The Liquid Father’s Day Phenomenon I Never Had
By Francine Cohen
The phone rang today as I stood in the greeting card aisle of the drugstore. It was an industry pal on the end of the line, calling with a potential opportunity to work together. Normally, I’d be all business and, when asked the standard beginning of a phone call “Hi, how are you?” question would respond with the universally acceptable, “Great, how are you?” but this time I couldn’t. I was too moved by the fact that here I was, standing in front of all of these Father’s Day cards decorated with images of tools and cars and liquor bottles and sports paraphernalia and littered with sentiments such as “you’re the glue that held our family together” and “I always admired you and am glad to know you more each day” and none of them seemed right for the situation, which was picking out a Father’s Day card for my father-in-law who has little interest in sports and cars or liquor or fixing things. Frankly, I was flummoxed. And said so.
Of course the situation was probably compounded by the fact that my own father died when I was little and my memories of him are minimal and mostly tied to food and entertaining. So today’s shopping expedition was a double whammy – I had absolutely no point of reference for those made for television movie fathers who toss a ball around in the yard and teach you how to drink scotch neat. Those are skills I learned on my own with a little help from my high school boyfriend and men’s magazines.
That’s not to say I didn’t have a great role model in my stepfather, who came along during my teenage years. I credit him with instilling great, strong character traits which I rely upon this day and I value his love and respect greatly. But, much like my father-in-law, he’s not a drinker. Though he is VERY handy around the house.
So, after finally finding just the right card for my father-in-law that shared a warm sentiment but didn’t Continue Reading…