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Father’s Day
June 19th, 2011 by JuannyCinco

Every year there is a Mother’s Day and every year there is a Father’s Day (actually, there are two Mother’s Days – depending on where you are located – apparently it’s one of the few occasions where England didn’t blindly follow America’s lead).

I’m not sure why we need both*.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day seems natural.  You thank your mother for doing such an outstanding job in guiding you towards the great person that you have become and you tell that you appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made to allow you to be that great person…to allow you to be…well, as my t-shirt says:

To be fair, before I get accused of being arrogant, I also have a t-shirt that says:

But my dress is irrelevant!

Mother’s seem to appreciate the gesture.  I suppose it makes the years of sacrifice worthwhile to hear the words.  Mother’s Day just makes sense.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day seems contrived.  You thank your father for doing such an outstanding job in guiding you towards the great person that you have become and you tell that you appreciate the efforts and sacrifices made to allow you to be that great person.  Fathers seem to get embarrassed like you’ve just accused them of actually loving you – or that you are tricking them into believing that you love them.  It’s not just my dad –  I think it’s all dads.   Maybe it’s different for daughters?  I don’t have sisters so it’s hard to say.

In most households where the kids grew up in the 70’s and 80’s there was definitely a different dynamic – the man was more often the bread earner and the mother the caretaker of the home and children.  It wasn’t fair, according to the new world order, and we’re more aware now of the fact that you can’t define a man by his monetary achievements to the house.  The reality is that that’s a lot about how it worked.  We are a product of our time as much as we are a product of our genes so maybe it’s just that most of us were caught in the wrong historical moment to share our feelings properly.  Maybe it was always enough to just know that we cared about each other.

I’m not suggesting that the working-as-a-show-of-commitment-and-love is the only way that affection is shared, far from it, but it’s definitely an aspect.  I’m sure my Dad would have liked to have played beach cricket far more than he did.  He would have loved to play week-day golf far more than he could.    Earning money gets in the way of fun a lot and that sacrifice of time and energy is a part of being a responsible parent.   It’s not like I grewup in that time where Robert Hayden described his father in “Those Winter Sundays”.

Calvin and Hobbes 1

My conclusion in thinking about the man-son relationships is simple and neat: men are stupid.

For whatever reason, men just don’t share important things correctly.  You hug (briefly) we dress up friendships with stupid terms (bromance) and fail to really share anything too deep in case it gets misinterpreted as being a meaningful emotional connection.  The gay bromance overtones we’re supposed to laugh at in comedy is truly irksome to me but it’s presented as a normal reaction on TV and in movies constantly – men hug and pull apart so not to appear gay?  Are we kidding?  Love of a brother of a friend is not the love of a lover.   It’s offensive to the idea of friendships and more offensive to gay men that we should somehow be offended by showing affection.   This illogical cultural view is part of the underlying issue with father son relationships.  It’s just not manly enough to feel warmth.

We are man.  We make fire when cold. Ug ug ug.  Women are weak.  They huddle for warmth and cry.  Stupid. Ug ug.

What are we collectively proving?  That we’re total bone-heads?  Yes. I think that about sums it up.

This disconnect is probably a hang over from some caveman culture or deep-seated competitive fight for survival; however, we managed to appreciate the cultural refinements of a knife and fork so shouldn’t we accept and appreciate the cultural refinements of having guy friends?

If we acknowledge that men have emotions, have feelings and can care about each other we wouldn’t need to try avoid Father’s day !

Calvin and Hobbes 2

I’m not ashamed to say that I love my Dad.  I’m not ashamed to say that his personality has had a profound affect on me.  I don’t often visit,  I don’t often call,  I don’t often talk to my dad but in ways I think that the relationship is a mature one.  The truth is that I actually like my dad.  I could actually imagine talking to my dad even if we were unrelated and I think that says an awful lot more than some card on a hallmark holiday (which is why he doesn’t get a card).  I can even imagine going to the pub and drinking a beer with my dad because I wanted to.  I think that says more than anything.  My wife likes my dad.  Maybe he’s just a cool guy?  Nah.  That’s stretching it!  My dad is my dad.  He it the most influential male figure in my life and as I like to think I ended up ok, he gets to take credit for a lot of that.

I’m not really sure what my point is in making this post.  Nothing I say is going to change how I feel about him or how he feels about me.   Perhaps this is the blog equivalent of that quick hug, that small handshake…

Calvin and Hobbes 3

I hope not.

I like to think this post is the blog equivalent of a big hug, a big thanks for being there.  I’m not embarrassed and there’s no shame in loving your dad – even if he is a lousy Spurs fan.  So anyway, Dad, even though I don’t like the fact that people read my blog posts when they are serious and not silly but this blog post is dedicated to you and everything you have provided…..at the end of it all?  I know you did everything you could for me, J and B and that’s all that matters.

Respect. Love.  Happy Father’s Day.

Everything in this post holds true for my brothers too – they just don’t get a day where you get pressed to say something.

Your Son,

J.

*I have what I feel is a good relationship with my parents and this is something that I certainly do take for granted.  It’s easy to forget that there are plenty of children, and grown children/adults that have had to live with a single parent, no parents,  or even abusive parents.   Having two parents who care about you and want the best for you is definitely a blessing.


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