Look, it’s easy to dismiss Father’s Day. An artificial holiday, crafted by Hallmark, endorsed by the United Tie, Sock and Gadget Makers of America, celebrating the men who already pretty much dominate the country anyway. Who needs it?
Me, for one. I need it.
It’s not that I crave recognition for my fatherly efforts, or that I want to claim time to myself (to go running, or drink with friends, or whatever) by saying Daddy needs a day off. I don’t expect presents or cards—I don’t get the same thrill out of such things as some people.
But what I need in my life is structure. As a lazy-ass travel and food writer, I can do just about whatever I want, whenever I want. Which means editors have no qualms about sending me off to, say, Tunisia at the drop of a straw fedora. I leave, I come back, I go off again, with virtually no consideration for the days of the week or the months of the year.
The thing is, I like being with my wife and kid, and Father’s Day lets me tell editors (and myself): No, no travel, I need to be here for that day. Yes, it’s an arbitrary celebration. No, it will not be much different from any other Sunday. But, like Mother’s Day and various other birthdays and anniversaries, it’s a day I can claim back from my otherwise insane and pointless work schedule.
Plus, hey, Jean and Sasha gave me a tie! Neat.