The cruelest of all fake holidays.
The day on which men across the nation are reminded that they are, indeed, motherfuckers.
It’s a day on which we are treated as exactly that.
Father’s Day is a day on which men are plied with meals, gifts, and token attention … before being presented with the bill for those meals & gifts, and before being summarily ignored and vilified for the next 364 days.
On this day, more collect calls are made than on any other day of the year. That’s not insulting enough, though.
Yesterday, I hung out at an eatery on Broadway for about an hour while visiting a friend who works there, and I got to see a steady progression of groups who came in to celebrate Father’s Day a bit early. During my stay, all of the fathers paid for the meals being held in their honor.
This morning, for the purpose of this post, I called up my waitress friend and asked, “Hey, of the Father’s Day groups you had yesterday, through the entire day … what percentage of fathers paid for their own meals?”
“Oh, one hundred percent”, she immediately shot back.
And so it is every year, despite the fact that women account for nearly 80% of consumer spending.
It is on this day, that I feel somewhat compelled to speak for a majority of fathers who, let’s face it, simply lack the stones to speak up for themselves. After all, one wrong move, and they’re sleeping in a run-down motel room, because that’s all they can afford after alimony, child support, and battles for visitation.
“No, honey, I don’t agree with that Seattle Rex guy! I love Father’s Day! I swear! I don’t mind paying for all of my own gifts. Heck, I consider it an honor. Spending time with you is all I need, num nums! Sorry I forgot to buy tampons last night after my 12 hour workday. You have every right to be angry. I know that I oppressed you, and I’m very sorry. Yes, of course, I’ll do the dishes. Please don’t beat me.”
Well, ladies, that hermaphrodite that you call a husband is just scared of you. The fact of the matter is that, like every other day of the year, we go along with the Father’s Day ruse to indulge you. To make you and the kids feel better about yourselves.
We know that the gifts, meals, and phone calls are self-indulgent tokens borne of social pressure and self-affirmation, and we know that they’re about as sincere as a campaign speech.
Sure, we thank you up and down for the phone calls and the Steak Teriyaki, but here’s the thing:
We already know how to pay for our own shit. After all, we’ve been doing it for oh I don’t know FOREVER!
You see, we go along with the charade because we don’t want to hurt your feelings. We want you to feel good about yourselves. We want you to enjoy the shot of self-esteem, and we want you to bathe in the notion that you’re an oh-so-thoughtful person.
Despite what your therapist with a hyphenated name says, we’ve always been way more compassionate than you. We’ve always sacrificed ourselves for your benefit, and unlike the supposedly-fairer sex, we’ve generally done it without complaint, because we sincerely and unconditionally care for our families.
It is because we are so very sincere, that deep down, we feel extremely insulted by the phony, pretentious accolades that accompany this most fraudulent of “holidays”. We don’t want you to call us because it’s Fathers Day, we want you to call us because you care about our well-being. We don’t want you to “take us” to dinner because a business interest group told you to do so, we want you to save up your own goddamn money and take us to dinner because for once, you want us to enjoy a meal without worrying how much it’s going to cost.
If you really cared for us, you wouldn’t put us through all of the insincere bullshit, which deep down, every heterosexual male despises.
Instead of forcing us to buy yet another “you present” on what is supposed to be “our day”, you know what we really want?
To not have to speak on the phone. To not have to listen to your problems for one, single, solitary day. Just one day. That’s all we ask. After all, we both know that this is exactly what you talk about when you call. Your goddamn problems. What you need. What you want.
Just once, on our day, we want to not have to stand in line for yet another poorly-cooked, over-priced meal, and be told that it’s our “gift”. Just once, on our special holiday, we don’t want to have to pretend to ignore the tip jar because the pierced cashier with a blue mohawk thinks that making change for a dollar is worthy of an all-expenses-paid trip to Cancun.
Most of us, probably the solid majority of us, just want to be left alone.
There is one wish that is unanimous, however. One thing that we all want. One thing that fathers worldwide, from Austria to Antarctica, Peru to Portugal, want more than anything.
And that thing, that small little thing that we crave more than any gift you could possibly bill us for, is this:
The complete annihilation of Father’s Day.
If you loved us, and I mean truly loved us, you’d make it happen.