First things first: what are the traditions for father’s day, again? My mother got a fancy brunch with green salads and goat cheese and colorful cocktails. You listen to her absolutely butcher the names of celebrities while she sneaks some of your fries. You get her a scarf or kitchen thing or flowers. It’s all good. But what about Father’s Day?
If there is a father or father figure in your life, what are you supposed to do for him? Give him a Trump tie (made in China)? Ties are actually pretty expensive, and most of them look the same. Approximately 90% of ties are deep blue with little gold emblems or something on them. The other 10% are hideous. I don’t want to get my dad a tie. I’m pretty close with him, which makes me very lucky, and here’s what he doesn’t like: most presents, getting up from the couch, and going out to dinner. So that leaves me with very little to work with.
1. . A Promise To Make Him Proud
I watch a lot of gritty dramas on television, most of them starring pained white men that have to make the TOUGH decisions, like committing murder and ignoring their super hot wives all the time. And every single one of these men talk about their fathers, and how they did something to fail them, or how their fathers failed them, or fathers in general. Have you guys seen Bloodline? That is the entire plot of that show—trying to make Daddy proud while also hiding evidence from the FBI. So that’s what I think my dad would like—I’m going to sit him down, hopefully next to some scenic desert or waterfront landscape, make the whole thing look sepia or washed out, smoke a cigarette, and tell him in cryptic tones that I’m going to “make him proud.” And then do lots of illegal things, completely going against this.
2. . A Whole Night Listening To Him Talk
Dads are notorious for unusual hobbies and interests, and by unusual I mean largely boring. Whether it be my dad’s interest in the universe, or your dad’s interest in golf, insanely long documentaries on the civil war, something about Wall Street, or bird watching—listen to him talk about it. Just let him go off. Hand him a Budweiser (AMERICA BEER) and just let him go to town. I let my dad do this once about a historic Revolutionary War general, and I couldn’t believe how much he knew about it. I know a lot about mostly nothing. I couldn’t even tell you that much about Instagram, and I use it every day. I’m worthless.
3. . A Whole Night Of Silence
On the flip side, maybe we should just leave dad alone. Nothing makes those rusty wheels get lubed up more than a night of silence on the couch while he watches some television. Let him sit in silence, with his old white socks practically up to his knees, as you sit next to him. Don’t look at your phone, don’t make sudden movements, let the dog sit on his lap, don’t make those little coughs to clear your throat and just be quiet. If he wants to mutter a sentence or two, let him do it, but don’t go too overboard. This is a silent night of spending time together.
4. . An Acknowledgement That Your Childhood Was Different Than His
Even though I share his photo every once in a while on a #tbt tag because dad’s in the 70’s were super hipster and wore tight t-shirts and had cool hair, there’s nothing that lets you show your appreciation for pops than this: your childhood was so different! The WORLD was so different then! Let him talk about how much the movie tickets were, and how kids these days have a different path in life, and how he can fix an engine with one hand tied behind his back. Because I will say this: the fashions may be the same, but they were much cheaper then! Things were different in ways he thought were not as good, and guess what? If you love him and think he’s a good guy, it’s probably because he spent a lot of his time trying to make the world a little better for you. Which is pretty neat, considering the world can be a real crapshoot sometimes, and it can also feel like nothing is different at all. But if there's someone out there who tried to make it better for you, thank 'em.
5. . A Damn Hug
If you have your father, or someone who is like a father, in your life and your relationship is nice—be damn grateful for it. A lot of people do not have this. If you do, cherish it. Give the old man a big bear hug, no matter how much he may squirm.