How Not To Get Pappy On Father's Day
The business of being Dad is not to get ridiculously sentimental.
Notwithstanding the ravages of testosterone-draining, prostate-enfeebling ideas like “the sensitive 90s man” (or worse, “metrosexual male”), convention has it that the man to have around is the type you would like piloting your plane.
This is how Dads like to be viewed by their daughters (no one gives a hoot for sons’ views); a kind of Bondesque figure, who is suave and sophisticated and can hold off the villain in a fight without having his lapel pulled in an undignified way.
You do not give such a man some overly saccharine, cloyingly tender gift (like scented notepaper) and expect his appreciation to be anything other than polite and gentlemanly. You can give such a man socks. The more sentimental among the recipients will even discard the old, comfortable pair, an old girlfriend secretly gave them, that has holes for toes.
Another thoughtful gift to trot out for Father’s Day is a dinner out. It will give him the ability to enjoy an evening bonding with the family without fretting if there’s a monthly payment plan to be able pay for the meal and also will temporarily distract him from that whole Beyonce-Sunny Leone threesome fantasy thing.
Where do you take a man, indistinguishable from an ATM, for dinner? The first rule is not to make him feel that even if he’s not paying, he has to continue to do what he has always done - go where the family wants to go. Now the family goes where he wants to go.
To get beer. Which - by one of the world’s most famous Dads, Homer Simpson - is so much more than just a breakfast drink. So, find a place that has loads of beer on offer. As an alternative, any other alcohol. Once you have this, complimentary nuts and a TV station showing MTV Grind (or any images of poolside gyrating), you don’t have to bother with conversation and there is no greater enjoyment for Dad.
If dinner cannot be avoided, dinner it will be. Take Dad somewhere he does not have to consume leaves. He has to tolerate salads for Mother’s Day. This is Father’s Day. Not Mother’s Day. There are no salads on Father’s Day. Steaks are a good bet. And during dinner the family would do well to talk loudly amongst themselves and leave him alone to his own thoughts. The stoic silence in the midst of family clamour is a peaceful place. Dad’s inner beauty will shine when he’s gnawing through an undercut while not worrying about whether his brood is having a good time - a responsibility he is terrible at.
The not nice thing about being a Dad is to have your daughter’s bestie, Lolita, order a cocktail made with Grey Goose vodka and then pay for the privilege even without being allowed Kevin Spacey-like thoughts. On the other hand, you should come to realise that the nice thing about Father’s Day is for him to be able to express outrage at the price of a Perrier… on behalf of someone else as this will not visit him. Just like Mom, the liberation of a day is all that Dad seeks the most.