A week or so ago, our husbands told us what they wanted for Father’s Day. A new umbrella to replace the broken one. A black belt that’s exactly like the worn out one. More of the same cologne they’ve been wearing since college.
That’s so boring. Who wants to shop for things our guys actually need? So we tried to Google gifts for our guys. That was our first mistake. One site recommended a bowtie, baseball tickets or an iTunes gift card as great gifts for Father’s Day. What?
Our guys don’t wear bow ties. Baseball tickets are a good idea, except when your team is on a losing streak. (Hello, Phillies?) And an iTunes gift card? That’s what you give to a middle schooler on his birthday. “Here sweetie, here’s $10 to spend any way you want on iTunes.”
Gifts.com looked promising and tried to be helpful. It asked us to pick a celebrity dad/husband who was most like ours – and they would find gifts to match. Our first choice was Cake Boss Buddy Valastro, who they called the “Foodie Dad.” He’s family oriented, warm and effusive, and he can be counted on to bake a great cake, but our husbands wouldn’t know a cake pan if they tripped over it.
Neil Patrick Harris, the “Metro Dad,” could be your choice if your husband is gay and just hosted the Tony Awards. So we picked Will Smith, the “Classic Dad.” He seems like the guy next door – and in fact he is from the neighborhood (West Philly). But when he climbs into his private plane to vacation in the Bahamas with his actress wife and their entourage of agents, bodyguards and a personal chef, that’s where the similarities end.
We were disappointed when we clicked through to the “perfect match gifts.” They fell into predictable categories.
Drinking: You’d think that all dads are big shikkers. For Father’s Day gifts, Dads can make their own whiskey, drink tequila out of Himalayan salt glasses, open a beer with a baseball bat bottle opener, or be the proud owner of their own personalized stoneware “growler.”
Sports: Evidently, every dad must play golf, judging from the numbers of personalized tees, golf club cuff-links, and embroidered club covers advertised. There are even spatulas and barbecue tools shaped like golf clubs. Which leads us to our next category. . .
Grilling: All dads must be great at manning the grill, so maybe they’d love the potholders shaped like boxing gloves, the personalized spice rubs with their name on the jar, and the $119 reclaimed wood cookbook stand. (Our husbands don’t own their own cookbooks – or even use ours.)
Grooming: Let’s not pretend that our men are interested in shaving sets with badger-hair brushes and sandalwood shaving cream or in the latest Tommy Hilfiger cologne. Maybe manufacturers know that men don’t go for those highfalutin designer colognes. That’s why there’s country singer Tim McGraw’s eau de Toilette spray for only $26 and soaps that smell like beer. All of the grooming-related Father’s Day gifts are picked by women to clean up their men.
Power Tools: There are plenty of drills, right angle impact drivers (huh?) and deluxe tool kits to choose from, but we dismissed this category. Our husbands’ favorite power tool is the remote control – and they already have a few.
Random tchotckes and really bad ideas:
- The book entitled 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die. Give it to him at 5 p.m. and then wonder why he’s afraid to sit down to dinner.
- The custom-made stuffed doll with a photo of your loved one’s face. Would he want to cuddle with a stuffed doll of himself? Should we put our faces on these dolls? Creepy.
- Fish-shaped paper clips in a sardine can. “Oh, thank you, Sweetie. That’ll make reading this 80-page lease document so much more fun.”
- Gourmet boxes of chocolate: Men can walk past a box of chocolate for two weeks. Any gift of chocolate will be eaten by us, and that’s just unnecessary.
Our husbands are at a point in their lives where they can purchase the things they want. They don’t need to ask our permission – even if it’s a splurge. One of them carefully deliberated, weighed the choices, and then ordered sandals directly from Israel. The other did the exact same process with whiskey from Scotland. Their self-bought gifts arrived a few days before Father’s Day. Thank goodness for the Internet.
But on Sunday, they will act surprised when they open our gifts – the belt and umbrella.