5 Ways People With the Best Intentions Ruin Father's Day

#2. "Here's Your $6 Gift I Just Bought 10 Minutes Ago!"


The Good Intention:

I'll concede, Father's Day isn't exactly a major holiday. It's easy to forget, especially when it isn't a set date, instead falling on the third Sunday of every June. So the morning of, you turn on the TV or radio and hear someone talking about it. You let out a machine gun clip of goddammits and rush for the local CVS or a gas station -- the only stores open on a Sunday, unless you live within mad-dash distance of a Walmart.

The aisle marked "Father's Day Sale" is packed with dozens of other frantically shopping people, taking the store's word for it that "this is the type of shit that fathers want." You spot something that may or may not be electronic and rush to his house. No time to wrap it, you hand it to him still in the bag as you enter his home, while panting, "Happy Father's D- [swallow/gasp] Day!" He smiles and thanks you. Crisis averted.

"Oh, it's a ... thing. I know right where to put this."

Wait, What's Wrong With That?

All parents know that this is going to happen. We did it every year to our own, and it's sincerely not a huge deal. Unless your dad is a complete materialistic prick, in which case, fuck that guy. However, what many people don't realize is that it's quite easy to recognize when a gift is a last-minute afterthought. It's why those stores get away with taking all of their items that haven't sold in the last sales quarter, slapping a Father's Day sticker on them and liquidating their entire stock in four hours.

We as fathers would much rather you didn't spend the extra money or extra trouble for a gift that in all likelihood we're never going to use. Realistically, if it's a cheap, last-minute purchase, there's every chance that we already own it anyway. We've been to those stores. And if we see something that we could use in the sale aisle, we just buy it ourselves.

"One of these days, I'll have to use one of these, and then you'll feel stupid for making fun of me."

It's not about what you got -- it's never about the value of the item. It's about not getting a gift simply because you're expected to. That's a world away from you taking the time to specifically find something that you know for a fact your dad would love. That's a personal gesture, and it means something. Mad-dash, last-minute shopping is just buying something because you felt that you had to. No dad wants their kid to feel like that.

There Are, of Course, Exceptions

Let's be real here: Yes, there are those people out there who do take offense to not getting a gift. No, not all of them are greedy, materialistic assholes. In many cases, it's just a tradition with some people -- a symbol of respect and admiration. And in those cases, not getting them a gift sends the message of "I didn't think of you until I was physically in my car, driving over to your house."

Remember, to some people (and in some cases, entire cultures), every action has an underlying meaning. They don't think that way to be assholes. They just tend to live in a more psychologically aware state than others. Hell, in Japan, not eating every last grain of rice in your bowl is considered an insult -- as is putting any sort of sauce on white rice.

"OK, now let's get this straight before we go out. Is it considered rude to fart on other people's food?"

So in those cases, getting him the gift tells him, "I thought specifically of you when I saw this. I bought it with you in mind, because you're special enough to me that I have no problem spending my hard-earned money to see you smile." Though to be perfectly honest, most guys are still thinking, "Oh, hey, a screwdriver set. Awesome. I'll just put these in the drawer behind my other, more expensive, higher quality screwdrivers."

But all of that aside, there is one thing I hear every year from friends and family concerning their own fathers, and I don't think people realize how important the phrase actually is ...

#1. "I Can't Do Anything Today. I Have to Hang Out With My Dad."


The Good Intention:

You already know about all the sacrifices your dad makes to give you a better life. It's for that reason that you are making your own sacrifice by canceling all of your plans with friends so you can be with him. You owe that much to him. Yeah, it kind of sucks, because your friend found this stripper who can clinch a fifth of vodka in her ass cheeks and pour shots by doing back bends ... but that's what sacrifice is.

It lets your dad know that he's more important that anyone else on that day, and that alone is a gift that would truly make him swell up with some much deserved pride. Besides, it's only one day.

One very, very long day.

Wait, What's Wrong With That?

This is probably going to surprise many of you, but we don't actually mind if you want to hang out with your friends. It's seriously not that big a deal to most fathers. Part of what makes a good dad in the first place is the ability to put ourselves aside in order to ensure the happiness of our children. I'm not saying that in a sarcastic, passive-aggressive way: "No, you go hang out with your friends because it's all about your happiness!"

I don't think I've ever met a sane man who needs a huge sacrificial act for someone to prove to him that they appreciate him. We're perfectly content for you to show up for a bit, look us dead in the eyes and say, "Thank you for making me who I am. The world is a better place with you in it. Here's $8 and a hand-drawn card with some rap lyrics in it."

"Thank you, son. Now let's talk about when you're moving your bitch ass out of my house."

It doesn't require a full day of being attached at the hip. It doesn't require cards or manufactured poems. It doesn't take gifts or store credit or even a night out on the town. The direct approach works just fine. And after getting our hug and a pat on the back, seeing you head out as a fully competent human, having healthy social interaction with other humans, means more to us than you can ever realize. Well, until you become a parent yourself. The good ones work their asses off to see that smile -- so getting one on Father's Day for something as simple as "Go have fun with your friends" is a pretty easy win in our books.

There Are, of Course, Exceptions

No, there is no exception to that. The ones who don't fall into that description aren't fathers. They're just guys who fucked our moms.

Follow John on Twitter. Unless you're chicken.

For more Cheese, check out 5 Ways to Avoid Your Terrible Parents' Mistakes and 5 Parental Dick Moves You Hate (Until You're a Parent).

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