Thursday, June 14, 2012

What I Really Want for Father's Day

"Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." -Bill Cosby

"What do you want for Father's Day?" It's an age-old question. Ah, but to answer is to solve one of life's great riddles. I remember my dad being impossible to shop for. The man had no hobbies, no wardrobe, no discernible interests. He worked, ate, and watched television. That's it. Luckily, the DVD eventually came along and I inundated him with his favorite movies from yesteryear whenever a special occasion arose.

Unlike my dad, I'm a pretty easy guy to please. (Rawr.) Enough people have recently asked me for Father's Day gift ideas for blog posts or stories they're working on. But I can't speak for any other dad except me. And to be honest, I don't really want or need anything, which I guess makes me more like my dad than I originally thought.

Well, let's start with what not to get me:

First, no gadgets. Gadgets have to opened, charged, and learned how to use. I don't want to read any directions. I have enough knowledge for right now. And I have enough gadgets. Also, anything for the grill, the kitchen or running is also off limits. Those are MY hobbies. I'm very particular about my utensils and gear. (Rawr.) I know that sounds ungrateful. But if you really want to be thoughtful, get me a gift card to one of my favorite grilling, kitchen, or running stores. And please keep your clever corn cob kernel cutter to yourself. I already have one. I've had it for years. I am way ahead of you.

Also, stay out of my car and my garage. Read: no tools. I suck at fixing things. I'm not handy. New tools will just make me feel inadequate. Do you really want to do that to me on MY day? I didn't think so. And no books, either. Don't give me homework.
None of this crap please

Now for the things I want. (And many other dads I'm betting may want as well.) Or better yet, need:

Have you ever noticed the dad in your life listens to the same music constantly? Over and over with the Springsteen or the Led Zeppelin? Great music, but is he really going to listen to it again? Yes. Unless you get him an iTunes gift card. I'd use that. Right away. Granted, I'd use it to buy music that's at least 20 years old. (Talking Heads and Fleetwood Mac immediately come to mind.) But I'd use it. And enjoy it.

Second, give me a little bit of peace and quiet. I may want to go for a run. I may want to take a nap. I may just want to be left alone. Not for the day. Just for an hour or so. It would be nice to do something - anything - without guilt or expectations for just a little while. (I admit most of that guilt and those expectations are self-inflicted.) An hour of nothing. How inexpensive is that?

This is perfect. Don't I look happy?
Third, I want to do something cool with the family. It doesn't have to be a big production. A trip to the playground. Taking Peanut for a bike ride. I want to make a memory. This year, we're going to see the minor league baseball team that plays in our town. The kids get to run around the bases after the game. That'll do.

Next, feed me something delicious that's bad for me. Something I wouldn't normally eat. I wouldn't even mind cooking it. Or maybe we go out. My Director doesn't cook. And the thought of her cooking actually stresses me. A bacon cheeseburger and mozzarella sticks sounds about right. Or if money's an issue, let's hit up BK for the new bacon sundae. (And I never eat fast food. Ever.) Either way, make sure I bring a LactAid. Come to think of it, I can eat unhealthy food at the ballgame. Save the bacon sundae for my birthday. (But few things can top the gift I got last year.)
Bacon Sundae: So bad yet so good.
If you absolutely must get me a gift, a tie actually sounds kind of nice. Since when did the tie become such a maligned gift? Yes, it's boring and cliche. But I'm a bit of a clothes horse and I appreciate a nice new tie every occasion to add to my growing collection. I wear one to work every day. Seriously. Just pick me out a tie. I trust your taste. You married me, after all.

All these shirts need a matching tie, after all.
If none of this is possible, here's an idea: I'd like to defer. That's right. I'd like the option to defer Father's Day until October. The only reason it's in June is because Mother's Day is in May and Hallmark needed another money maker. To make matters worse, dads have to share the spotlight with those arrogant, snot-nose graduates.

So I defer. Give me the second Sunday in October. That still gives Halloween its proper due. I want a football day. From the pre-game show to the final ticks of the primetime game. I want to sit on the couch in my pajamas and eat wings and chips and pie and drink beer and get all gassy and bloated. That pretty much covers everything I mentioned above, except for family time. And what better way to spend time with dad than watching football? Then for good measure I'd call out sick the next day to sleep in and go for a nice long run to burn all of that excess off.

Assuming we're going through with this as scheduled, that's my list. Easy, worry-free, relaxing, and enjoyable. Relatively inexpensive. And no one has to get hurt.

The simpler the better. Nothing I have to assemble. Quiet time. Family time. Game time.

Happy Father's Day.

If you'd like my slightly more mushy Father's Day perspective, I did that last year. You can read it here.  


  1. Now that is Father's Day List!

    1. Thank you, bud. If I'm gonna do work on Father's Day, it's going to be of my own doing. ;-)

  2. Yeah... There are no important games, aside from watching the US Open. Get me tickets to the SU/USC game and hire me a car to bring me home. I might have a beer or two.

    1. That sounds awesome, actually. Sign me up!

  3. Sounds about right is right! My husband likes to pick out his own ties, but the rest of it sounds good. Still, he's getting the wine-of-the-month from Amanti Vino. And he doesn't have to share.





What is "The Streak?" Click here to read more.