Kenny Bodanis wants to celebrate Father’s Day with something more than a new tool for his garage.
“Everyone knows, the way to a man’s heart is through his tool shed,” the Father’s Day promotional radio ad began.
For the rest of it, I’ll have to paraphrase—I was distracted after rolling my eyes and veering out of my lane.
“The same way you love steam irons, push vacuums, and pot scrubbers as gifts—because they make house-wifing so easy—so does your husband love being reminded of his most important role as household janitor.”
Calm down, You. Yes, You. I know You’re out there: Nescafe at O-600 before the project gets rolling; lemonade at 1000 as You holster your cordless Makita and marvel at how ahead of schedule You are; for lunch, a baguette wet with scrapings of chili sauce from the bottom of the bowl, washed down with a Bud at 1200 (all eaten with your bare, dirty hands); and, by suppertime, even the neighbors are impressed with the laser precision and speed you demonstrated erecting that new fence, or deck, or extension, or Olympic village.
I am not You, I’m Me. And this is Father’s Day; not Butler Day, or Concierge Day, or Maintenance Man Day, or Pool Boy Day (aka, Mother’s Day).
Father’s Day is meant to honor what my Fatherhood represents to my wife and children.
Everyone but retailers seems to understand that.
Cat Stevens understood it. So did Mike and the Mechanics, Jimmy Buffet, John Lennon and Elton John.
That understanding is the reason “Father and Son”, “The Living Years”, “The Captain and the Kid”, “Beautiful Boy”, and “The Last Song” do not mention a DeWalt 18v Li-Ion XR Combi Drill (found here, on sale in Europe).
I wrote a similar post last year at this time when I was driven just as mental when another reno outlet tried to get me cordlessly screwed on my auspicious day.
But, I get it. hardware stores target men, Father’s Day celebrants are 100% men, ergo: advertise tools on Father’s Day.
But here’s my theory: if you’re a pro-level do-it-yourselfer (PLDIY), you have all the tools you need. If you don’t, you certainly ain’t delaying any project until June in anticipation of a name-too-advanced-for-me-to-think-what-it-could-possibly-be saw. You’ll buy it when you need it.
Contrarily, if you’re like me—a mid level learning-as-I-go but making-the-occasional-very-serious-mistake-along-the-way do-it-yourselfer (LIGOMOVSMAWDIY): home renos can be satisfying, but they are most often a source of frustration and a reminder of how much I have yet to learn.
I don’t need a Father’s Day gift to remind of how far I have left to go before the hole I measure and the wood I cut actually have a geometric working relationship.
On Father’s Day, I want someone to celebrate and reward my work as a Dad. This can be done in any number of ways: hugs, breakfast in bed, sending me out to a movie, buying me dinner (yes, it’s a joint account, but the thought really does matter); or how about a massage, or a facial? I like massages! Why are hot rocks, pedicures, and cuticle-scrapings not offered publicly as Father’s Day gift ideas?
Imagine the ground-breaking marketing scheme in which a major beauty/cosmetics company spends a fortune pushing the idea of deep, oily, soothing massages as gifts for husbands on Father’s Day.
I’ll bet women would flock to the idea for the novelty alone. What? Just get him a gift certificate? Done!
But, instead, women are told the way to their man’s heart is through their tool shed. And men are told to accept their gift, get back to work, and reciprocate with a washer/dryer for Mother’s Day.
The only way my heart will be found in my tool shed on Father’s Day is if it’s buried out there under the floor boards à la Edgar Allan Poe, driving neighbors mad with its rhythmic beating; resembling the sound of the electric hammer I don’t have.
I need a hug, and a massage.
Photo credit: Flickr / Kheel Center, Cornell University