Earlier this week, CNN published a piece entitled 50+ gifts perfect for any dad this Father’s Day
When I saw the title, I thought, “Great! Maybe I can find something I really want and drop a hint to Elysha.” So I scanned the 50+ items on the list. Items ranging from cooking and grilling accessories to beverage accoutrement to video games. Slippers and robes. Joke books and record players. Two different duffle bags.
The list is long and varied. More than 50 items in all.
I don’t want a damn thing on this stupid list.
As Elysha pointed out, this list attempts to stereotype father’s into several distinct categories, none of which define me:
Outdoor grilling dad: There are 10 items on the list designed to assist in cooking and grilling. A meat thermometer and a personalized cooking board. A sandwich maker and an electric charcoal and fire starter. Who needs this nonsense? I cook and grill all the time. I don’t want or need another damn thing in my house to assist me.
Grilling is not hard. Give me a spatula and a pair of tongs and I’m good to go.
Beer and coffee drinking dad: I don’t drink either of these things, but even if I did, do fathers really want to display their collection of bottle caps in a wall mounted display case shaped like his home state?
What dad is collecting bottle caps?
Music aficionado dad: Apple EarPods, a bluetooth record player, JBL headphones, and a wireless speaker are all lovely items if you love music (which I do), but what dad doesn’t already have a way to listen to his music already? I have headphones that I love. Three different wireless speakers for use dependent upon my location. A bluetooth record player sounds great if I owned any records, but I’m not a hipster, nor am I a collector of anything.
If I can have access all my music but avoid owning anything associated with that music, I’m a happy man.
There are also plenty of potential additions to a father’s wardrobe:
Underwear, slippers, sneakers, polo shirts, two hoodies, and a robe.
I don’t own a robe, of course, because robes are stupid. But the rest? I have hoodies and slippers and polo shirts already. If I need underwear, I buy underwear. I already have a brand and style of sneaker that I like. When I need a new pair of slippers, I buy slippers.
I don’t want any of this stuff. More importantly, I don’t need any of this stuff.
There are golf balls on the list, because “Golfing dad” is also a varietal of father, and yes, I play golf. But any golfer will tell you that one of the first rules to improving your game and to find a golf ball that you like and stick with it. Changing your golf ball will change the distance that your golf ball travels, which makes absolutely no sense.
There is a bidet on the list, which I also don’t want, but the reason for including it on the list baffles me:
“If your dad likes doing projects around the house, installing this simple bidet is an easy job that yields life-changing results — no more toilet paper!”
It’s almost as if the chore of installing the bidet is as appealing as the bidet itself. If Elysha were to gift me a bidet for Father’s Day, the last thing in the world I would want is to install it myself.
A gift plus a chore? No thank you.
There are books of dad jokes, bits of art, and two different duffle bags on the list, too. None of it appeals to me.
And two duffle bags?
What father in the history of humanity has ever hoped to receive a duffle bag as a gift?
Perhaps my aversion to this list has more to do with my aversion to things. In general, I don’t want any more stuff.
I almost always want less stuff.
In fact, a lovely Father’s Day gift would be to come to my home and remove some of the stuff from my home. Take away some of the old furniture from the basement. Seal up the boxes of clothing destined for new mothers and bring them to the post office. Sell the gas grill that has been sitting outside for two years. Gather the mountain of books that my children no longer read and donate them to a needy family.
Yesterday I was in Home Depot, buying a new air conditioner to replace a broken one (which you could also come to my home and take away), when I saw this:
A gas can?
A gas can is a great gift for dad?
What the hell is the Home Depot thinking?
In the end, the four best gifts you can ever offer me are the following:
- Time: Do a chore for me that I despise and return that time to me.
- Knowledge: Teach me something that I don’t know or can’t do.
- Experience: Give me the opportunity to do something novel, exciting, interesting, enjoyable and/or memorable.
- Nostalgia: Give me the opportunity to experience the past in some new and interesting way.
I’ve explained these gift ideas in greater detail here: https://matthewdicks.com/2020/03/28/the-four-best-gifts
Whatever you do for the father in your life today, please don’t give him a gas can or a duffel bag or a means of displaying his bottle cap collection. This are not gifts what any father is hoping for today.
Instead, spend some time with the dad in your life. Say a few kind words. Take care of some household chore so he can relax a little. Maybe offer to play catch or cook his favorite meal or surprise him with his favorite dessert.
Write him a letter telling him exactly how you feel about him. Provided that you’re not harboring some ancient grudge or deep seated disappointment.
Spend some time with him. Take a few photos. Make a memory.
Just don’t let that memory include a duffle bag.