Father’s Day: It’s Okay I Guess

I’m not a huge fan of Father’s Day. This is not to say I feel antagonistic toward it — I don’t, I think it’s a nice idea to thank dads for being dads — but merely that it’s not a day I’ve ever given much thought to, even when I became a father. Some of the reasons for this:

* My parents were divorced when I was very young and I didn’t have much contact with my own dad growing up, so I never really got into the practice of it when I was younger;

* Father’s Day often coincides (as it does this year) with one of my and Krissy’s anniversary days (proposal, June 15; first date, June 16; wedding June 17), and I tend to advantage those celebrations more than Father’s Day;

* I’m a very difficult person to buy gifts for (to the point where I’ve told people to just stop trying), so one major aspect of Father’s Day is already zeroed out for me;

* As the picture above suggests, I have a slightly skewed relationship with fatherhood anyway, and I think that’s worked best, where I’m concerned.

So the way I remembered it this year was my wife being concerned that she was going to be away on the day (she’s in California, for our niece’s baby shower). It resulted in me looking blankly at her for a minute and then assuring her it would be fine. Now, as it happens, Athena and I will be going out for lunch today, which nominally will be a Father’s Day lunch, but really is more about the fact that without Krissy around, Athena and I eat straight from cereal boxes, so going out to lunch today means we won’t be eating dry Cap’n Crunch for three sequential meals.

So: Father’s Day. Nice, but, for me, kinda meh. If you like it, I wholeheartedly encourage you to enjoy it. I’ll be here thinking about my wedding proposal day instead.

32 Comments on “Father’s Day: It’s Okay I Guess”

  1. Yah. I told my wife and daughter not to buy me anything either. I hope they listen.

    Love the picture. Reminds me how my own daughter took Hop on Pop to be an instruction manual.

  2. Oh, and I hope the proposal, first date, and wedding were all different years.

  3. Ah, but John, you’re fortunate in that you’ve found someone with whom to pass along your genes, you’ve successfully passed along your genes along with Krissy’s, and of course, Athena is the result. Some of us are unable to pass along our genes without some type of artificial intervention. I was married for 21 years, my wife had 2 daughters from previous relationships, and we found that I was genetically sterile. So, you’ve experienced something I cannot. Congratulations and have a happy Father’s Day.

  4. My favorite part of Father’s day is guilt free watching of golf on the couch. Other than that, I’m with you on the rest of it.

  5. ZOMG! Athena smothered John years ago!

    John is a zombie! That means that John’s skin colour from this painting is probably similar to what it is IRL! Good thing you know some morticians who can keep you more-or-less whole and painted to resemble the living.

    Happy Father’s Day.

  6. Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Scalzi.

    Speaking as a 17-year-old nerd who’s going off to college in the fall, I am very pleased with myself that I am more capable at survival than you are.

    Seriously, sir, you can’t even boil pasta, cook frozen pizzas, or open jars of double-chocolate fudge cake icing and fruit cocktail???


    Enjoy yourself, and do try to avoid overloading on Captain Crunch.

  7. Note to Athena – buy him a neck tie with ukeleles on it. Or a ‘Bofur’ hat. He will wear them proudly because he loves you.

  8. I’ve been ambivalent about both of the “Parent-gift-giving” days for decades. Having one parent with both Narcissistic Personality Disorder and frank paranoia made those dates interesting at best, and more frequently downright unpleasant.

    The way I’ve always looked at it, if my offspring only felt moved to demonstrate that they loved me on one day out of the entire year, it would be unequivocal evidence that I had done an abysmal parenting job. I would far, far rather that they give me spontaneous hugs, laughter, conversation, respect and regard throughout the year than that they feel obligated to Perform Certain Tasks for my personal satisfaction one Sunday morning each spring.

    Happy Engagement Anniversary, Mr. Scalzi, and I wish you and your beloved many more years of happiness together.

  9. I didn’t grow up with my dad either, so my attitude to this day is kind of “meh”.

    I do have a great Mom though and give her gifts on every day of the year that one could give gifts for including Fathers Day, Valentines Day, Easter, and even some days in between, just because.

    Happy Fathers Day, John!

  10. How can you eat three sequential meals of Cap’n Crunch cereal without getting a severe case of Cap’n Crunch mouth?

  11. Tammy and I don’t have kids – we have cats.

    And my father and I hadn’t talked to each other for about 12 years before he died, so I never sent him anything. My father-in-law, who I really liked, sort of had your attitude towards Father’s Day when he was alive – I think we took him out for dinner one year when we were visiting, but that was largely because Tammy just came off a book tour and I’d met her in San Francisco to go spend time with her and them.

  12. I’m with @FlooredByScalzisAwesomeness: Insert potato in microwave; insert pre-made meal in microwave; boil a pot of pasta, nuke jar of sauce; boil a pot of rice, mix in Natural Choice chicken strips and some olive oil; slap a steak or a lamb chop on a George Foreman Grill (You can get a basic one for under $30 if you shop around), nuke mashed potatoes or mac&cheese.

  13. Standing in the kitchen eating dry cereal out of the box, look over, there’s the dog eating kibble out of the bag ( I just cut the top of the bag down when the food level drops.) Glad there’s no mirror in the kitchen. Guess I should get a life.

  14. The really sad thing is that the dog’s kibble is more nutritionally balanced. We need people kibble.

  15. I’m pretty much with you on this one, John–no big deal, one way or the other.

    Hey, g, if we did that with my dog, I’m pretty sure she would have the bag empty on day 1!

  16. Campn’t Crunch, dry, when you could eat it with milk that’s been on it long enough to get wet but not soggy? No accounting for taste, I guess!

    My dad didn’t care for father’s day gifts much either. At this point in my mom’s life, she’s got very little interest in acquiring more stuff, but does like flowers, and there’s a florist near where she lives that delivers and seems to do a good job. And my wife and I didn’t have kids, so we’re not inflicting that problem on them.

  17. Does anybody else think that the Cap’n Crunch comment was maybe… I don’t know… exaggerated for comic effect? No? Just me? Carry on then.

  18. If you had a *normal* job like the rest of us office jockeys, you’d be easy to shop for. The commuter rail and office cafeteria were awash in new ties today.

  19. I’m a day late for the proposal one, but happy first-date-iversary.

    I don’t tend to mark the day either, even though my father and I get along just fine and live near each other. It wasn’t much of a thing for us growing up and it remains not-a-thing now.

    I do wish people would stop wishing strangers ‘happy fathers day,’ and also ‘happy mothers day.’ There are a dozen ways either one of those holidays can be fraught for people, and without knowing someone fairly well, it’s impossible to know whether they actually want reminders of the day.

  20. Yeah, I’m okay with Father’s Day, but my memories of my Dad are somewhat skewed. So, while I look forward to the attention, it’s just another day. This time, however, I was sick as a dog. On Mother’s Day we had gone to a great Afghanistan restaurant and so I requested we go to this Cajun one I had been meaning to try out on Father’s Day.

    Well, that didn’t happen. My wife asked if I wanted to have dinner at the Cajun restaurant, but I declined as my illness had me by the throat (literally). I did get some matzo ball soup and it really hit the spot, so I’m good.

  21. An important day to me more because I lost my father about 7 years ago and it’s a strong loss.

    That said, it’s a day for me to double-down with the kids (in the small time remaining to me before they move on with their lives).

    A summary of my (really quite great) Father’s Day:

    A Breakfast ‘Mess’ at my favorite Diner
    Watching “SInbad’s Golden Voyage” with family
    Fish Tacos for Lunch at California Tortilla
    Lying in a hammock at my sister’s house
    Bacon-wrapped Steak for Dinner at Iron Hill Brewery
    Strawberry Custard at Ritas
    Playing Wii Party U with family

    Yeah, that’s a pretty good day, right there.

  22. fathers day is the one guy holiday. Lets face it if we forget valentines day, her birthday, or mothers day we end up in the doghouse (and often sleeping on the couch). So having one day when women feel guilted into doing something for guys is a good thing.
    I don’t even have any kids and I am in favor of this.

    Best Gift For Fathers Day: Guy has no ‘honey do’ work, no lawn work, no fix this work, no take care of the kids work. We get to sit around all day long without shaving, play video games, and do what we want.

    Ultimate fathers day gift. I know lots of Dads who would think that is the ultimate gift.

  23. I’ve got issues with Father’s Day, but they have to do with the fact that my dad died shortly before Father’s Day (in 1977), and I still tend to get a little down and miss him a lot around all the Father’s Day hype. I was always much closer to my dad than to my mother – he was my fishing buddy and my movie buddy, and he’s the one who taught me to love books and science fiction and learning, and always encouraged me in whatever weird, geeky thing I was enthusiastic about at any given time. He “got” me in a way that my mother never did; I was her “alien child”, and she never really figured out what to do with me.

  24. Happy Days that you really care about and enjoy Mr. Scalzi! I’m ambivalent about Father’s Day as well. I love my dad and he loves me, just as much as a sociopath possibly can, but we don’t really do holidays. We buy gifts if we can afford them but we don’t wrap them or make a production out of it or even get the day right 100% of the time.

  25. Yup, dad left when I was 4 and this thing is such a Hallmark day, it’s kinda insulting. Still, daughter gave me a card and a candy bar: is sweet! And I made her steak and potaoes (Sunday is grill day).

    Ah, different years. Wife and I decided to get married on first date but waited a few months until after my sister’s wedding. Didn’t want to steal thunder.

  26. I was lucky enough that my Father’s Day lunch was at a gen-u-ine Chinese restaurant in NYC’s Chinatown this year (Joe’s Shanghai. Try the soup dumplings, they’re great). But yeah…we were on vacation anyway, and needed to eat lunch regardless of Parenthood-related Holidays ;)

  27. I hate that, while Mother’s Day means spending time trying to placate both my mom and my MIL, Father’s Day means my hubz gets to just vegetate. Why is “my” day dedicated to other people??? So unfair. It really is a man’s world. I think next year we’re going away so I can spend the day chillaxing with my family instead of answering to other people. If it works for him, it can certainly work for me… RIGHT? *sigh*… Never mind. Don’t answer that.

    On a note less fraught with jealousy, I am more than happy to give my hubz props where parenting is concerned. While he is not the biological father of my children, he loves them as his own and they call him Dad and smother him under pillows regularly. So there’s that. Maybe he actually gets to enjoy his day because he’s honestly a better parent than I am? I won’t even argue that. He’s pretty awesome.

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