Ask Dad: What Do Dads Want For Father's Day?

father's day card
Flickr photo by somegeekintn
It's time once again for Ask Dad, the column where you ask the questions and a dad -- namely, me -- answers them. Hence the name, Ask Dad. In case you were wondering. Titles can be tricky sometimes.

I have no idea what to get my father for Father's Day. None of the gift idea lists I've seen have anything that suits him. He tells me not to get him anything, he says he has everything he needs, but I have to get him something. What does a dad really want for Father's Day? Please help -- I'm stuck!! Thanks.

I hear ya. Father's Day is tough. And those gift idea lists are worthless, aren't they? Especially this one. What are we, loaded?


Truth be told, though, Father's Day isn't that complicated at all. A lot of us are like your dad: We don't want or need gifts, at least not the kind you buy at the mall. No, there's one thing most dads want more than anything else, and it won't cost you a dime.

I'll tell you what it is, but first, let me tell you what it isn't: A gadget, Snuggie, tie, slippers, footie pajamas, umbrella, gift certificate, golf clubs, tennis racquet, bow and arrow set, horseshoes, briefcase, camping equipment, didgeridoo, magazine subscriptions, cutlery, apron that reads "Chief Cook & Bottle Washer," cowboy hat, baseball glove, leather gloves, socks, Mr. T's autograph, a compass, massage chair, Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits CD, pinball machine, RC car, tickets to the monster truck rally, a star named after us, or a ride to the moon.

The one thing we want? Booze, of course. Lots and lots of booze. Liquor. Hooch. Crazy juice. Scotchy scotch scotch.

Nah, just kidding, although most dads won't turn their noses up at booze.

No, the one thing we want is the one thing we cannot buy. The thing that means more to us than anything else. The thing they can't mass-produce, and the thing that won't always be available to us. That thing? Time with you.

Children are a father's greatest gift, and we want to spend time with them. Isn't that what Father's Day is all about?

So if you can't come up with a clever gift idea for your dad this year, good. He doesn't need it, anyway. Just spend time with him. Buy him a card and go see him, take him to lunch, take him to the park, take him wherever -- he won't care as long as he's with you. If you can't visit, a phone call is the next best thing.

I know that relationships with parents can be complicated. Spending time with them can be difficult, stressful. But I read something not long ago that stuck with me, a quote that said, "No matter what how you feel about your parents, you will miss them when they're gone." If that's true -- and I believe it is -- I don't want to wait until my father is gone to realize it.

Neither do you.


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