Last week, I stopped by Papyrus to pick out a Father’s Day card for Steve. Based on what I saw depicted in the cards, there are three things that dads are interested in: barbequing, beer, and golf.
That’s the best that the greeting card industry can do? Maybe it’s because I’m married to a man who is a wonderful dad but who has no interest in any of those subjects that I find it downright insulting. It’s like saying that the only things that women care about are shopping for shoes, making cupcakes and going out for cocktails with the girls.
Based on the cards I saw, men are the shallowest of creatures, barely evolved from Neanderthals. I saw cards that had pictures of cats expressing deeper thoughts than the sentiments on most Father’s Day cards. Apparently, if there is cold beer in the fridge, a piece of red meat on the grill, and sports on the TV, all of a man’s dreams have been fulfilled. Yep, laughing and scratching, that’s men for you.
It seems like the folks who are designing the cards are stuck in some image of fathers in the 1950s. I’m sure there are many more fathers these days who spend their free time learning about gadgets and technology rather than playing golf or fishing. Yet I didn’t see any cards that had jokes about techno-geek dads.
But far more important than stereotyping fathers based on their hobbies, is what is the message communicated in the cards. How about honoring dads for working hard every day to take care of their families? Or helping their children build character and integrity? Or modeling respect for women by the way the treat their wives?
It’s certainly fine to poke fun at dads – Steve will tell you how I get a delightedly evil gleam in my eye when I find a way to tease him. But please, let’s not make the “men are idiots and if it wasn’t for the level-headed, smart women around them they would probably be running with scissors” attitude that seems to be in every TV commercial the basis for what Father’s Day is all about.
Mother’s Day cards are full of the heartfelt sentiments about how mom taught the important lessons in life and sacrificed for the sake of the kids. I think dad would appreciate hearing that once a year too.