A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Sunday is Father’s Day — as if you didn’t know. As holidays go, it’s one of the biggies — even though it doesn’t actually get a day — just a designated Sunday. But that still tells us that dads are important: just not as important as Columbus who invented the Caribbean Cruise in 1492. Which, BTW, you should never give your dad for Father’s Day — that’s kinda a husband and wife sorta thing. Of course, I’m not saying wives can’t give husbands Father’s Day gifts — although (not to go all Freudian) ya really don’t wanna look at the psychology of that too closely. Just take it as the given and move on. But I digress.
Father’s Day is all about dad and his place in the family. In the old days, dad’s job was a job. He did all the work in bed to start the family rolling and then buggered off to real work so everybody had a roof over their head, food to eat and a second car for mom to take the kids to school and Little League. Every once in a while, he’d come home early, scare the hell out of the kids, maybe cut the grass or play with his power tools, eat dinner, have a couple of cocktails, kiss the wife and start the whole process all over again. It was a good life, but nobody much bothered with dad until it came time to pony up the cash. Of course, in our contemporary society, dad’s role in the family is really quite different. However, as of last year, the #1 day for collect telephone calls around the world was still Father’s Day. Plus ca change!
The real problem with Father’s Day is what do you actually do with dad? Unlike Mother’s Day, when a bunch of flowers and a badly cooked breakfast in bed will reduce any mom to tears, dads have higher expectations. After all, this is the only day they get, so they’re going wanna make a meal out of it. Let me give you a hint: outflank the old guy.
“Hey, dad! Father’s Day’s coming. It’s your special day, so … what do you want to do?” GOTCHA! The ball’s in his court now, and you’ve solved the problem. You see, dads really don’t like those humourous neckties or the ACE Grip Power Bender 5000 Utility Tool. What most dads want is time — time with their kids. Give him that. And if he insists on paying for the green fees, or the tickets to the ballgame, or the beer or the lunch — give him that, too: he’s your Dad.