Father’s Day deserves a little more respect
BY JOHN W. FOUNTAIN firstname.lastname@example.org June 5, 2013 4:52PM
Updated: July 7, 2013 12:50PM
Now, hear this: No soap-on-a-rope. No power tools. No new socket set. Not even a big new barbecue grill.
What? So I can spend all of my Father’s Day cooking?
Uh, no, I don’t think so. Homey don’t play that.
No weed whacker. No revolving necktie rack. No new underwear.
Not a bottle of Old Spice, English Leather or a fish necktie. (Once, I got one of those. My rule is that if somebody gives you a gift, you have to wear it — at least once. So one evening, I wore it to a night church service I knew would be sparsely attended, buttoned up my suit jacket so folks couldn’t see the fish face. Seriously.)
But, I know, it’s the thought that counts.
Yeah, right. Then people ought to put a little more thought into the Father’s Day gifts they buy for the old man!
I think I speak for a lot of men in saying that Father’s Day — that would be in 10 days, Sunday, June 16, for those of you who didn’t know — is not the day for a “Honey Do” list. So ladies, don’t even try it.
No grass cutting. No fix-it jobs around the house. No trimming of bushes and trees. No, not one.
And don’t buy me any plaid flannel pajamas (I’m not that old). No tube socks! No dozen red roses (too girlie). No box of chocolates (too fattening).
No need to meet me at church to celebrate the way we do on that most sacred day known as Mother’s Day — so regarded that it is probably the highest-attended Sunday church service other than Christmas and Easter.
Truth is, I rarely go to church anymore. But the fact is, if I decided to go on Father’s Day, I can pretty much guarantee that there would be plenty of seating, unlike on Mom’s Day when it’s shoulder-to-shoulder in the pews and a service filled with stirring testimonies about Mama.
I know, I sound a little perturbed, maybe even jealous, right? Well, in some ways I am. LOL. But not completely.
I happen to get good gifts on Father’s Day — the most precious kind, the kind that cannot be bought. But I’ll come back to that.
My real issue is with our treatment in general of the day designated to celebrate fathers. With the way that day most often seems to come and go without much fanfare and sentiment. Can fathers get a little more love?
For years, I have laughed at how at restaurants — packed with people celebrating on Mother’s Day and with long waiting lists — you can take an entire platoon on Father’s Day and get seated on the spot.
And while good fathers, if we’re lucky, according to comedian Chris Rock, get the “big piece of chicken,” I think too often fathers — when it comes to celebrating and openly appreciating them — too often get the short end of the stick.
And yet, we don’t complain. We chalk it up simply to the way it is. More importantly, we realize that being a father is one job without traditional compensation.
That the job is 24/7/365, and requires sternness but also tenderness and understanding. Instructing, but care and compassion. Cheerleading, lifting, fixing, protecting, providing and producing.
Truth is, fathers will take that soap-on-a-rope and grin widely. For it is indeed the thought that counts — along with the deep joy that comes with simply being a father and having children who love you.
That’s all I need.
But a new Harley shirt sure would make me smile a little wider. (Hint-hint.)