About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Let me first say a genuine "Happy Father's Day" to all the fathers out there.

Now, acknowledging that I have thus far had a very nice Father's Day, in this year of 2012. My lovely wife went pretty far out of her way to treat me extra nice today, and she and I even took three of the kids (the oldest is working) golfing! This is something that we have never done as a family, and she and I, due to medical issues, have not golfed in 4 years. We did have a splendid time, and now I'm bushed!

That all said, I do have a long-standing whine about Father's Day, and I'm going to share that with you fine folks.

It is said that the busiest day of the year for the telephone companies (here in the US, at any rate) is Father’s Day. That is to say that people all over the country are calling their father on that special day to speak with him. On the surface, this seems like a very sweet gesture: reach out and show that you care. When I heard this statistic I thought it odd: Father’s Day gets more attention than Mother’s Day? 

But after some thought and conversations with friends I came to be aware that the reason for this seeming anomaly - this apparent preference for fathers - is that on Father’s Day, offspring call their sires to say “Hi” and “Happy Father’s Day”. On Mother’s day, you’re in a load of trouble if you call. You bloody well had better show up. You need to take that special woman to breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Bring her flowers, chocolate, gifts, cards, praise, etc. For dad, you don’t even need to get out of bed. Reach over to the phone, hit the speed dial, and hope that the answering machine picks up. That’s Father’s Day.

Here’s another interesting point: on Mother’s Day, Mom wants to have people around her. She wants everyone to show up and kiss her cheek, and (most importantly and most difficult) get along. On Father’s Day, what does Dad want? Dad wants to be peace and quiet. Some calm. Some tranquility. Get the hell out! Leave me to have a day of peace. Unfortunately, there’s no football on. But a day off is what dad wants.

This, of course, based upon what I've heard at the Father's Support Groups.

"Hi. My name's Dave, and I'm a father."
[collectively] "Hi, Dave."

Fishing comes up quite a bit. Golfing. Usually Father's Day looks very different from a day on the lake, however.

The problem here is in who plans the events for each of these days? Daughters and wives, that’s who plans them. So mom gets to have her family around on Mother’s Day, and on Father’s Day dad gets…the same thing that mom wants: to have his family around.

The other problem with Father’s Day is that it is in the middle of the sunny season. I say that this is a problem because at this time of year there’s a lot of crap to do around the house. Mowing, raking, landscaping, home repairs, home improvements, auto work, you know, that list that never ends. There’s a host of jobs around the house that can only be done in the sunny weather. Also, at this time of year is when people have their weddings, christenings, graduation parties, cook-outs (at which it is usually dad manning the grill).

Not to blow my own anonymity, but we do have a distant family member who had a baby on my very first Father's Day. This in and of itself was not an issue, until a year later when she decided that the little tyke's birthday part was going to be ON Father's Day. This meant, of course, that I was socially obligated on Father's Day, which is exactly what I DON'T want. I was similarly socially obligated on the next 9 Father's Days.

Get that? My first 10 Father's Days were spent at a family party, when all that I wanted was to relax and get away from people (especially being as introverted as I am).

Father’s Day needs to be moved to early January. At least in my neck of the woods, this is the perfect time of the year to have a Sunday whose purpose is for dad to have a day off. There can be no cook-outs. There can be no house painting. Nobody graduates in January, and fewer people want to have weddings in the winter, leading to less opportunity for Dad’s special day to be commandeered by social obligations. Also, there’s no yard work. You don’t work in the driveway on your car unless you really have to. You know what there is on Sunday in January? Football. And not just any football; it’s the playoffs. That’s what dad wants. To top this off, people are just coming off of the holidays, which means that they’re in debt, drunk (or at least hung over) and with luck, snowed in.


I'm hoping that I'm not the only one who wants to move Father's Day into January...anyone else interested?


  1. I think that's a great idea...early January...that way you can help take down all the Christmas decorations and get out there and get the lights down. There's lots of snow so you can shovel all day. Oh, and then there's all those Christmas gifts to return and the Visa bills to be paid and all those holiday leftovers to eat. Perfect, I won't even have to cook. Yep..works for me.

    1. We might have to move some snow, but I'd rather move 5 feet of snow than go to 1 family party! And eating leftovers is always a pleasure. :)

      January Father's Day! Couldn't get any better!

  2. It's Father's Day, and I am reading blog posts. My father does not like to be bothered. He likes a nice meal, maybe a cake, no presents. I feel that, after all he's done for me, he deserves the moon, but I give him what he wants.
    Happy Father's Day!

    1. We all want to give those we love what they deserve; I just have trouble making sure it's something that *they* want, and not what *I* would want. I have to continually remind myself that the wife doesn't actually *want* a nice computer game. She's so weird...

      But a nice meal and some of the right kind of cake: pretty close to perfect!

  3. It's much easier being a man. You don't have to write cards and all that other crap women are obligated to do. And usually (obviously not you!) are entitled to some peace and quiet for special events. You can move the day for me, sure. :)

    1. Whaaaaat?!? Parenthood has scrambled your senses, madam (as it does for most of us)! Don't have to write cards?!? If I miss a card for the Mrs on one of her days, I'll hear about it for the rest of my life!! If she misses a card for me, she'll never hear about it because I'll forget in less than a week.

      Easier being a man...psssh! The grass is always greener! :)