The lesser two of the parents holidays (let's be serious) befalls the nation once more today, and given that it's Father's Day, not Mother's Day, that we're talking about here, you probably haven't gotten a gift yet. Which you should do! But be careful. Certain gifts say certain things you might not be aware of.

A Necktie

This gift says that you are a character in a comic strip, like Pluggers maybe? I mean, this gift says that you are really uncreative and are sort of a cliche. Do you work in an office park and wear khakis with a blue shirt every day and do you occasionally go somewhere called MJ McSliggin's or something after work with a few of your fattening male coworkers for a few watery beers and then everyone drives their mid-priced Japanese cars home to their overly air-conditioned condos? Is that you, you tie-buying son of a bitch? It's not that you were never creative. You were, back in high school, maybe even at some point in college, but somewhere along the way you just gave up. So it's a necktie for your dad and then over to watch The Bachelorette with your girlfriend (who also got her dad a necktie), because whatever it's a stupid show but it's summer and it's all that's on, and that'll be that for you this June.

A Bottle of Booze

Things got weird there with your dad for a little while, huh? The end of high school was rocky and then college you two were basically incommunicado. After you graduated you'd see him at home for holidays or whatever, but you'd mostly avoid talking to him and while helping your mom with the dishes she'd say "You know him, it's just his way. Always been stubborn." So things went like that for a while, and whatever you live 1,500 miles away and it wasn't like he was going to get on a plane and come visit, but then, oh weird, he and your mom did come out for a visit and you showed them your apartment and walked them around town and he tried really hard to not complain about the prices of everything and your weird roommate (or "roommate") and politics didn't come up once at dinner and neither did the thing about business school and oddly it was actually almost pleasant. You even stayed at the restaurant long enough to have an after-dinner scotch instead of clamoring for the bill right when your plates were cleared. So you got him this bottle of Macallan, and you're going to be in town so you can give it to him in person, and when he sees it he'll smile and nod and say "Nice, very nice," and will pat you on the shoulder and everything will be great, that is until you announce that you're moving to Taos to study "sculpture as community building."

Some Book About WWII or Something

You've been so busy that you totally forgot Father's Day was happening, I mean who ever remembers Father's Day? Mother's Day, sure, but that's because your dad always calls you to remind you about it, lest there be, well, World War III at the house and he'll of course get the brunt of it. Your mom sometimes calls about Father's Day, but she knows your father isn't fussy about things like this, so sometimes it slips her mind. So there you are at Barnes & Nobles killing time because you're early to meet a friend for a drink and then you remember that Sunday is Father's Day and you think "Oh shit" and rack your brain for gift ideas, and then you remember reading an article (OK, reading the headline of an article) about some new WWII history book or something, maybe they're making a movie of it?, and he's always liked that kind of stuff, so you buy that, knowing full well that it's not a great present, but whatever, you'll really get it right next year. And then when you give it to him he says "Oh yeah, oh yeah, I read something about this. There's gonna be a movie or something?" And you can tell he's sorta whatever about it, yet another book, but that's not really the point. He's just glad — in an expectant sort of way, like it's nice to be reassured that he raised you well — that you got him something at all and that you made the time to give it to him.

A Card and Some "IOU" Things

Oh jesus. What were you even thinking? You were supposed to have like one drink. You'd finished brunch or lunch or whatever and your friend was like "It's so nice out, let's go have a drink outside somewhere. Just one, though, I can't stay out late tonight." So you said yeah, fine, whatever, it's only like 4 o'clock, even if you have two drinks you'll be home by seven at the latest. Well, famous last words, because next thing you knew you and your friend were at your third bar of the evening, you'd called a bunch of people and told them to come meet you, and for some reason it seemed like a perfectly good idea to alternate, willy nilly, between wine, beer, and vodka sodas. Whatever, it's fine, it's still early, you thought at 9pm. And then again when you checked your phone at 11. But then, hm, time was going fast, huh? The next time you looked at your phone it was 2 in the morning and your friend was nowhere to be seen, but those people you'd just met seemed cool enough, and ah shit you had to be up early, so just one more drink. You fell into bed at like 3:30. So you wake up in the morning feeling like wasps live in your head and you realize you completely forgot to get your dad anything and you have to meet your parents and your younger siblings at the restaurant in like two hours and just motherfuck it why is this always the kind of thing you do when you have to be somewhere? So there you are making stupid kiddie "IOU one lawn mowing" or "Good for one steak dinner with [your name here]" tickets on the train and buying a card at the Rite-Aid near the train station, and then when you get to the restaurant your mom looks at you all sour and concerned and says "You look tired" and you want to say "You don't know the half of it, lady," but instead you say "Work's been busy" and you go inside to eat, asking the waiter for more water every time he walks by.

A Towel Set for the Guest Bathroom

You're old enough now, you feel like, to understand why your parents got divorced when you were five. That was like multiple decades ago and you've never seen him date any new women and he lives in that condo by the beach and the living room has this whole seashell/ship's cabin motif. The only time he's left the country was to go to Rio, back in like '92 or something. Sure he talks about all the "regular" dad stuff, or at least tries to, but ends up talking about how "fluid" Andy Roddick's tennis is rather than what Chan Gailey is doing wrong with the Bills. Which is fine! It's all fine, you just sorta wish he'd, y'know, say it, seeing as you're an adult now and you clearly, like, voted for Obama and watched Six Feet Under and everything. Anyway, you were at the store the other day looking for shelves that he was going to help you put up in your apartment and you walked by the home & bath section and he saw this towel set and he said "You know, those would look good in the downstairs guest bathroom," and you said "Well, Father's Day is just around the corner..." and he laughed and said "You don't have to get me anything, you're all the present I need!" which he always says, every year, but you bought him the towels anyway.

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