Friday, June 15, 2012

Mother's Day vs. Father's Day

Father's Day is around the corner and, being the procrastinator that I am, I went hunting for cards yesterday. Being that one of the cards I will have to mail across the country, this is cutting it pretty close. This time, its slightly easier because I only need to hunt down 3 cards, instead of the 4 I had to buy for Mother's Day. Despite the benefits of having two families now, it makes card hunting very difficult. I'm a bit of an emotionally-stunted individual when it comes to card shopping. Just one month ago I was a nut running from store to store looking for Mother's Day cards that said just what I wanted them to say. I was in a panic, a frenzy, if you will. Card shopping is a very anxiety driven chore for me for some reason.

For Father's Day, however, I thought things would be different. Father's don't read into things as much, they are more laid back, and generally (from my experience) don't put as high a value on a card as a mother would. So I started with the little townie stationary store half a block down the street. They had nothing. Literally a 10 card selection that wasn't cutting it. So I kept walking to the local specialty super market. Now, I knew they didn't have a card section, but I'd seen a turn-style there before with cards so I figured I would give it a try. Again, a minimal selection. Another half block down I ran into the townie pharmacy. They had ZERO Father's Day cards! How can this be, is Father's Day not a holiday in this town?!? My difficulty at Mother's Day was not for lack of options. I must have looked at hundreds of cards before making my final selections. How on earth was I going to find appropriate cards for this holiday if the stores didn't have any to choose from!

At this point, it was time to get in my car and drive to a brand store. The Target parking lot is always a nightmare, so I went to CVS. I joke not, 90% of their Father's Day options were for "Husband". There was one left for "Dad" and a select 5 for "Papa." A woman standing next to me, also looking dumbfounded at the options, said aloud "Man, this is not like Mother's Day." I completely agreed with her and was just about whittled down to purchasing blank cards and writing my own messages. But wait! CVS had no blank cards either! With the most grumpy face I could muster, I left the store and resolved to make Target my last stop. If I had no luck there I'd send homemade cards out of computer paper, that's how flustered I felt.

Fortunately I did not have to throw a temper tantrum in Target. While they had a slightly smaller selection than at Mother's Day, they still had a sizable section of their card department devoted to Father's Day cards. I found my three in about 30 minutes (I'm not kidding, card shopping is an ordeal for me) and then bee-lined it to the parking lot.

The point of this story: I was so amazed at the lack of attention the stores put on Father's Day. Do people not buy Father's Day cards?  Mother's Day naturally gets some extra attention. Everyone is excited that its spring, commercials advertising the holiday seem to be more present, no one is consumed by summer plans yet. But does that mean Father's Day just gets forgotten about? How? Why? Do fathers not do as much as our mothers? Surely this is not the case - in my family I'd like to say my parents have done equally as much for me, but in very different ways. Despite my mother having a more emotional presence, I still wouldn't be who I am without both my parents' influence. Maybe (Hopefully) my town was simply unprepared as a fluke. Maybe I was more behind the ball than usual and all people of my town already got their cards, leaving the pickings for me... It can't be like this everywhere? If we, as Americans, are keen on wasting our money on cards for Mother's Day (among other, more ridiculous card holidays), why would Father's Day be an exception? 

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