Father’s Day, it’s the holiday where children pretend they have a parent who is not-Mom that is thoroughly engaged and supportive. For dads, it’s the day when shoddy hand made tie racks, alcohol, and harsh reality meet. It’s a time when coping mechanisms are tested and the question arises, “Can you beat your all-time record for faking it?”
Faking it on Father’s Day takes many forms. Children need to pretend dad isn’t judging them, and dads need to pretend the kids aren’t holding a grudge because of the dreaded fifth-grade incident when their ice cream dropped out of their cone and you wouldn’t buy another one because “That’s just the way how life works.”
If you’re going to see your dad on his special day here are some tips on how to survive it without having a flashback to that disappointing fifth-grade trip for ice cream.
- Alcohol is your friend. Please use in moderation. Remember, what you are trying to do is put a shiny gloss on whatever pleasant memories you have of your childhood. Too many Captain Morgan and Cokes will dredge up unwanted feelings and emergency sessions with your psychologist.
- Funny Father’s Day cards. Hide your true emotions with humor! Pick out that Hallmark card that says, “Look at this silly puppy” without having to say, “I love you.”
- Quick visits are the best visits. Have you ever had some beef stew stored in the back of your refrigerator you forgot about? It gets moldy and stinks up the place. That’s what too long a visit on Dad’s special day is like. And if you want him to feel better tell him you need to go do something that he would be proud of you doing (i.e., wrestle an alligator, finish that college degree, or doing something awesome with a sport ball).
If you are a dad and you’re kids are bound by arbitrary societal rules to spend time with you, then here are a few tips to get through the day.
- Do not recite your list of grievances. You need to save that for your funeral. Sure, you won’t be there to enjoy it, but it’ll be the high point of the ceremony.
- Grill, baby, grill. Fathers from the beginning of time have avoided their children under the pretext of grilling food. Those hamburgers and hot dogs won’t cook all by themselves!
- Remember these buzz words. Your children may start talking about their own lives and refuse to keep the focus on you. When they say the same ridiculous things you did when you were younger you need to say things like, “Yeah” and “I know what you mean.” Whatever you do, don’t tell them what you actually think.
Follow these tips and you’ll have Father’s Day. It won’t be great. It won’t be horrible. It’ll be like a benign tumor your doctor will have to keep an eye on.