Father’s Day: The 362nd most important holiday on the calendar


I’m not saying I don’t appreciate it. I do. Brunch at Denny’s will be nice. I’m not bitter or anything. But don’t tell me that Father’s Day is a big deal, because it’s not.

Okay, the newspapers and greeting card companies and the stores that want to sell us things sort of make a big noise to pump it up for a couple of days beforehand. According to USA Today, our loved ones spend between $48.32 and $70.11 on average for sporting goods, tools and appliances, special outings on the day itself, hedge clippers, consumer electronics, computer gear, stuff like that. I guess the tie is out, having received such bad publicity for the last 25 years or so. That’s a good thing. An iPod is better than some lame clothes, for sure, particularly business attire. But don’t try to sell me on the day itself. Because according to my calculations it comes in behind just about every other important day on the calendar.

I mean honest, thanks very much, but you think we don’t know it’s just a make-good for Mother’s Day, which is a huge national spasm of love and affection, and preceded the establishment of our day, by Richard Nixon in 1972, by nearly sixty years!? According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother’s Day is the #1 day for people to dine out in the United States. Not so with Father’s Day. We dine, fine. But #1 we’re not.

Holidays that kick Father’s Day in the butt, along with the aforementioned Mother’s Day, include: Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day (Indigenous People’s Day in Berkeley, California), Christmas, New Year’s, President’s Day, Independence Day, and the day the next Harry Potter novel is released. That’s only a partial list. If you’re religiously observant, I’m sure there are ten or twelve that come to mind in addition.

Perhaps that’s as it should be. We’re men. We can take it. And when Sunday comes, it’ll be all right. The pleasures of the day itself are considerable.

Just do us a favor, dudes in control of the big machine: Don’t try to sell this nice little invention to us in a big fat box with a red ribbon on top. We’re not buying it.

I will, of course, take that cool little flash drive you knew I wanted and say thanks, guys. I love you, too.

Subscribe to Well Adjusted, our newsletter full of simple strategies to work smarter and live better, from the Fortune Well team. Sign up today.