What are you doing for Father's Day?
I keep getting junk email advertising all kinds of bloke-oriented toys and gizmos that I might want my family to buy me as tokens of their appreciation for my very existence. Remote control items seem to be the thing this year - cars, helicopters, dragonflies, boats, you name it. There are plenty of other bits and bobs on offer as well, from Sat Navs to football playing robots to little fridges to keep beer in. Bizarrely, one company even thinks I might find some digital calipers useful. Even more bizarrely, the only use I can think of for digital calipers is to measure the internal diameter of my nostrils. (I've spent so long around small children, I suspect I'm going native).
Besides gifts, I've also had suggestions for special Father's Day trips I might fancy. There's a deal on at the zoo, for instance, giving a slightly reduced entry fee for families if you eat at the restaurant. Big whoop.
The problem is that none of this advertising really seems to speak to our situation. It's all along the lines of 'Remember to take time out from work. Relax, play and celebrate your family. Spend some quality time with them. Oh, and drink some beer.'
I get to play with toys all the time, however. We have at least three remote control cars in the house already - one only turns right, one is supposed to turn both ways but only turns right and the other is broken and doesn't turn at all but is a model of Mario on a kart so we can't get rid of it. I already have small children to watch play football badly. I don't care what temperature my beer is. None of the stuff really appeals. (Although I might be tempted by some remote control, football playing beer. I still wouldn't care what temperature it was, though).
As for taking the kids for an exciting day out to the zoo... That would be rewarding hard work with more hard work.
Sarah has a similar problem when Mother's Day rolls round. All the advertising involves children thanking their mum for the sweat and tears she's shed looking after them all year. It's a time for mums to put their feet up while someone else makes Sunday lunch. This just makes Sarah feel guilty for never making Sunday lunch. She'd just like a bit of appreciation for being her.
That's another story, however. The question is how to mark Father's Day. I'm not even wanting any games or DVDs - between renting and the ones I've got already, I've more entertainment available than I have time to fill. Which, I guess, pretty much suggests the solution. Even the kids managed to work it out without prompting. What I could really do with is some peace and quiet.
This Father's Day the children are going to show their gratitude for all I do by leaving me alone for a change. Sarah's going to take them to the zoo and I'm going to stay here and put my feet up. I'll take some time out from work. I'll relax, play and celebrate my family being somewhere else. I'll spend some quality time with the Xbox. Oh, and drink some beer.
Have a good one.
Yours in a woman's world,
PS Three weeks and seven plumbers later, the leak is finally fixed. There's a good chance we'll have to move out while the damage to the walls is repaired but for now we've just got three large air-blowers cluttering the place and making the house sound and smell like a laundrette.
A big, blue, blowy thing.
I want to take one of these along to a convention of stylists and do a Crocodile Dundee. "That's not a hair-dryer. This is a hair-dryer."