game, or an unauthorized expenditure, or an opportunity to sleep late, they can remind their wives about the time they did the dishes last Wednesday, or cooked hot dogs that one time you were late coming home. Men are quid pro quo, while women are selfless. You have to be selfless to take responsibility for all those chores. Or maybe we live in a male-dominated society that dictates strict gender-based roles that all but require mothers to be ideal superwomen who are bound to feel like failures no matter how much they do. It’s a toss up.


Then there is the always troublesome Father’s Day gift. Once a man reaches a certain age at a certain level of prosperity, he either has everything he wants or is resigned to the fact that he will never get anything he wants. Either way, he’s hard to shop for. There are those men who wear cologne, but let’s be honest—nobody wants to ever ride an elevator with those guys. There’s the ever reliable tie. And as much as you may love that fat-knotted sucker with the pictures of Spongebob and Patrick all over it, how often will the opportunity present itself to wear it? Personally I am always happy with the latest in the litany of Mets shirts I receive. They all work with an old pair of jeans. Sometimes Moms will try to be slick and set you up with tickets to a ball game or some other such event you have to attend with your children. What they really bought you was babysitting duty for eight hours while they catch up with their reading or take a nap for the first time since the Father’s Day ballgame last year. Beware this devious trap.


The fact that nobody knows what to get for Dads is proof, as far as I’m concerned, that no one takes Father’s Day seriously. If even Madison Avenue (who would collectively step over their dying grandmothers to squeeze out another nickel in profits) gives a confused shrug when it comes to Father’s Day, what are the rest of us mere mortals with actual souls to do? All you see is a bunch of commercials for power tools. I may technically be considered a man, but I am useless when it comes to cutting things down or building them up. I am a menace to myself and those around me. Only someone who craved my imminent death would put a chainsaw in my hands. In case you haven’t gotten it yet, I’m really, really bad with tools. I am a writer for the very good reason that I am incapable of doing anything else well. And if I haven’t gotten a half smile out of you yet, I didn’t even do that up to snuff.


So let me be the first to say abolish this so-called Father’s Day. All it ends up being is a bone of contention between overworked wives and their lazy, good-for-nothing husbands. We should have said to fathers the same thing we say to kids when they ask why there isn’t a Children’s Day: “Isn’t EVERY day children’s day?” Of course I do have an eight o’clock tee time scheduled with my Dad tomorrow morning. I hope I washed the dishes this week.

    • G
    • June 19th, 2011

    Thumbs down dad! Abolish Fathers Day… a terrible idea!

  1. OK, keep it if you want.

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