Like most American households, mine carries on all of the old-time Father’s Day traditions. Last weekend, we put up the Father’s Day tree. We’ve bought the fireworks, inflated the outdoor decorations; and we’ve laid out the decorative “Father’s Day Village” with the electric racetrack which runs between the sporting goods and the hardware stores.
We watch the Father’s Day TV specials, too. We love the old animated classics, like “Rude Al, The Red-Nosed Daddy,” and “The Grinch Who Caught The Punk Who Tried To Steal Father’s Day, And Thrashed Him Within An Inch of His Miserable Life.”
And who doesn’t love the Very Special Father’s Day episodes of our favorite sitcoms? You know, the holiday episodes in which Dad is predictably right about life issues, and his children grow into newfound respect for his wisdom, while his adoring wife reserves her withering sarcasm for his critics instead of offering it to her husband?
Most of all, though, we enjoy the traditional Father’s Day carols. We’ll revisit those shortly.
But are we perhaps, as a nation, overdoing Father’s Day? Overemphasizing old Dad, in an era when society may have evolved different priorities than our foreparents had, when establishing this festival in prehistoric 1972?
Our anachronistic Father’s Day celebration even interrupts the month long celebration of “Partisan Rainbows Insidiously Displayed Everywhere.” (Or is it “Preferences Recklessly Indulged, Demanding Exaltation”? I always forget.)
Anyway, like a feast day falling in the middle of Lent, Father’s Day—archaic though it may now be—is a chance to indulge in the forbidden for a bit. It’s wonderful to have license, if only briefly, to publicly celebrate an identity scandalously grounded in solid biological reality and adherence to masculine duty.
So amidst the hectic holiday season, in-between the frantic searches for the perfect Dad gifts of just the right vintage or caliber, take a minute to remember the true meaning of this great American holiday. And before you go on with your day, take a moment to really ponder the ancient, traditional lyrics, in a couple of those beloved carols for dear old Dad.
Feckless thralls, of social justice
(Daddy daddy da, da da da da!)
You have failed to readjust us—
(Daddy daddy da, da da da da!)
Scorn we now, your gay malarkey—
(Daddy da, daddy da, da da da!)
Celebrate the patriarchy!
(Daddy daddy da da, da da da da!)
It Became, at Middle Age, Quite Clear
It’s come, again, that time of year
When Dads we bring to mind—
Who did that het’rosexual thing,
Which perpetuates mankind!
Then stepped up to overwhelming
And did their durndest, day by day,
To raise their families!
But lo, what Dadhood really means!
A lesson which cannot be learned
By youngsters, ‘til the times come round
When suddenly, it’s their turn!
And oh, how very smugly then
Will ancient grandpas smirk:
“Yeah, now you’ll learn what you put me through—
Man up, and get to work!”
O Little Frown
O, little frown on Daddy’s face—
What thoughts dost thou portend?
We’d hate to overlook concerns,
From you, wisest of men.
Hush, women, kids, and all those
Whose beards are not as grey,
And hear what our paterfamilias
Has got to say.
Photo Credit: iStock/Getty Images