BAD DADITORIAL – Barnes & Noble Hates Dads (a/k/a “A Very Special Father’s Day Homily”)

19 Jun 2010 by Dear Bad Dad, No Comments »

Last weekend, Dear Bad Dad made the mistake of perusing the local Barnes & Noble’s Father’s Day display.

And by “display,” Dear Bad Dad means “small table stacked with random items that might appeal to men … assuming all men were sitcom dads portrayed by some hydra-like Tim Allen-Jim Belushi-Bob Saget demon creature.” It was reminiscent of how the local supermarket puts out every Jewish item in their inventory for Chanukah (“Matzoh ball mix and Sandy Koufax biographies on SALE! Oy, such a deal!”)

The Barnes & Noble table was set up with:

  • Golf books
  • Fishing books
  • World War II books
  • Maudlin father-son memoirs with titles like “My Dad’s My Biggest Bestest Hero Because He Wears Cardigans”

And that was it.

Now, Dear Bad Dad imagines there are plenty of Dads out there who like a good golf book. (The same ones would also enjoy “The Autobiography of Paint Drying” by Professor Snorey Von Narcolepsy.) But when the sport’s most famous player is a husband and father who gives new meaning to “doing 18 holes a day,” perhaps golf books are not the most family-friendly gift.

As far as fishing books go, isn’t the point of fishing to do everything BUT read? “Don’t turn the pages too loud! You’ll scare away the fish! Now hand me my blasting caps and dynamite so I can blow our catch into the boat.” The score in our “Genius Bookstore vs. Reasonable Gifts” competition is now 2-0.

Because Dear Bad Dad loves America, he has no real problems with World War II books as gifts for any occasion. Birthdays. Housewarmings. First Holy Communions. The Missus still has not let Dear Bad Dad forget about the time he gifted her with The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. In fact, Dear Bad Dad still can hear her grateful words: “I honestly cannot believe you gave me that for our anniversary.”

Finally, do Dads really need to read about other dads whose every encounter is enlightening?  Whose every word is measured and wise?  Whose every cardigan is the finest merino wool?

In the real world, we Dads get surly, we Dads screw up, we Dads say things we regret.  The bad news is: it’s like that for all Dads.  The good news is: it’s like that for all Dads.

So this Father’s Day, when you’re thinking of a present for Dad, he’d love to be given a little slack.  As Dear Bad Dad often says to The Missus: “No one’s gotten it perfect yet.”

A biography of General George S. Patton would also be awesome.

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