Father, Keep Up the Good Work

No doubt times are tough, but who are the fatherless employees the card industry is paying to create this year’s crop of soul-less father’s day cards? It pained me to pay the $2.99 for a card that imparted exactly nothing, but I wanted to avoid the “you didn’t even send your father a card on father’s day” accusation. Instead of fighting that battle with the truth (the cards sucked balls this year), I just acquiesced. Yet we all feel obligated to engage in this ritual. Fuckers. This is not a reflection of fathers. It’s a rant about retail-manufactured obligations. I have enough regular and martyr-inspired obligations. I don’t need Hallmark giving me orders or contributing to my guilt. Guilt is for suckers.

Half the cards were gas/fart/toilet related. None of these topics would be amusing to my father nor do I want to imagine him engaged in any of those activities. Fathers don’t fart. At least ones from The Silent  Generation don’t. Or if they do, we ignore it like we do most topics. Ewwww. The other half of the cards were golf-centric. Helpful if your father plays golf, but mine appears to be the only one that doesn’t. He likes growing roses, mall walking and getting half-price manicures from the beauty school students. There was a card line featuring babies with three-dimensional faux hair. Seriously? Happy Baby Daddy Day! About 50% of the cards showcased monkeys. Could write an entire article about the symbolism there, but in the interest of space and preventing you from wanting to poke out your eyes, I will refrain. The other 50% was a combination of ducks, penguins, dogs, cats, jackasses, bears and lions. None of those animals impart “father” to me. Well, maybe one of them, but we’re trying to celebrate something beautiful here. The only symbol that really resonated for me thinking of my father was the recliner-themed line of cards. Now, I can get behind a well-worded barcalounger-centric card.

And then the manipulative categories almost sent me over the edge. Father’s day cards are for FATHERS, not your brother! Not that you can’t be nice to your brother and celebrate him on Father’s day, but that’s gravy, not biscuits. The biscuits are your actual fathers. My uncle is not my father. I embrace the widening definition of family. I just don’t want it defined by the card industry. And why do women have to buy all the cards? Why have we made that the default? The fact that dudes don’t generally purchase cards leads me to the conclusion they think cards are stupid, or at least not important. And that discovery leads me to think that I’m really buying the card for me, not for him.

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