Reflections on Father’s Day

“Honor thy father and mother,” says the Bible. Why do we need two commercial holidays to do that? I honor both my parents every day with memories, good and bad, of when they were alive and when we were together as a family long ago.

My father was often a pain in the ass, but so are many. And yet he was very attached to me, helped me out financially, gave me usually unwanted but needed advice. For all our arguments, he influenced my life and behavior in ways it took me years to recognize and ultimately appreciate. I have to honor him for that.

Married twice, I had three sons and now have three grandsons. I can’t evaluate what kind of father I’ve been, though I remember a lot of mistakes I made. Being a father is like holding public office: others will judge your competence.

Mother’s Day seems to be more popular, but still about 100 million Father’s Day cards are sent out each year. More than $22 billion is projected to be spent on celebrating dad this year. Incredible, isn’t it?

The industry is promoted by articles like: “All the Best Father’s Day Gift Ideas” in NYMag. Here are a few things they noted that your dad may be happy to regift.

People who buy this stuff know nothing about fathers. Give them a bottle of good rum and they’ll be happy.