The online shop Zazzle will shortly announce special discounts for Father’s Day: on Friday, ties are on sale, and on Saturday, you can get $6 off an embroidered hat.
I’m not writing this to encourage you to buy your dad a tie or an embroidered hat. I’m writing this to encourage you not to buy them. Please don’t. Buying dad a tie for Father’s Day is such a hackneyed choice that every year tired out comic authors roll out the “Gee, kids, a tie! Just what I always wanted!” strip… with green and red checks and a fish on it! Har har. And then Dad goes to his closet and tosses it onto the mountain of ties so big that it’s about to fall on top of him! Hardy har. Poor color choice isn’t the reason not to buy a tie for Father’s Day. There are some very lovely ties available with tasteful layouts. Buying your father something he already has enough of is a bad idea, to be sure, but it’s not the reason that I ask you not to get your father a tie.
Would a shiny new set of shackles for a prisoner be a thoughtful gift? Ties are shackles. They’re the mark of a man’s subservience to the role he assumes in order to bring home a paycheck. They’re worn around his neck like a noose, suitable for grabbing and yanking by a supervisor or a subcommittee. Why celebrate that? If you feel the need to give your father a gift, why not give him something he wants instead of celebrating his mandates? Give him a new set of guitar strings, or an ocarina (every father secretly yearns for an ocarina). Or don’t buy something. Bake him a cake. Pick some flowers in the field out back. Or don’t give him anything material at all. Give him a nap. Oh, yes, a nap.
And oh, embroidered hats? Well, they’re just dorky.