The Sunday before Father's Day, after I'm finished reading the newspaper, I'll turn my attention to the advertising circulars and check out all of this year's hot Father's Day gifts I won't be getting the following Sunday.
I'll gaze upon the stainless steel gas grills, marvel at the smart phones and wonder how anyone could look good in fly fishing waders. What would it be like, I'd ponder, to have paternity unapologetically commercialized for just one day?
I'm not bitter mind you, and my children aren't unappreciative of all of the good deeds I bestow upon them throughout the year. It's just that they, and my wife, know better.
I'm always of mixed feelings on those occasions when someone thinks that I might be deserving of a gift. The only people who are ever given to such a notion have access to the family bank account. And we can't afford it, dammit!
Did you hear that last statement? The exclamatory one? That's why I won't be getting any cool electronics from Best Buy for Father's Day.
They say you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth – you should also avoid looking up its recommended retail price on the Internet. But that's exactly what I do, every time.
As the family bookkeeper, I'm constantly on the defense against debt and on the lookout for unwarranted expenditures. I suppose that's an admirable fatherly trait, but it doesn't endear me to my loved ones when I open a present and my first impression reveals excruciating fiscal anguish.
Mind you, I'm not against breaking the budget when I'm the one giving the gifts. But to me, being a father means embracing the principles of self sacrifice. And I'll admit that it can lead to occasional bouts of self pity.
So I'm perfectly content with the homemade cards and heartfelt sentiments that will be coming my way on Father's Day. I mean, what would I do with a GPS device or a subscription to the craft-beer-of-the-month club anyway. Next time I'm lost on the highway or thirsty on a Saturday night, I'll just remember that my family loves me.
Really, that's all I need.
Submitted by Springfield Moms reader Dan Naumovich. (Funding for Naumovich's four children is provided in part by Dan Naumovich Freelance Writing – professional marketing and PR copy for businesses and organizations. Visit his website http://www.naumo.com for more information.)