Not a metallic silver and blue banner in sight or balloon floating by its side in a tacky window display. No sports-inspired medals stating: ‘Go Dad for giving up your sperm!’ ‘No. 1 Man’, special offers or large-scale retail campaigns. Where were all of the 2.4 families with a beer-bellied dad in tow and smug grin on his face? So in the interest of doting dads everywhere, I’m here to lodge a formal complaint that Father’s Day be taken seriously in the name of family justice and good manners.
Usually, today, I would log into my Facebook and find, not the heartfelt and mischievous messages that I like to recite and then write in my ‘dad-playing-golf’ illustrated cards; instead my generic puns would be momentarily tainted by the hate mail from mothers and sons, mainly, who have etched out Father’s day just as those fathers had etched them from memory. Scattered somewhere there’d be an antique father-daughter photo but generally, a melancholy cloud drifts over Father’s Day and a downpour of double-standards.
The absentee father carries all of the flack when it comes to inner-city social problems. Despondent boys whose lack of male leadership forces them into irreversible situations that waste their youth; lost females who seek validation from conniving men, repeating the cycle with unplanned pregnancies, and last but not least; the vulnerable mothers who by obligation of childbirth, do their best to fix their broken families. I have no words for those men. However, what about the men who are there? Who want nothing more than to be there but have to argue over fragments of themselves in a court room? Allocated time to spend with their offspring as though they no longer count. When was the judgement passed that all fathers should be condemned?
Father’s Day, for me, is a celebration of the one in a few men I’ve had in my life to-date. The kinda-short bald guy whose mishap at the barbers cost him his thick, black beard and now reminds me of an ethnic Hitler. The man who I cranked my head round to see as I rode my bike without stabilizers for the first time, and who would scrub my feet and underneath my armpits in the bath. My personal bank, though I try to always pay back in full and the one who surprised me with his support when for April Fools Day I pretended that I was leaving university. That’s my Dad, and he deserves my appreciation for the sheer fact that this day will never be as acknowledged as Mother’s Day.
As we walked up to the entrance of Handmade Burger Co. and saw the sign offering a free burger for fathers, I said, “See? At least someone appreciates you!” and then we dined on mammoth burger meals. No KFC.