Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fight the Power Tools

Father's Day is around the corner. You know what that means: plenty of advertisements for power tools, golf balls, and neckties. Please, no drills or circular saws for me. I don't know how to use them. For me, a power tool is a laptop. Skip the golf balls too. It's not good family policy to spend five hours on a golf course hitting balls into sand and water. No one is comfortable wearing neckties (except for Mitt Romney), so don't buy those either. Can we order up some new cultural images of men? Are there fathers that we know that might like other kinds of gifts? How about a book? Maybe even a cookbook. No, not the ones about grilling meat. How about a simple cookbook for practical family meals with vegetables too!

Check out this Sears ad for Father's Day: "This is Destination Dad." No thanks. Instead, how about a gift certificate to a local restaurant that the family enjoys?

I give JCPenney credit for noticing that not all dads are exactly the same. They departed script with an advertisement of a gay couple and their children. Offering a diverse image of dads earned JCPenney a boycott from a group called One Million Moms (a group that doesn't actually consist of one million moms).

Recognizing the work of parents is a worthy endeavor (of course, the validation needn't come by way of consumerism). By all means, find some way to acknowledge the work of dads on this Father's Day. Buy something if you have to. Maybe even try to find a family-friendly gift for a dad that doesn't involve power tools, golf balls, or ties. (How about one of those awesome #1 Dad t-shirts?)

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