A fatalist's guide to Father's Day
Start lowering your expectations now
Your perfectly planned, pre-written Instagram story: My absolutely AMAZING kids let me sleep in until 9AM!!! #FATHERSDAY #DADLIFE #FATHERS #DADS #BLESSED
The shameful, nightmarish reality you’ll encounter: Your dipshit three-year-old son, who won’t eat, sleep, use the potty, or do any goddamned thing you ask, wakes up at 4:46 a.m., wailing in an ancient Assyrian tongue, refuses to go back to sleep until you lay in the bed with him, then headbutts you in the eye socket.
The picturesque Sunday brunch you envision: After a five-mile run to start the day right — #dadgoals — you’re greeted with a feast of banana-Nutella pancakes, crispy bacon, farm-to-table raspberries topped with a spritz of homemade crème, a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, and a generous cup of organic, ethically-sourced Sumatra steeped in a French press.
The breakfast you’ll choke down: A cheap plastic bowl teeming with Grape Nuts, Kirkland Signature frozen blueberries, and Kirkland Signature oat milk, paired with an industrial strength cup of Folgers. The same breakfast you’ve had for the past ten years — to stay regular — and the same breakfast you’re going to have until you die from pangolin-monkey-chimera-pox in a few years.
The gift experience you hope for: With the assistance of your thoughtful, affectionate children you unbox a Milwaukee, M18 FUEL, brushless, cordless, dual-bevel, 12-inch, sliding, compound miter saw WITH a 12.0-amp battery AND a portable stand, which was judiciously chosen by the love of your life — she really gets you! — and delivered with a lascivious wink auguring even spicier presents to come.
The gift experience you’ll receive: Your selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing, venal six-year-old daughter insists on opening your present, while playing keep away from her overmatched brother, which precipitates ear-splitting screaming that triggers an uncontrolled outburst from your own abused, inner child, which leads to both your kids howling “I WANT MY MOMMY!!!” while your wife gives you a dirty look and wonders how she got duped into marrying such a sulky, petulant asshole. Also, it’s another book about World War II you’ll never read.
The call you’ve always wanted from your dad: “I’m so proud of you, Son. You’re every bit the man I knew you’d become — and more — and you’re a far better husband and father than I ever was. I love you.”
The call you’ll have with your mom: “I was a kid. I barely knew him. Why are you so fixated on the past anyway? You need to worry about the present! This whole ‘insurrection’ witch hunt has Soros written all over it.”
The special daddy alone time you schedule: Half-hour bike ride while listening to the audiobook version of Crime and Punishment. An hour of unencumbered reading time at Philz — finally going to put a dent in Capital in the Twenty-First Century! Half-hour tending to and watering the garden, Chopin in your AirPods.
The special daddy alone time you’ll squander: Seventy-three-minute depression nap in your son’s bed. Twenty-two minutes hate-scrolling LinkedIn, seething at each undeserved promotion, each exploitative post sensationalizing someone’s tragic circumstances while extolling the virtues of toxic positivity, and each performative Juneteenth and Pride celebration by companies whose highest paid employees are overwhelmingly white and straight, and which donate overwhelmingly to regressive, GOP-led super-PACs. Four minutes playing Wordle. Twenty-one minutes washing dishes, listening to Deep Purple, wondering if there’s any reason to keep going.
The nightcap you fantasize about: The kids put themselves to sleep, you and wifey pop some edibles, tell Alexa to play Frank Ocean, and get freaky deaky with a sense of urgency unseen since the late noughties. You house a pint of Chunky Monkey together then drift off to the land of Nod watching Hard Target.
The nightcap you’ll encounter: You sit in an uncomfortable chair for two hours, waiting for your kids to fall asleep, because they’re afraid of the dark, reading articles in The Economist about the looming famine in Egypt, the ongoing mass-murder in Ukraine, child sexual abuse in the evangelical church, and the lunacy of Bitcoin, contemplating what you’ve been doing wrong, why your kids are so clingy — are you allowed to say pathetic these days? — and wondering how to instill in them toughness, gratitude, grit, determination, tenacity. By the time you drudge your carcass to the bedroom wifey’s out cold, drooling, in the fetal position, Magic Mike streaming on her phone. Too exhausted to masturbate, you eat the Chunky Monkey, pondering how it’ll feel to die alone.
Note: This post is violently heteronormative because that’s the only experience I — a literal and figurative Neanderthal — can speak to.
New artwork: Special shout-out to Chicago-based artist Shayne Taylor of Shayne Art for creating my new profile picture!
Absolutely thrilled with the final result and, having now commissioned my first ever piece of art, fully understand and empathize with the megalomania of two-bit dictators.
If you’re in need of an artist for a legitimate project or, like me, simply want to indulge your inner malignant narcissist, find the lovely and immensely talented Shayne in these places: Website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
Next up: Have a comedic piece in the works and planning to post another modified chapter from my never-to-be-published novel soon.
Would like to settle on a consistent day and time for email distribution (e.g., Wednesday morning, Friday afternoon, never, etc.). Leaning toward Friday morning but certainly welcome any thoughts and recommendations.
Happy Father’s Day.
Have a great weekend,