The Under Appreciated Parent

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m terrible at remembering dates. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays… you name it. I can not remember a one. That is except my birthday, my brother’s birthday (which is almost a perfect inverse of mine), and that of a certain close friend of mine (which is a few months shifted left of my brother’s). As such, it is often the case that I am either last minute shopping or just not getting a gift at all. More the latter, than the former.

But Father’s day is the one holiday of the year where my seeming lack of appreciation for the special days of others doesn’t seem too bad. Because it is a well known fact that fathers get the crappiest gifts. If it isn’t another tie, it’s another sweater or a set of cufflinks, a watch, a shirt, pants, shoes, cologne… and so on. A gift from the same set of dry and boring gifts that are available at stores everywhere, every year.

When I was younger, I used to joke that if I become a father, my gift must not be from that boring collection. Perhaps a night on the town, some bar-hopping, the company of beautiful women other than my wife… You know? The things a man can really appreciate. But as I grew older, I came to realise why it is that father’s seem so under appreciated on Father’s day – and it is not as it may appear, because we love them any less than their significant other’s.

For if you took a good look at my personal list of Father’s day delights, you will notice that not a single gift there can be given by a child who is still a child. Certainly by the time boys are old enough, or prosperous enough to afford a night on the town with their fathers – they are no longer boys. And, by the time girls alongside a love interest can afford to indulge their father’s company… They are definitely no longer girls.

Thus it is that fathers are condemned to half a lifetime of token gifts and displays of affection. Being the good sports they are though, most fathers accept their gifts with gratitude – and up to a certain age, even with some joy. But cologne gets old after a while, and while women can never have too many clothes, men certainly can.

So I want to challenge those of you who can, to give your fathers something they will really enjoy this year. Think outside of the box. Fuel his hobby, fulfill his desire, and grant him the one thing he hasn’t had all his parental life: a good Father’s day gift. To those of you who can’t, let your father know that this crap is only for the moment – In a few years, he’ll be getting much better. As for me… When is Father’s day again?

Damola Mabogunje

Software Engineer by day, Blogger, Poet and Author, by night, I spend my days writing everything from the convex comma, to highly complex code.

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