we do not celebrate Father’s Day in this house. “A waste of time” my old man says. “Save your money” he says. Or, better yet, “pay me back that interest free loan you wanted whenever you had been 23 and rang us up at 4am from Thailand balling your fucking eyes out because you’d misplaced your phone and pockets at a celebration like a dickhead”. A actual joker, my old man.
Like most individuals, I imagine my dad should be celebrated. Because he does a lot. He’s primarily the Ptolemy of low interest mortgages. He by no means complained when I, then a toddler with two left feet, stored on receiving airborne footballs to the face as a substitute of the chest. He shrugs off the seven hour spherical trip from Yorkshire to London (and back) like it were signing for a parcel.
And but Father’s Day pales compared to Mother’s Day: a practice that began in weird, miserable, feudal instances to offer good old mums a great old deal with.
They completely deserve the rollout of the proverbial pink carpet, by the best way. But when and why did the duty of buying for dad turn out to be so much harder? Mum: no downside. She likes big bouquets of flowers, even larger purses, hair appointments and Madonna. Dad: The Sopranos. That’s… type of it? And herein lies the problem. Men so often shut their social and hobbyist circle as they become old. Where my dad once went boxing, and to the health club, and to intimidating BBQs across town to chop the ribbon on any and every televised sporting occasion on cable TV, he is enjoying a much quieter life nowadays. He can’t be alone in that.
Despite accepting this new state of being, the strain for a very nice Father’s Day gift lingers. To make it worse, there really aren’t that many good presents to choose from. Dedicated shopping aisles (be them physical or digital) are stuffed with trinkets that make Next homeware appear to be Tom Dixon: mugs, cheap golf paraphernalia, a novelty apron and, of course, Andy McNab’s Bravo Two Zero. My dad will hold a ‘Best Dad Ever’ pint glass the place it belongs: in the everlasting darkness of the far reaches of a kitchen cupboard.
A small token will all the time be appreciated. Men want socks at each stage in life (though maintain it easy; no person finds a funny sock all that funny). If your old man is into golf, or portray, or another wholesome avocation, then nice. Though don’t buy one thing for the sake of it. He won’t use those low cost plastic tees with his initials on. A bassoon sized paintbrush could also be amusing for all of three minutes, however is it one thing your dad really needs? Probably not. And won’t someone think of the planet! The final thing this drowned world needs is one other duff gift buried deep in its muscle.
Our dads, usually swaddled in a modest blanket of monetary and self security, need for nothing. That’s usually because they have everything they want. Life’s just peachy for boomers and their Gen X progeny! So in lieu of an unnecessary expenditure, or a present that nobody needs, or requested for, just do one thing that dad likes to do. That could seem insignificant. But for my dad, and dads elsewhere, a good Father’s Day just means a prepare journey house for some strong mortgage chat, a great beer and another long evening of Tony Soprano killing rats.