Monday, June 22, 2009

Hallmark Hates My Family...Thankfully

There's a piece of skin, the size of Rhode Island, missing from my big toe. My back feels like I picked strawberries for twenty-three and a half hours non-stop. I have calluses on my palms so thick that you could shingle your house with them. On top of this, no one wished me 'happy father's day' yesterday, except my wife. Since I'm not her father (this ain't Appalachia Elly May), I consider father's day to have passed unnoticed.

No one is happier than me.

I'm glad that my son didn't wish me happy father's day. I feel that I've done a good job of raising him and because he respects me 364 days a year, there's absolutely no need whatsoever to acknowledge, yet another, Hallmark holiday.

I come from a long line of father figures who forego fabricated days of false frivolity. My dad thinks father's day is a joke, as do I, as does my son. Hallmark hates my family, with just cause. We don't buy cards for father's day, mother's day, secretary's day, garbage man's day, Jehovah's at the front door day, or second cousin's day. We typically make our own cards, when we deem it necessary. You'll never see flowery, generically sappy prose inside of one of our cards.

We do manage to come up with stuff on our own, actually, and eleven times out of ten, it's better than anything Hallmark's team of has-beens could do. You might think that June 22 is Bash Hallmark Day, it's not. I'd be happy to point out, on any day of the year, that Hallmark Cards is where failed Harlequin Romance novelists go to die. Even Fabio is writing for Hallmark these days...

'I can't believe it's not butter...Happy Margarine Day!'

Ultimately Hallmark Cards, founded in 1910 by eighteen year old Joyce Hall, gets the last laugh. They have eighteen thousand employees, own roughly fifty percent of the domestic U.S. market and have annual sales over exceeding four billion shekels. Their sales figures exceed my personal sales figures by over four billion.

While millions of fathers all over North America were stroking their balls (golf items are a top father's day seller), I was out windsurfing all afternoon (hence my aforementioned war wounds). The beauty of father's day is that it's the one day that a father is allowed to do what he wants, without being cat-whipped. The cards, golf balls, power tools, barbeque weapons and ties are all wonderful, but getting a day off from mowing the lawn or fence-building is the best.

My son's father is a leisurologist, so the whole day off thing is an exercise in mootness. It would be like celebrating 'I'm breathing oxygen' day. I'm glad that my father and son feel the same way about father's day as I do, it's the one day a year that we purposely ignore each other's existence. It's the hallmark of a healthy father-son relationship.

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