Time for another installment of “Inside His Head”! This month’s question is about Father’s Day, which is Sunday, June 20.
If you’ve got a question for our anonymous panel of husbands, send it to mamas@nwaMotherlode.com and it could be answered in this monthly feature.
Q: Father’s Day is coming up soon and I don’t know what to get my husband. We’ve been married for eight years and I’m out of good ideas. Do you have any suggestions?
MAVERICK: You deserve high marks for wanting to get your husband something nice for Father’s Day. Most wives don’t give a crap since most men don’t [complain] if they don’t get a good present on Father’s Day or any other occasion.
But, since I don’t know what he likes, I can’t tell you what to get specifically. But here are some guidelines:
Avoid cliché gifts like ties, socks and mugs unless they’re really cool. Example, blah tie from discount retailer = not cool, but a tie with his favorite Family Guy character = cool. “The Number 1 Dad” mug is the female equivalent of flowers from a grocery story on Mothers’ Day but a mug made by his kid, hand-painted with scenes from their last fishing trip together is awesome.
Don’t be cheap. If you get him golf balls, don’t get him the cheapest you can find. There’s a difference. Figure out what kind he uses and get those. If you don’t know his favorite brand, ask a pal of his or somebody in the golf store he likes. Apply this advice to all other possible hobbies for general success.
Get him something that shows you actually see him for who he is or who he wants to be. If he loves action films, get him the director’s cut of one of his favorites. If he likes music, mix him a CD or download a playlist for him of his favorite songs or better yet, songs that remind you of him. If he likes UFC get him an action figure of his favorite fighter or spring for a pay-per-view fight he’d like to see.
Also remember men are not like women. A gift certificate to be used on our favorite hobby is considered a highly romantic gesture. Apply all previous rules here as well, in particular see not being cheap.
Get him something he’d love but likely won’t buy for himself. Say he stares longingly at one page in a gun catalog or a certain fishing rod, or an expensive pair of cowboy boots — this is a big clue. If you can afford it, pony up and get him something good once and a while. He’s your husband and your kid’s father. He likely works like a dog. Most dads would jump in front of a train for their wives and kids. Give him a present he’ll remember and cherish now and again. This suggestion does not apply to guys who regularly go to Vegas for the weekend with pals or who buy themselves motorcycles on the spur of the moment. Those guys don’t count.
Of course, all this advice hinges on you having a vague idea of what your husband likes and who he is at heart. If, after eight years, you don’t have a clue, do him a favor and give him a decent rechargeable drill and the card to a good divorce lawyer.
MAX: “Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.” ~ Bill Cosby
This question has a simple answer because it involves men. And, no, the answer isn’t sex. Women, bless their sweet, generous hearts, worry too much about things such as these. If you want to know what a man wants, ASK HIM.
“Honey, what do you want for Father’s Day??” [Warning: The answer to this question may be sex.] We are not deep thinkers. Our feelings aren’t bruised because you haven’t come up with the most perfect, creatively thought-of gift of all time.
Most men like to eat, watch sports on TV, [redacted] and play video games. If your man likes something else, he’ll tell you if you ask. Honest.
GRAY: Yes. Get him a shirt that says “After a week’s worth of Father’s Days my wife was completely out of gift ideas, so all I got was this lousy t-shirt.”
Seriously, hasn’t the industry given you plenty of inspiration? There are arrays of singing plastic fish, obnoxious boxer shorts and a veritable industry of fish-shaped neckties. If that doesn’t capture what you’re trying to express then might I humbly suggest the holy grail of Father’s Day gifts: something, anything (and, yes, they literally make everything) with #1 Dad stamped on it in lifeless black letters. I can think of nothing that collects dust faster, er, is more valued than #1 Dad merchandise.
And I think it’s great we live in a society that knows just what dads want. After all, the people making the stuff must know what they’re doing or the nefarious subculture of necktie fish should have gone belly up a long time ago. (I’m secretly surprised nobody ever combined the singing wall fish and the fish tie, that product seemed poised to be the next big thing in my mind.)
The truth is, we don’t much care and our expectations are pretty darned low. If you’ve gone through the trouble to do anything you know we’ll appreciate it. And you probably also know we have the sense not to wear the fish tie, singing or not, so unless you want us out in public with it on you’d best find a good hiding place.
To read more Inside His Head, click here.