Dads don’t require high maintenance

Father’s Day is one of the lowest stress holidays on the calendar.

Almost everyone loves their father, but if you ranked all the holidays in order of importance it would probably fall just after National Toe Fungus Day.

Mother’s Day, on the other hand, would rank in the top three or four. Mother’s Day is not a low-stress holiday. You’d better not forget it and you’d better come up with something good to celebrate it.

Not that mothers are hard to please — you could take a stick you found in the yard, cut a notch or two in it, tie a ribbon around it and tell her you made it for her and be rewarded by a quart or two of maternal tearshed. I’m sure my mother had cards I made for her in elementary school squirreled away in her archives.

Fathers aren’t usually as sentimental as mothers. I remember as a small child asking Dad for a dollar so I could get him a present for Father’s Day and then he had to drive me to the store so I could buy it. The Princess, when she was small, would take me for breakfast at McDonald’s, just her and me. I still remember the pancakes and small-girl chatter fondly. Guess dads can be sentimental, too.

Dining out was different for both holidays. Mother’s Day usually involved a trip to a restaurant selected by The Queen and The Princess. This meant sneaking a peanut butter sandwich before we left.

Their favorite restaurants usually involved a lot of white food. Chicken or fish cooked in foreign ways with exotic spices and sauces, accompanied by green things I didn’t necessarily recognize. I don’t really trust a restaurant that doesn’t list a hamburger somewhere on the menu. Most of these places do have good bread and something tasty to dip it in that they bring out before the meal; this has helped stave off starvation on several occasions.

Father’s Day this year might involve a trip to one of my favorite restaurants. A little Italian-American place, really homey with a terrific steak and French fries. Our youngest Prince and I go there every couple of months or so to celebrate the fact that we are unabashed carnivores. They have good bread also, so the ladies will be able to survive while the males do what males are prone to do and consume massive quantities of red meat.

My offspring, when younger, would often complain that there was a Father’s Day and a Mother’s Day and not a Children’s Day, which brought about the usual rebuttal from their parents that every day was Children’s Day. It didn’t seem to sink in any more than it did when I got the same answer to the same question when I asked it as a child.

I didn’t have to ask my dad for a buck to get him a present this year. I lost him years ago. The next time I go up north I think I’ll leave a bottle of his favorite adult beverage on his headstone and say “Thanks.”

That’s all a dad really needs occasionally. It doesn’t even need to happen on a special day. Dads aren’t high maintenance.

Thought for the week — “Money can’t buy you happiness — but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.” — Spike Milligan.

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

Reach Dick Brooks at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1


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