A father is always teaching and it’s time we taught you how we actually want to be appreciated on Father’s Day.
Yes, the thought counts. But when you blow our money on the following things, then perhaps we should be clear about that thought. My Dad used to frustrate me every time I asked him what he wanted for Father’s Day. His annual response was, “Socks and underwear”. How boring. Now, as a father, I realize that we can always use the basics. And he was trying to avoid getting the usual gifts on this list. Dads ask for so little.
Wives and kids of all ages, listen up, pay attention and never get us these:
1. An expensive restaurant Dad has to pay for. Thanks for picking out the steak-house that is packed with other dads over-spending for an inflated holiday menu. Here’s a toast to me paying the bill while the kids eat my dessert.
2. A singing card from the pet. I know Whiskers didn’t sign this card with his backwards-letter animal signature. I also know that you spent at least seven dollars so I can hear “Who Let the Dogs Out” twenty times today. That could have been at least three pairs of socks I could use.
3. Anything that farts or burps. This includes cards, bottle openers, beer mugs, talking wall fish, etc. I understand that I often don’t hide my body’s venting. But I realize every Father’s Day that’s how you see us. I’m just a cartoon fart machine to you. Fine. Fatherhood doesn’t always come with dignity, but I don’t want the gift. I don’t know how I’ve never heard my wife fart in 12 years of marriage, but I’m not buying her something to commemorate it.
4. An expensive tech gadget which we’ll never use. These are pricey ways to score points so make sure we’ll use it. My wife once got me an Ipod Mini with my name engraved on it. I never understood the engraving part, but regardless, three years later it has never been used. We bought my mother who can’t learn to text message an IPad. I found out she gave it to my sister.
5. Funny underwear, T-shirt, or tie. Sorry, I know this is a popular one, but chances are if it’s funny to a kid, then there’s no way I will ever wear it. Except one day when I’m out of laundry and forgetfully undress in the locker room revealing Donald Duck & Disney Friends boxer shorts.
6. A surprise. Women, please get this once and for all: Men don’t like surprises. Often the reason we’re even celebrating Father’s Day was a surprise. Whether or not that’s your case, men usually outgrow surprises by age 10. We prefer knowing things ahead of time and planning for them. The one exception being directions. That we prefer to just follow our manly instincts. For everything else we like a head’s up.
7. A comedy roast. This is more likely to apply to birthdays but never underestimate the well-intentioned terrible ideas wives and kids come up with. Like surprises, let’s just cover this now for all occasions. Just because we are funny and can dish-out the insults does not mean we can take it. In fact, the reason we got good at it is because we are sensitive and armed with defensive humor. Nobody wants to celebrate their one day with a barrage of insults. Even comedians wouldn’t be roasted if their agents didn’t tell them their career is over and it is roast or job at Payless Shoes. Zing!
8. Concert tickets to a band too old to be in concert. I admire the thought; you saw that I once owned their album 20 years ago. But I have no interest in seeing them now at a county fair. If they were playing at a casino that’s slightly more appealing but I’d probably rather play Blackjack than be reminded how old and uncool I am.
9. A gift certificate to spa or for a lesson on something I never do. I’m probably not going to redeem that manicure or the cooking class. So do not buy it. I can’t return it. You’re throwing away good socks and underwear money and the thought doesn’t count, it costs.
Really, we long for these: A nap, peace and quiet, a nice home meal or good cheap meal out (I understand Hooters is out of the running), uninterrupted sports viewing, a pass to hang out with other male adults, socks and underwear, did I mention peace and quiet?
Fine, I’ll take the World’s Greatest Dad coffee mugs if it comes with a Bloody Mary. And hugs are always nice especially the longer ones from Mommy.