How to Protect Dad’s Fragile Ego This Father’s Day

By Ali Kelley

Grill out
Dads love “manning the grill,” especially on Father’s Day! No matter how old you are, or what you think you learned in college about factory farming, there’s always something your dad can teach you about how to cook the perfect burger. So stand alongside him, but don’t grab the spatula, this is dad’s day!

Play catch
If there’s anything dads love more than baseball, it’s channeling explosive rage into backyard pickup games! So this Father’s day, toss the ball back and forth with dad, but don’t try and tell him about your new gender nonbinary friend or force him in any way to challenge his heteronormative beliefs about gender identity. Just gift him the necktie he asked for, it’s Father’s Day!

Build something
You know what your dad really wants this Father’s Day? Some help building that wood shed in the backyard! Of course, it’s not even about “building the shed,” it’s about watching you fumble around in the toolbox and beg for his help operating the table saw. Letting him emasculate you in front of your son, just as his father once did for him, is a timeless Father’s Day tradition that doesn’t need to be reexamined, so don’t go there, Matthew.

Listen to music
All dads love music and your father’s got the best taste around! At least he did back in 1981 when you idolized everything he did and were forbidden to question his authority. He may not be the hero he once was, but Father’s Day is all about placating pop’s fragile ego! He’s the man of the house and Bob Seger is the king of rock. End of discussion.

Visit with the grandchildren
This Father’s Day, let him practice some “tough love” on your kids so they don’t grow up to become content creators with generalized anxiety and a wheat allergy. Today, they’ll learn that crying is for the weak and art is for girls, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can’t undo decades of generational trauma in one afternoon so just let it go, do it for dad!

Ride bikes
For a fit and fun way to bond with dad, go on a scenic bike ride! Go ahead, take him on a demanding, 20-mile ride, hitting every incline in town. It’s going to take a lot more than two hip replacement surgeries to take your old dad out of the game. You think he survived two tours in Vietnam just to be outpaced by his amateur mixologist son? No, he fucking did not.

Brewing Beers
The craft beer movement is so big even your dad knows about it! But he doesn’t have to tolerate it. Instead, grab a handle of Everclear and take your conversation outdoors. Nothing gets the childhood memories flowing faster, or turns the back deck into a DIY cage match quicker! Remember, today is not about letting your dad win, it’s about letting him publicly grab you in a headlock and then quietly tell you how proud he actually is you.

Fishing is the second great American pastime and it’s a no-brainer on Father’s Day! Take family the boat out on the open ocean, toss dad overboard and watch him try and unhook that lobster from his nose! He taught you everything you need to know about fishing and using slapstick humor to humiliate your opponents, so he definitely should have seen this one coming.

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