Father’s Day Musings

About ten years ago, a woman from the U.K. told me that in a British poll, Homer Simpson had been voted “the most influential living American.”  One thing hasn’t changed much over the last decade:  men don’t get a lot of respect in the popular media.  Best case, they come off as lovable though horny goofballs like Joey and Chandler on Friends.  Worst case they are portrayed as liars and nincompoops who couldn’t survive a day without the steadying hand of a woman.  Without Carl’s Jr. bacon cheeseburgers, some guys would starve.

If you believe the marketing experts who layout the Father’s Day advertising supplements, the male imagination is limited to Docker’s shorts, socket-wrench sets, wide-screen TV’s, and golf balls.

When I was in the first grade, my bus used to stop to drop off a boy at a corner then turn uphill toward my house a mile away.  One day that boy’s father shot himself; it was clearly accidental.  He was a WWII veteran who brought home a German luger, and as he was cleaning the gun, he forgot the round in the chamber.  The details were discussed all over the schoolyard and the kitchen table at home; how the man had tried to reach the telephone before he died.  I lay awake quite a few nights with this reminder of my father’s mortality.  I think of that boy every Father’s Day and wonder what thoughts he has.  It may be that no one appreciates a father as much as those who have lost or never had one.

Father’s Day is a nice time to celebrate the expressions of men’s generosity as they have appeared in our lives.  It’s a time to celebrate every man who ever told us, “You can do it,” and made us believe we could.

4 thoughts on “Father’s Day Musings

  1. Happy Father’s Day to you, Morgan. I celebrate knowing you and having your wonderful guidance and encouragement in my writing life. I have never thought of you in being in any way similar to Homer Simpson or being unable to forage for yourself. If I were to buy you a gift, it would not be a socket wrench or even barbecue tools. It would be a good book. You are a most uncommon man.


    • Thanks, Rosi, I very much appreciate your kind comments.

      I didn’t seem that uncommon when I was younger. When I was a junior in HS, there was a senior who carried around a copy of Sartre’s, “Being and Nothingness” in such a way that the cover was plainly visible. Now I found a copy in the library, and could not understand the first page, and I doubt he could either, but in retrospect, it was kind of charming. Another senior became a celeb by getting into a very exclusive art school in LA.

      I’m not sure, but I sense a bit more weariness or resignation among a lot of young men, or simply more hiding their light under bushels. On the other hand I guess one of the stereotypes of old men is wondering what the younger generation is coming to, so I will now shut up.


  2. Happy Father’s Day! I know I am blessed every day to have had and still have my dad in my life. He is every stereotype the silly father’s day cards put out there, and also everything they say men are not, all wrapped in one great package : ).


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