Mother’s day is celebrated the world over with flowers, cards and elegant lunches in pretty party dresses. It’s a big day and a lot of pressure to make sure mom gets her special day of appreciation. However, fathers just don’t get the same respect. Father’s day is an afterthought, an obligatory Hallmark throw away, a hastily-arranged backyard BBQ and not much else.
To prove my point that Father’s day isn’t all that important, I checked out the Father’s day gift section or rather, table at the local gift shop. It consisted of very typical man paraphernalia- golf tees, model cars, books with inappropriate jokes, fancy razor shaving kits, Man board games and I believe a hat with holders for beer. Really? This is what fathers get? I was surprised (but not really) by the limitation of the male experience- Beer, Cars, Golf, Goofy gifts with sex toys being the notable exception (but it is Father’s day so that one is probably inappropriate).
Why don’t we afford our fathers the same love and honor that we do our mothers? Is it because for a lot of us, our fathers were notably missing from our lives and thus we don’t have the same desire and cultural guilt to express in the same way? Are our father’s grumpy old men who are difficult to buy for and thus they get relegated to token joke gifts? Are men really limited to the very narrow margin of men’s interests as seen on the table? I don’t think so. I believe that men and fathers are more dynamic, interesting, culturally evolved than ever. Unfortunately, most of the guy gifts available do not represent men’s evolution.
In contrast to the stoic fathers of the past, my male papa friends are doing a stellar job, not only raising baby but growing from Pan to Man (Here’s a little shout-out to you, fellas) with determination and bubbling papa pride. I see in my friends, an earnest desire to be the father figure that they didn’t have, be emotionally available, patient and present to their kin and bounce, burp and bond like no man has ever done before.
With this new conscious fatherhood emerging, perhaps the landscape for men will be radically different, more authentic and personal rather than it is now. I hope so. It would be a step forward to man-kind. Aren’t you bored of the gender biases that have existed for so long? I am. You are evolving brother and along with all the accoutrements that go with it. Until that time, please check out our Father’s day gift guide to inspire you to honor the father you have in your life. No more beer hats people, no more!
Man on Top’s Father’s Day Gift Guide
Do something physical like taking him for a forest walk. The forest is excellent to reduce stress, improve circulation and create happy vibes. Walking is a good bonding activity because you do not have to be face to face and deal with awkward silences that may arise with papa.
What about a new cashmere sweater? Everyone loves cashmere and appreciates its warmth and softness. I have melted many icy hearts with cashmere.
What about a little pampering for curmudgeonly old dad? Touch is vital for health. As much as he might complain that spas are for girls, I suspect that once he is in his fuzzy white robe, drinking a freshly squeezed juice and having someone pummel his back, he will be more receptive to the experience.
Or perhaps you want to buy him a series of classes on his interests, hobbies, sports pursuits. There are tons of online options available. Education is a great way to keep a mind sharp and active.
Let’s face it; some Dads can be curmudgeonly old men who like to complain about even the happiest of things. Let him complain; let him be a grumpy Gus. He has lived a long time and has earned the right to be sullen. It’s his day, celebrate him in the best way you can. Happy Father’s Day to all the grumpy and/ or happy dads out there.