The last word about dads on Father’s Day

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The last word about dads on Father's Day

You’ve gotta love June: a month fairly busting loose with life’s
celebrations. Last day of school. Weddings. Graduations. And that
third Sunday in June: Father’s Day.
You’ve gotta love June: a month fairly busting loose with life’s celebrations. Last day of school. Weddings. Graduations. And that third Sunday in June: Father’s Day.

If you are reading this, you probably have (or once had) a father. Unfortunately, there are fathers and there are fathers; some elect to be non-existent in the child-rearing department, which is sad. Dads who vaporized into the ether are referred to by the mom half of the parental equation as the “Sperm Donor.” Last I checked there were no calendar markings signifying “Sperm Donor’s Day.”

But if you are lucky, like I was, and had a great dad or at least a dad that tried his darndest to figure out you AND your mom when you were a kid, Father’s Day is a dandy time to appreciate him.

Now let’s not confuse “appreciate” with “understand.” There are things about fathers that we girls simply will never understand. But since moms and dads should co-exist peacefully in the world, it’s time someone takes on the duty of discovering what makes Dad tick.

To this end, I dedicated myself to exhaustive research lasting approximately 10 minutes and found several startling revelations – dare I say, “heretofore undiscovered truths” – about dear old (or young) dad.

First, dads possess shocking and tremendously confusing Male Dichotomies that baffle even the most sympathetic female. One such dichotomy is what I loosely categorize as “Stuff that Smells.” If you are married to a guy or have brothers or spent any serious time hanging out with guys (no, regular appearances at the dock during “Fleet Week” don’t count), you know guys have a peculiar attachment to smells. In fact, a cherished right of passage into guy-dom is clearing a room via certain rear-section-originated “emissions,” if you get my drift. I know this having been an unenthusiastic witness when my brother’s considerable, um … “talents” entertained his friends back when he was a junior member of the puberty patrol.

Now, given this curious fascination with … “fragrance,” how is it that when a duly crowned “Champion Emitter of Choice Gas-tations” becomes a father, he is unable to change a simple poopy diaper without a wildly energetic demonstration of gagging, retching and convulsive heaving when his own precious progeny produces a teeny-tiny bit of baby poop?

Naw, I don’t get it either.

Other unexplained dichotomies include “Selective Voyeuristic Viewing:” This is Dad’s ability to gawk appreciatively at sunbathing women in bikinis immediately preceding a thunderous edict to his 16-year-old daughter: “You will wear that bit-o’-dental-floss-bathing-suit to the beach over my dead body!”

Or the “It’s 5 p.m. SOMEWHERE” dichotomy where Dad invites buddies over to consume a few kegs followed by stern directives to his teenage son: “Don’t even THINK about drinking beer until you’re 30; I don’t care WHAT the legal drinking age is!”

And let us not forget the “School Daze” dichotomy: “I’d better never hear that you cut class, kiddo! You can just forget about going to college if you cut class.” Yes, friends, this from the guy who, with the help of his brother, once locked the biology teacher in a closet.

As if Male Dichotomies weren’t bad enough, dads are doomed to transfer certain distressing Father Genes to their progeny. One such anomaly is “Refrigerator Blindness.” This sad affliction has caused my husband and the father of our children to stand in front of the open refrigerator and mourn pitifully, “Where’s the butter? I don’t see the butter!” Mind you, there may be 15 pounds of butter in the fridge, but hubby is unable to see it due to Refrigerator Blindness. I was dismayed to learn this Father Gene inexplicably transferred to my daughters when, as teenagers, they stood in front of the open fridge and exclaimed, “There’s NOTHING to eat!” Yes, it was appalling, but being girls, they eventually grew out of it.

One more unsettling Father Gene passed from dad to child is the “Dirt-Deficient-Imagery-Syndrome.” You’ve gently pointed out to your spouse that he is the source of little annoyances like drink spillage, bathroom untidiness, crumbs on the counter and dishes in the sink, but because he carries “Dirt-Deficient-Imagery-Syndrome,” he’s UNABLE to see the things he generates. Then one day you open the door to your child’s room and spread before you are spilled drinks, stale sandwiches and a month’s worth of stinky socks. The bedroom floor is invisible. Reminding said child to tidy up his or her room you’re told, “I already DID, Mom!” Yep … “Dirt-Deficient-Imagery-Syndrome.”

Regardless, great guy that he is, the dad in your life nevertheless tries to understand your little frustrations. Perhaps he’ll even feel inspired to respond eloquently, “Huh?” No matter; this June 19, communicate in a manner he’s sure to understand: give him a strong, sturdy hug and heartfelt, “Happy Father’s Day! Thanks for being you!!”

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