Happy Fathers Day?

8:26 AM


Every year, this day would roll around, a few weeks after Mothers Day and I would be reminded that men get no love. Let me first explain that I grew up in a retail environment, one that capitalizes on such holidays. There were times when Valentines Day and Mothers Day had almost the same action as Christmas, but even in those times Fathers Day got barely any love.

This Fathers Day, I took it upon myself to make up gift sets to sell. Out of 12 sets, 2 sold. As we tried to do the same thing we did on Mothers Day to get rid of them (standing at the side of the street and screaming at drivers), I discovered some sad truths:
  • People did not consider buying their father a gift;
  • People don't think the fathers they know deserve a gift. As one lady said, her brother is a sperm donor;
  • People are not willing to shell out money for a gift, a couple people wanted gifts for $5 and $10;
  • Men would never give gifts to other men when it comes to something like Fathers Day;
  • People would not consider giving a gift to a man who is not their father but is a father, be it an uncle, a friend, etc
  • Mothers are more in the minds of people than fathers as evidenced by the fact that all the gift baskets we had on Mothers Day sold out while we only sold two for Fathers Day, and those two were the cheapest one.
But what does this say about us as a society? Now I must admit, for the week, sales have been lackluster and that particular day, St. John's was almost a ghost town. Unlike Mothers Day, no extra people were on the sides of the streets selling gift sets and baskets. In fact I only saw one table with gifts for fathers, but I have a strong feeling the woman went home with the bulk of her stock.

But why no love for the fathers?

Is it that we have so many deadbeat dads, sperm donors and the like that people have no desire to give their fathers a gift of appreciation? Is it a matter that we, as a society, don't encourage showing affection to the men, even if they are our fathers? Is it a matter that Mothers have gone through so much that they expect something on that one day set aside for them? Is it a matter that there is a disconnect between fathers and their children?

Perhaps fathers, in general, have never played a major role in the upbringing of the child. As such their offspring don't have a positive emotional connection with them. Said offspring categorizing their fathers in to one of the following:
  • Breadwinner
  • Disciplinarian
  • The man who passes by every now and then
  • The man who gives them sweets and other unimportant things
  • The man who sleeps at their house
  • Nowhere to be found
Then again, what example do men have on being a good father? How can they be a good father if they never had one? That's why I miss shows like the Cosby Show, where there was a great example of a good father, but now a days who do men or even young boys have as fatherly role models? And what makes a good father?

According to AskMen's article, 12 Traits of a Great Father, a good father,
  • is a good disciplinarian
  • allows his kids to make mistakes
  • is open minded
  • teaches his children to appreciate things
  • accepts that his kids aren't exactly like him
  • spends quality time with his children
  • leads by example
  • is supportive & loyal
  • challenges his kids
  • teaches his children lessons
  • protects his family at all costs
  • shows unconditional love   
There you have it, with all the information at our finger tips, why aren't there more great fathers? I'm not saying that one can have all the traits, but a few doesn't hurt. And if you haven't noticed, they don't cost a thing.

Maybe I'm being idealistic in believing that men should step up to the plate and be good fathers. Maybe I'm being a capitalist in hoping that children would want to buy their fathers gifts. Maybe I should accept that Fathers day will slip away into obscurity with a few of us still giving the men in our lives a token of our appreciation. Just maybe. 

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