After more than a decade of practice, I’m still not sure what a full-blooded adult dad is supposed to be—I just know that I’m not it. And neither are many accidental adults. Especially the kind of fathers that most retailers think we should be—judging by those “Gifts for Dads” displays that pop up in stores around Father’s Day.
Music for Dads:
Are we really supposed to buy CD box sets of Elvis, Jimmy Buffet, and The Doobie Brothers, just because we procreated? Sure, I’ll admit it. I’ve seen Neil Diamond in concert a few times. I was even singing “Bah-bah-bum” to “Sweet Caroline” long before it was cool. But I’m prouder to say I’ve seen Mötley Crüe, Ratt, and Prince several times, and at an age when more responsible fathers were spending their hard-earned money on family vacations and not on concert tickets.
Tools for Dads:
When was the last time you got excited over a socket wrench set or a wet/dry vacuum? Same here. So why do retailers think these are the perfect gifts for fathers? Don’t they know that gifting a tool sends the wrong message to us accidental adults? “Hey Daddy, you deserve a special treat that makes it easier for you to perform manual labor in every spare moment you have!”
Clothes for Dads:
By now, my family knows better than to give me a snazzy tie or a smart pair of trousers, and I hope your family does too. Yet too many clothing stores still think that most fathers simply love a good cardigan or a pair of toasty wool slippers. Like these stores, we accidental adults also are prone to delusional thinking from time to time. We may not be fashion-forward fathers, but most mornings, the guy we see in our bathroom mirrors is more of a Banana Republic dad than a JCPenney dad.
After a series of mind-blowing events, this year I’m hearing that my book will become a Father’s Day gift for some dads out there. A big-time women’s website even featured an interview with me and promoted my book as a fun gift idea. Chick Lit is Not Dead = http://chicklitisnotdead.com/2010/06/seven-seconds-in-heaven-with-the-accidental-adult/.
To think that this book might help some dads navigate the road to reluctant adulthood and take comfort in knowing there are other accidental adults out there? Ironically, that makes me feel downright “adult.” And I’ve just got to believe they’ll appreciate my book more than a Beach Boys box set. (If not, they’re probably assimilated adults anyway.)