Festering on Father’s Day

To be blunt, my Father’s Day sucked.

First of all I had to work. That right there takes a lot of the joy out of the day and eliminates a lot of options for celebrating. And I definitely didn’t want any presents. We’re broke and I don’t need anything. MJ got me my phone last month and that’s a big gift for Father’s Day, my birthday and Christmas combined. Besides, it has never been about the price tag on presents for me.

All I wanted was a card, a nice meal and maybe something thoughtful and homemade. But apparently that’s asking too much.

I received no card in the morning. Then I left for work, and got out just in time for gray skies and spitting rain. It also took me an extra 45 minutes to get home because traffic leaving the Cape was so shitty. When I got home from work, I noticed the house was really clean and I thanked MJ for her hard work. Then I proceeded to fold two loads of laundry. She told me she was cooking me dinner. Pasta with meat sauce. It’s one of my favorite meals, but honestly I offered to cook it myself because, well, I like my sauce better than hers. But she said it was Father’s Day and so I stepped aside.

Here is the series of events that followed:

My favorite kind of pasta is rigatoni. We were out of it. So I had a choice between tri-colored corkscrew pasta and spaghetti. I really don’t like spaghetti so I went with the lesser of two evils and told her anything but spaghetti. She inexplicably cooked the spaghetti.

She used sauce that had more of a hot, spicy taste. I abhor spicy food.

While cooking she broke a dish and cut her hand in several places. Which means I finished cooking the last of the meal while simultaneously cleaning up a plethora of broken glass and making sure my wife didn’t bleed to death.

When I do eat pasta I cover it with parmesan cheese. It is one of my favorite things on Earth. We were out of it.

One of my other favorite foods is garlic bread. MJ tried to make some homemade garlic bread but forgot it was in the oven and ended up burning it so badly I couldn’t eat it.

After the meal I got to do the dishes.

And let’s just say there was no dessert, if you catch my drift.

For Mother’s Day I made MJ breakfast in bed and brought her coffee in with a card from me and Will. Then I took Will out of the house and let her relax to do whatever she wanted for 3-4 hours.  I also made her dinner later that night. Nothing extraordinary by any means, but I wanted to acknowledge that it was a special day. Because she deserved it.

I know this post won’t be popular. After all we’re dads. Men. And men don’t complain like this about being shafted. We’re supposed to suck it up and move on and stop acting like babies. But fuck that. Is it really to much to ask that we get special treatment for one day?? And yes, I’m aware that there are extenuating circumstances here such as MJ being pregnant, her having to clean the whole house because of the current flea infestation courtesy of our three pets and she certainly didn’t mean to burn the garlic bread or cut herself by dropping a dish. I get it.

But would a a little effort have been too much to ask for? On Father’s Day I ended up with no card,  folding laundry, doing the dishes, eating food I don’t like and didn’t ask for, not eating food that I love because it wasn’t in the house and capping it all off sitting by my lonesome on the couch. Seriously, would a card have been too much to ask for? I would’ve settled for a homemade card with Will’s scribbles on it. And why ask me what pasta I want if you’re just going to forget my answer and cook the kind I don’t like? And then when things don’t go as well as planned I figured it’d all be made up after Will went to bed. Instead I sat on the couch alone and watched True Blood. Which, unfortunately, was by far the best part of Father’s Day.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Mother’s Day is THE parental holiday of choice. Father’s Day is more of an afterthought. And yesterday, so was I.

I guess all the stereotypes aren’t so off-base after all.

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30 thoughts on “Festering on Father’s Day

  1. I feel your pain. I raised the question yesterday if Dad’s out there like to have things planned for them on Father’s Day or just to have their family do whatever Dad requests. I for one would like my family to know me so well that they plan the perfect day without any of my input. But they usually say, we’ll do whatever you want…so what is it…and hurry up because we have other things to do.

    I got three handprint plaques from the kids, a nice sentiment but the deck is now covered in plaster that I will have to clean up. I vegged on the couch watching World Cup and Nascar while the kids made an effort to reorganize their room which of course involved a lot of screaming. As the race was winding down I had to make dinner. To be fair I suggested burgers on the grill and I didn’t mind doing it, but no one talked me out of it you know?

    Our other issue every Father’s day is how to balance me as Father in THIS family with my Father-in-law who lives in NYC about 45 min away. My wife always tries to spend some time with him also, so last night she left after dinner at 7 and didn’t come home til after Midnight…at which point she was too tired for ‘anything else.’

  2. I think you’ve got every right to feel upset. It’s hurtful to spend the day that’s dedicated to celebrating appreciation of you and all you do feeling unappreciated and overwhelmed.

    Speaking from the woman’s perspective though… if I’d screwed up dinner because I didn’t think ahead, forgot to get a card, broken a dish, cut myself, and could tell that my husband was feeling angrier by the minute… I probably would have been reluctant to offer him sex. Not because I didn’t want him, but because I’d have felt like a complete ass.

  3. I’m scared to post here, so I’m going all initials. Let’s just say, amen. Amen. The best part of my day was getting out of the house to a bookstore and coffee shop for 1 1/2 hours to read. I know she works hard w/ 3 kids 3 and under, but I do my damn best to freaking lighten her load (any free time is home, most weekends include long stretches where she can get out and do her thing). I’m not a saint, but I try fucking hard be available and helpful. A thank you for that in some form or fashion would have been nice. I’ll quit whining now. And you have more balls than I. Best wishes.

  4. You came to mind yesterday, and I almost sent you a txt to see how your day was going. Sounds like you had a pretty abysmal day, and for that I am sorry. You deserve a day of honor, just like mother’s do.

  5. I’m sorry you had such a shitty Father’s Day.

    I’ve noticed that Father’s Day isn’t as celebrated as Mother’s Day. Something I didn’t notice until this year when I celebrated my first Father’s Day. For example, at church for Mother’s Day the kids always do something special for all the moms including giving them all a flower as they file out at the end. For Father’s Day? Someone put a bowl of old chocolate bars on a table. Chocolate bars that had been in the fridge for a few months that they had forgotten to take out until the last minute. :p

  6. I am so sorry! SHe is new to this Father’s Day thing and your not her father. That’s why my husband tells me on Mather’s Day. It took till my kids were older for me to get a card.

  7. Dear Whiny Little Bitch,
    She did make you something thoughtful and homemade she made your home clean. So you made her a card for mother’s day that was thoughtful or was it. Cause it seems to me you only did it because you expected something in return. But correct me if I’m wrong didn’t MJ get that stupid phone for you on Mother’s day weekend because she thinks you do such a great job that she didn’t want all the emphasis on her. And another thing you told her you were working and didn’t want to celebrate on Father’s day but some other weekend. So do you think it is possible that MJ has cards for you but is waiting for the weekend you choose? Idiot! You aren’t being shafted you are being accommodated!!!! Are you aware that she is pregnant because it seems to me you have forgotten that more than once. As for your dessert it is kinda nice if your husband is speaking to you.
    The truth of the matter is that you are the WOMAN in he relationship. You tell her you don’t want any fuss because you are working. But really you wanted balloons and streamers. And why wasn’t there any of your precious cheese? Oh because the fridge has been broken and I suppose you got that fixed right? Didn’t think so. You are the emotional woman in this relationship. Was your day that bad? You got to see your wife and kid. She tried to make it better taking care of all the household stuff but that isn’t enough for you. There are men serving all over the world who would die to have the day you had, and they are dying. I suggest you re-evaluate the important things. The way I see it you could have had a completely different night had you had a different attitude about the extenuating circumstances she was trying your pissy attitude just wasn’t seeing it! So instead of this post being funny about how pregnant MJ shouldn’t cook you made it MJ is a bad wife. You’ve said some shitty things but what you insinuated here actually offended me. I suggest you get some happy pills to get your horomones under control. I’ll see you soon buddy.
    Love Al

  8. You have no clue what you’re talking about.

    First of all, work on your reading comprehension. I didn’t want a gift. I said the phone was enough for fathers day, ky birthday and Christmas combined. Second, I never said I wanted to celebrate on another weekend. In fact, MJ just mentioned that TODAY as a possibility. Don’t make it out like I’m being accommodated or it was all part of some master plan to celebrate another time, because that is a flat out lie.

    OoAs for being the woman in the relationship, well someone has to be right? I see no need to apologize for failing to become a mindless drone who fits the stereotypical mold of what men are supposed to be. If I wasn’t the “woman” sometimes we’d be in a lot of trouble.

    And bringing in fathers serving overseas in this argument is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s not even apples & oranges, its apples & fire hydrants. Is being underappreciated at home better than dodging bullets in Iraq? Of course. But just about anything beats that scenario.

    I’m not looking for a fuss or balloons or streamers. I’m looking for the most basic recognition any good dad is due on FATHER’S DAY.

    I don’t care who I offend with the truth. But make no mistake, it is the truth. If that’s tough to hear, oh well. MJ is not a bad wife, but for someone who JUST took me to task for not doing the little things its unbelievably hypocritical to turn around and crap the bed on Father’s Day.

  9. WLB,
    I assure you my reading comprehension is fine. I have always scored well above average in any standarized testing. “All I wanted was a card..” That is a gift. You had a bad Father’s Day because you had a bad attitude. “She told me she was cooking me dinner. Pasta with meat sauce. It’s one of my favorite meals, but honestly I offered to cook it myself because, well, I like my sauce better than hers. But she said it was Father’s Day and so I stepped aside.” She was attempting to make one of your favorite meals because it was father’s day. I believe that is “a little effort”. Don’t be mad at me because you are still pissed about the Celtics. I’m suggesting you re-evaluate the situation because your piss poor attitude is causing you to be miserable. I had great sex last night and I didn’t even get him a card.
    Love ya Al

  10. I would’ve gladly accepted sex in lieu of a card or anything else for that matter. In fact last year I wrote an entire column begging women to stop buying gifts & simply “give of themselves.” Card, sex, whatever it is, the point is a little recognition & some effort is what’s important.

    If guys half ass it on Mother’s Day we’re the most insensitive pricks on the planet for not having things planned out. But if women skimp on Father’s Day its no big deal & we should just get over it. It’s crap & I’m sick of it.

  11. At least she acknowledged the day in some way. I went my 1st two mothers day with no card from my husband, not breakfast, no “Happy Mothers Day” from him at all. We did stuff for our moms but he never said a thing to me about it even when both of our mothers gave me cards or said it.
    This year I got a card at least but I reminded him it was coming up a lot and HE slept in on mothers day when it was 2 weeks after we had our 2nd child and I was exhausted. I’ve gotten him a card and a small thoughtful gift every year and he just never puts in the effort. So it could be worse. Plus once our kids grow older they will make us stuff and be thoughtful (I hope.)

  12. To theoldguy,
    Loved your link. Can’t wait to see you. My mom has been reading your articles in the Sun and updating me :)
    Love Al

  13. @Andrea: That’s bullshit and your husband royally screwed up in my opinion. Again, no need for a diamond necklace but having something small and nice planned out would’ve shown you he cared. And that’s all I’m talking about. Same rules apply for dads and moms in my book.

  14. Sorry about your father’s day, man, that sucks.

    Since I blog about how Men have a responsibility to help their wives be happy, and should put their wife’s needs far above their own, I do not agree with some of the things you said…especially that you posted about it for the world to see. (although it is great hear that you take such good care of her on Mother’s Day!)

    Just my 2 cents…I’d say when your pregnant wife cuts her hand and is bleeding all over the place, is about the time you stop thinking about yourself, no matter if its Father’s Day, your birthday, or any other day.

  15. Eric:

    No man is a saint. I put my family’s needs first and foremost, but let’s not be disingenuous and pretend we don’t all want a little TLC, especially on Father’s Day.

    And its not like I left my wife bleeding on the floor. I washed her hand, made sure it was bandaged and then cleaned up the mess so nobody would cut themselves. She wasn’t hemorrhaging blood all over the kitchen and most of this had already transpired by that time.

    And as far as posting about it for the world to see, that is the entire purpose of this (and really all) personal blogs. Unlike many unrealistic and tedious parenting blogs, I choose to write about all of them, both the good and bad. Parenting and marriage isn’t just about sunshine and roses, its hard work. Some of it sucks. I chronicle my own failures here frequently, so why wouldn’t I do the same for my wife?

    Blogs that sugarcoat everything or skirt the nitty gritty are boring to me, and I refuse to fall into that category.

  16. Dear Daddy Files:

    “I chronicle my failures here frequently, so why wouldn’t I do the same for my wife?”

    Well, because she’s not doing the writing, it’s not her blog and there is such a thing as privacy in a marriage. I know you like the nitty and gritty, but does she? Did you ever ask? You might want the whole world to read about your life, but does your wife?

    That’s the thing about writing blogs. You have to be careful whose privacy you invade.

  17. Surprised Mom:

    I may not be the smartest man alive, but if you think I started writing this blog without first consulting my wife & getting her blessing then you’re crazy. She isn’t always thrilled with it but I told her it was all or nothing at the outset and she agreed to it.

    Obviously there are some exceptions & when she has asked me to hold back I generally have agreed. But this blog only works for me if its largely unfiltered. I give MJ a lot of credit for allowing me to do this but then again the majority of what I write about her is positive. But you have to take the good with the bad.

  18. Jeff: I encourage her to write rebuttals and posts of her own at every turn. She has before, but she didn’t like the criticism she got the last time so she hasn’t come back. As a journalist and, as JEE so lovingly points out, a dick, I have much thicker skin.

  19. TFT: I’ve been called worse. But I guarantee you a ton of dads think the same things I do about Father’s Day. I just wrote it down for everyone to see.

  20. I can honestly say as a mother and a pregnant one at that. If i had attempted to make my husbands fathers day wonderful and for whatever reason, realizing i didn’t have the correct pasta(ok a little upset, but maybe i can fix this)),no parmesean cheese (damnit..oh great now what), Garlic bread burnt ( verge of tears now) and top it off with cutting my hand( at this point i’d be crying..and be an emotional wreck.Feeling like I had failed). And then to have my husband complain about not getting “desert”. He’d be lucky if i even acknowledged fathers day the following year, with anything more than a trip to the market and a five minute scour for a card, that someone else wrote. Thankfully I read some of your posts after this to realize you really are a very caring sensitive guy. Put into perspective though. If on mothers day you made breakfast and on your way down the hall, you tripped, dumping the plate, then went back to make more eggs and realized you didn’t have any..ok so now you decide to drive to the market to buy more eggs, and the car won’t start…by this point you are frustrated. Right? So you go inside and make her a bowl of rice crispies, because at least you have that. and go to grab her card to bring it to her. Oops when you realize it floated to the floor and mud got tracked on it… honestly how would you have felt if she had blogged and complained about how bad her mother’s day was..when you had tried so hard…and again I am not saying you are bad…I honestly feel you are very empathetic, just was having a bad day. Just wanted to make a point i guess.

  21. A cheer for necroing a year old thread. Hope your FD was better this year. Mine kinda sucked a little….no card yet. Just a daughter that got frightened of being in a boat and went home. After tossing out $50 to rent the boat and drive to the lake. My fault that the prop came flying off the motor and ended up at the bottom of the lake? Could have been a lot worse! I’m just gonna tell her Comcast did it……

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