Let me just piss on everyone’s parade by saying that I don’t care for Father’s Day. It’s pretty much a made up holiday meant to get people to spend money they don’t have and further compartmentalize their emotions. It also encourages people to be shitty to their fathers/fathers to be shitty but then have a once a year holiday make up for everything. Of course, I know quite a few people that think otherwise, and my Facebook feed has spent the weekend inundated with rather touching stories about fathers and father figures, but that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t care for Father’s Day (Can you guess why?).
However, I could let it all go if American society didn’t put so much pressure on people to celebrate Father’s Day. If you go to any card rack in any grocery store or corner store, you will find the most sickly sweet messages about fathers – how they taught you how to be the person you are today, how they were always there for you, how you couldn’t imagine your life without them, and how they are the most important person/man in your life. The cards are full of hyperbole and bathos, and they’re often embarrassing in how untrue they are. That makes it especially awkward for people with terrible fathers who still want to pay lip service to them/people who just want to say something nice to their normal fathers on Father’s Day.
There’s also a lot of expectation for people on Father’s Day. Go on any social media site, and you’ll eventually find someone who says something like, “Let’s all give thanks to our fathers today. We would be nothing without them!!!!” or “Anyone who doesn’t call their dad today is an asshole.” So not only are you feeling bad about having a bad relationship with your father/no relationship with your father/not having a father, but you get the added guilt trip of knowing that you are an awful person for not unconditionally loving and supporting your father. Thanks, society.
A really easy fix for this is to just be more honest about our relationships with our parents. While it’s fairly common to send your SO a funny or borderline inappropriate card (even if they’re the parent of your child), normal or understated Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) cards aren’t really mainstream. I’d love to see a “Sorry your dad sucks but at least you’re awesome” card or a, “Thanks for being my dad. You always made things interesting” card or “You’re important to me every day, not just today” card. I mean, would it kill society to acknowledge that not all parents are great? Maybe if we did, there’d be less pressure on parents and children to be perfect and we could respect each other easier. That would certainly be appreciated.