As Guyspeak’s only dad* panelist, I feel that it’s my duty to talk to you about Father’s Day, which arrives this year on June 20 — two weeks from yesterday.
People always talk about how hard it is to buy gifts for their dads, and I won’t disagree. I’ve spent many years struggling to come up with clever gift ideas for my father, a man who, like most his age, will just go out and buy whatever he needs. Guys like this leave their children few gift options, so they’re the ones who end up with radio-controlled cars and massage chairs and other shit nobody wants.
I guess my dad got tired of his children wasting money on bad gifts, because about five years ago he made it known that he was only interested in homemade gifts henceforth. Homemade? Yeah, no prob, Dad. You know I’m, like, grown up and stuff, right? So I’m all out of popsicle sticks and glitter. But hey, I’ll just run down to Michael’s and get some materials to make you a pretty picture frame. I’ll sign my name on back in finger paint, too.
So, yeah, shopping for your dad is hard, I know. But I’m here to help. You have to narrow down your list, and you can start by skipping all of these:
1) Overpriced gadgetry
You know those places in the mall like Brookstone and The Sharper Image that like to load up the entrance to their stores with a bunch of crap that’s flying and spinning and buzzing? Yeah, keep walking. We don’t want that junk. Last Father’s Day my wife bought me one of those digital picture frames, bless her heart. Took me two hours to get it working and took only two days before it died.
2) Anything labeled “As Seen On TV”
There’s a reason certain products are only seen on TV: no legitimate store will touch them with a ten-foot ginsu knife. Why? Because they’re crap, that’s why. Seriously, would you want a Slap-Chop or Ab Roller or Clapper or Upside-Down tomato planter? Neither do we.
3) Anything labeled “Great Gifts For Dad”
Mall department stores love to cram their already-narrow aisles with stuff that’s great for the mailman or kids with tumors or white-elephant gift exchanges with co-workers you hate, but not so great for Dad. Thanks, but we already have gloves, socks, belts, a wallet, an umbrella, a shoe-shine kit and a desk organizer, and we don’t really need a gold money clip (what are we, pimps?) or a miniature electronic poker game.
4) Equipment for a new hobby
Your dad’s what, in his 60s at least, right? Maybe in his 70s. That archery set might have looked cool at the Walmarts, but if your dad hasn’t picked up a bow in his 70 years, he’s not going to start now. Same goes for fishing, bowling, golf, hang-gliding, rock-climbing, squash, scuba or jai alai, too.
5) Anything that requires feeding or medical care
It took him 20 years to get your ass out of the house; your pop doesn’t want a puppy, trust me.
So what, then? What should you get him?
There’s one thing that dads want, and it doesn’t cost a dime: time with his kids, i.e. you. I’m not kidding. He wants to spend time with you. Isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about? It’s not about gifts, I assure you.
So take the old guy to the cafeteria for lunch or to see that new movie with all the blue people in it. If you can’t do that, at least call him. He won’t be around forever. You’ll make his day, and you’ll be glad you spent time with him while you had the chance.
Happy Father’s Day.
* Dad, not dead. That honor belongs to The Cheater, who would’ve been Guyspeak panelist #7 had his wife not killed him in his sleep just weeks before the site launched.