Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day - A Non-Beer-Related Rant

My pops, circa 1960. Which twerp is Wolf?
Father's Day was created around the turn of the last century. My guess is that somebody finally decided to throw a bone to the "man of the house" and, purely as an after-thought, invented this flimsiest of the "Hallmark Holidays".

Here's what Wikipedia says about Father's Day: "Father's Day is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 52 of the world's countries and on other days elsewhere. It compliments Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers."

There you go: "compliments Mother's Day". That says it all. Dads are typically taken for granted and their "honor" is generally bestowed half-heartedly. Even on our alleged special day, we serve only to "compliment". We are merely an adjunct--a secondary add-on to things that are much more important and worthy of appreciation.

Truthfully, no one really has time for Father's Day. It comes right at the end of all those graduation ceremonies, prompting countless "Dad and Grad" sales at electronics and home improvement stores. Even in the annual advertising campaigns that surround "our" holiday, we are forced to share the spotlight. Heck, this year Father's Day in Portland, Oregon is celebrated on the same day as the Portland Pride Parade. Yeah, go to an amazing, fabulous parade or hang out with smelly, old dad...which would you choose?

While standing in line at the supermarket on Saturday, I overheard a young woman exclaim to her companion, "Oh, sh*t! Tomorrow's FATHER'S DAY!" I'm certain that exact phrase was uttered by at least a zillion people at the same exact time.

I accept the fact that we dads are on the bottom of the holiday food chain. It is quite likely that I may not even hear from any of my progeny on the third Sunday of June. Not a single "Happy Father's Day, pops. Here's your ugly tie. Can I have a $100?" That's okay. I'm comfortable with the fact that I did a fairly decent job as a father. I don't need a holiday, and quite frankly, I wish they'd call the whole damn thing off.

In any case, I send a salute to all my fellow fathers out there. I pray you got to hug at least one of your kids or had the opportunity to kiss your sweet grandchildren on the forehead. We don't need no stinking holiday to give us affirmation. We don't need gifts or gratitude. We know what we do. We're dads.

(Update: I did indeed hear from all of my kids yesterday. I had a wonderful breakfast with my 1st daughter and two adorable granddaughters. I even received two lovely notes from my other girls that brought a tear or two to this old man's eyes. Number One Son called and we had a great chat. Okay, maybe Father's Day can stay...)

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