Let’s just put it bluntly: I’m not a fan of days that honor people. Fathers Day. Mothers Day. Grandparents Day. Secretary Day. Valentine’s Day. Pretty much any day where it’s prescribed to pay tribute to a particular person on that day. I’m all for holidays where people do things together. Christmas. Thanksgiving. The Fourth of July. But as soon as it’s this “make sure you show _____________ how much you love them,” I want to head for the door.
It’s not that I don’t love the people in question. It’s more that I feel like the trappings around the day are phony. I certainly don’t expect or even really want to get anything special for Father’s Day, and (sad spoiler alert, though i think all my parents long ago must have realized this) I don’t get my parents anything either. Not even a card.
I know. I’m a terrible son.
But that right there is why I dislike the days. If I did get them something, does that suddenly make me a wonderful son? I don’t think so. A more accurate evaluation would come from observing my behavior over the course of a year. Do I do things to help out when I can? Do I try to keep in touch? Why should this one day suddenly take precedence over all of that?
In the days of social media, it’s even worse, as everyone I know seems to have heartfelt posts about their father or mother or spouse or someone, and I’m there on Facebook, just sort of . . . not saying anything. (Man. My parents really got a raw deal out of their son.) I try to talk myself into writing something. I mean, I write things all the time, so you’d think it wouldn’t be difficult for me. But I can’t bring myself to publish them, because they feel fake to me. Forced.
Saying “I love you” when you’re told to . . . what does that really achieve?
I get it. I’m overthinking the whole concept. It’s just supposed to be a day where you make sure you show someone you love and appreciate them. What’s the harm in that? No harm, I guess. I just can’t really find it in me to get behind it. Maybe it’s the incessant ads suggesting what you should get your father for Fathers Day. (Tools! Televisions! Other manly things!) Or maybe my heart is two sizes too small. Maybe it has to do with my parents divorcing when I was young. I guess I could always go seek some counseling around this . . . but I don’t think I’ll overthink it quite that much.
In any case, if you notice I’m generally radio silent on “special days,” now you know why. You also might understand why holidays like Groundhog Day are so appealing to me. A day when I can celebrate something however I want, with whomever I please. A day with no expectations at all. Give me more of those each year, and let me show everyone how much I love them at my own pace, at a time of my own choosing.
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