For Father's Day I Want Cool Presents

I’m pushing 40, and I still love getting presents, especially ones that come wrapped in boxes. Presents are mysterious and awesome. I possess the same child-like excitement (and penis size) today when I open a present as I did when I was a youngster.

I’m also happy to accept presents in the form of cash, check, gift card and other currency.

For Father’s Day I want cool presents.


My wife has an excellent track record of shopping for me. My three favorite gifts from her are the Playstation 2 she got for my birthday when we first started dating (which introduced me to the hooker-beating and drug dealer-decapitating world of Grand Theft Auto Vice City), a TiVo for Hanukkah, and the eight boxes of tea tree oil cinnamon toothpicks for a just-because occasion.

There have been some misses, but there’s no need to mention them all, so I’ll only talk about one. Thank you Wife for that $10 steamer–not of the Cleveland persuasion–you purchased from Groupon that doesn’t steam and was most likely manufactured by our toddler. You should have just just put a bow on one of his shit diapers instead. That lowered your gift-giving ERA a bit.

Some dads claim they don’t want gifts for Father’s Day, only family time. To them I say, What is fun about that? And I call bullshit. Oh sure that’s the humble thing to say when you have an audience, but it’s self-righteous bunk. If you’re so giftaphobic then why not return your iPhones, Callaway Big Berthas and Tumi computer bags?


My six-year-old has thrown a wrench into gift-giving in our household by eradicating the element of surprise. He has a big mouth, and under no circumstances can he keep a secret about presents that my wife and I get each other. I can sense when he’s about to spill the beans by the conspicuous, bursting expression on his fun-spoiling face. Last time, I tried stopping him in his tracks but to no avail.

He ran up to me, panting as though he discovered the location of that missing Malaysian plane.

“Dad, guess what?”

“I need you to use every single muscle in your body to stop yourself from telling me what Mom got for me for my birthday,” I said.

“I’m not going to tell you.”

“You will. It’s what you do.”

“I won’t,” he insisted.

“I don’t believe you. We’ve been down this road too many times in your short life.”

“I won’t tell you the main present she got for you, just the smaller one that’s…”

“Dah dah dah! I don’t need to know. It’s a surprise. Don’t tell me.”

“Just the smaller one that’s red and has long sleeves and a hood.”

“So a red hoodie?”


“Thank you for telling me. Once again Mom has confided in the world’s worst confidant.”

“What’s a confidant?”

“Someone who keeps secrets.”

“Oh, so not me?”


They say the best defense is a good offense, so I’ve decided to take preemptive measures against my son and get myself a Father’s Day present. I bought myself concert tickets. That’s right. I’m going to see Pearl Jam in Milwaukee this fall for the ninth time in my life.

I wanted my son to know how empowering this felt, so I paused the World Cup match between Cameroon and Mexico to tell him.

“Hey!” He shouted. “I was watching that.”

“I got myself a present for Father’s Day.”

“Can you press play?”

“I got Pearl Jam tickets! I’m going to see them at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee.”

“I really want to watch the game.”

“For the ninth time! How awesome is that?”

“Can you move so I can see the TV?”

He was unimpressed. That’s fine. He can have his World Cup, and you other dads can have your family time.


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Filed under: Father's Day, Holidays, Tradition

Tags: presents

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    Chocolate Diapers

    I am a vitamin D-deficient former Floridian--who, despite the winter--loves Chicago. I contradicted convention (and common sense) by moving FROM the beach to the Midwest, but Lou Malnati's and any Italian beef sandwich reinforce that I made the right decision. I also got a wife and two sons out of it, and I would do anything for my family, except miss a Miami Hurricanes football game. This is my take on fatherhood. You can contact me at Thank you for reading!

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