Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 101

Father’s Day is right around the corner and it has me stymied. What to get for my dad? I know he doesn’t really need anything, but when they say, “I don’t really need anything” that usually means that they secretly wish you would surprise them with a Prince Rupert fishing trip or something else really cool.

There are definitely Do’s and Don’ts to Father’s Day gifting. I thought I would go over them briefly in advance of the special day.

The phone call – For those kids who are off to college or living away from home, there is an unwritten code which states, “if you are going to give your Father the gift of your precious voice for Father’s Day, that phone call must be made before noon (that is when both hands are pointing straight up kids). That phone call should be made with enthusiasm and love. The phone call should not be made in that post-drunk whisper (you know, the one where the sound of your own voice makes your head hurt). Please refrain from imbibing too heavily the night before.

The homemade card – Oh yes….the homemade card. The homemade card is honestly one of the most wonderful gifts a small child can give her daddy. But…when the child is 19, and the ink is still wet because they “created” it 15 minutes earlier with a Sharpie after remembering it was Father’s Day……it isn’t quite as “special”.

The “IOU” card – Once again, the IOU card or the card that is crafted that states, “this is good for breakfast in bed” is charming when it comes from your 10 year old twins. When it comes from your 30-year child who still lives in your basement because he/she can’t hold down a job, it loses its luster.

The gift of time – “Hey Dad…’s steak night at the golf course, lets go!”, which is code for “I would like to go golfing, but I have no money right now….if I offer to go with you, you will probably pay”.

The Imaginary Gift – The imaginary gift is the gift that is best explained by, “I was going to get you this cool *insert something extravagant/priceless/cool/hard to get*, but they were all sold out”. The imaginary gift is given when the child can see a sibling give an actual gift to their father and feels guilt ridden.

The last minute gift – normally something from the local convenience store, i.e. Sen-Sen packets, snowbrush and Mentos

The “ask” – The “ask” is when the child comes to mom for a loan because they want this to be the “best Father’s Day ever” for dear old dad.

The Dad’s that say they don’t want anything – these guys are the hardest to shop for. They only say they don’t want anything because they have been burned before….when they were hoping for some recognition on Father’s Day, but it never came through. Now they use the “I don’t want anything” phrase as a defense mechanism. These are the guys that you have to go a little overboard on, spend that little bit extra.

I hope these made you smile - Happy Father’s Day!

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