Monday, June 18, 2007

Ban Father's Day

It's Father's Day, which is not a Jewish Holiday. In fact, I wonder why it's a holiday at all, except that retailers needed another June occasion with which to fatten their profit margins. And of course, after Mother's Day was established, it couldn't be long in this just and equitable culture before Father got his due.

Despite the fact that Dads certainly deserve kudos, few WANT them. How many dads do you know who would miss it if Father's Day was just sort of forgotten one year? Sure, they enjoy appreciation, but for guys, such expressions of emotion are always a bit embarrassing. "Gee, I love you, Dad." "Thanks a lot, son." But such words work equally well in October as in June; isn't it a bit awkward when Dad also has to unwrap another pair of socks?

All right, I'll confess it--Both Mother's Day and Father's Day are inventions of and sustained by women. The only ones who truly care about these occasions are women. On their May holiday, Mothers want those oozing expressions of adoration. On their spouse's day, mothers offer oozing affection in the hope that doing so will bring a response in like kind. Guys shift uncomfortably when others get soppy. This emotional stuff is just not a guy thing.

But, given that I'm NOT a guy, today I presented my husband, father of my children, with a poem I wrote, printed out and decorated with photos of our little ones. When I approached him, saying, "Happy Father's Day, darling!" he said, "Oh no, not a card! I wish you wouldn't give me a card! You're just trying to guilt-trip me!"

I was floored. My sincere rhymes extolling what a great father he is was seen as a mean-spirited attempt to guilt him into...what? I'll tell you: he thought that my stanzas of praise were only meant to insure that on my birthday and Mother's Day, he would provide the same for me. My response: aarrrggghh!

Are men and women the same? Should the government provide the same financing for men's and womens' sports? Should men and women be treated as equals in all things? Is John Grey a millionaire?

I say we ban Father's Day. Give Dad a tie when one's on sale. He'll feel a lot better about it. And by the way--I still love my guy, even if he can't accept my appreciation graciously. But next time I'm tempted to write him a poem--kick me.

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