Dads – Don’t Pull Your Punches!

8 Sep
Phew! I’m glad Father’s Day is over for another year. In our household, it caps off three months of present-giving to my husband. Birthday in July, wedding anniversary in August and Father’s Day in September. That’s a lot of gifts to come up with. Not that my husband demands them. Not at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I always ask him what he would like and he always replies ‘nothing’. Now, I come from a long line of enthusiastic present-givers. It goes against my grain to not give a gift for a significant occasion. In contrast, my husband comes from a line of non-enthusiastic present receivers. He’s definitely learned how to receive gifts graciously but let’s just say gifts don’t really float his boat. His attitude is – if I want something, I’ll buy it myself. That attitude doesn’t really leave a lot of room for me to give him anything. And let’s face it, there aren’t many great options for men’s gifts. It kind of boils down to clothes, music and books. Clothes are out since my husband discovered Country Road on-line. He knows his size and knows what he likes – no pockets in shirts, no pleats in pants, no crazy prints, no outlandish colours – this makes on-line shopping an absolute doddle.

A couple of clicks and he’s done. No need to ever grace a shop with his presence ever again. Music is also a bit out of the gift giving-picture. We’ve thrown away our CD player and replaced it with an I-Pod dock. Unfortunately, our PC doesn’t like Apple software, so I can’t even give him a lousy I-Tunes voucher – unless I was aiming to give him the most useless gift in the world. That brings us to books. My husband is a great reader. But not of books. Internet – yes. Form Guide – yes. Books – no. This is a great shame. For me. Books are such an easy gift to give. I have no doubt that many dads this Father’s Day would have ripped open a beautifully wrapped present to find a book inside. And I suspect many would have received an autobiography. This is a massive generalisation but I feel like autobiographies are an appropriate ‘dad’ gift. Fiction and fathers are not always a good match. But dads and memoirs? Yes. I think book marketers know this, and always seem to promote the hell out of them around Father’s Day. So, I had a quick scan of what was out there this year. I always thought an autobiography was something you wrote towards the end of your life – and something that should only be written by someone with a really strong story to tell, either because they are a) super-important or b) did something super-impressive. Seems that’s no longer the case. Every b-grade celebrity has a book to flog – from the yellow wiggle, Greg Page, to AFL’s bad boy, Barry Hall, and country songstress Kasey Chambers. Are these works of great literature? I’m sorry to say – not so much. Check out this extract from Barry’s book ‘Pulling No Punches’. He (or more factually, his ghost-writer) writes about his drinking habits, and tendancy to get into trouble.  Sometimes dickheads just wanted to have a crack at me. …. I’d go out for a night with my mates, and would be copping shit from imbeciles in the car park before we’d even gone inside. Let’s just say that when Barry hangs up the boots, I don’t think he’ll be having a second career as a writer. This isn’t a Barry Hall-bashing exercise (lord knows, you’d be a brave soul to bash Barry – he would probably bash you back). I know there are fans out there who will probably devour this book. All 256 pages of it. That’s right – 256 pages. And he’s only 35. I’m also tipping that a fair few Dads probably opened up their Father’s Day presents this year to find Barry’s big mug staring back at him. It’s exactly the kind of book that a child or wife would buy when they have no idea what to buy – and their husband/father has been no help at all. So here’s a tip for those fathers – next year, ask for something specific –  be like Barry’s book title – don’t pull your punches. Speak up. Say what you want to receive. Or you might just open up to find the yellow wiggle staring right back at you.


One Response to “Dads – Don’t Pull Your Punches!”

  1. Anonymous September 8, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    fathers day is the B.Hall and endALL….

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