Monday, June 29, 2009

Father's Day

In the Mark Sanford media blitz, many people have made a big point of Sanford leaving the country on Father's Day despite having children. Leaving aside the rest of his behavior, what's the problem with not spending Father's Day with one's children? If Father's Day is supposed to be about giving fathers a chance to unwind, then I bet many, many fathers would be thankful for some time away from the kids. Given the choice between traditional Father's Day activities and some quiet time, I don't see a problem with a father choosing the latter.

Am I the only one that thinks this way?


At 11:49 AM, June 29, 2009 , Anonymous Nick Milne said...

Has anyone been criticising "leaving the country" in isolation of what he actually did while he was gone? I haven't seen any such complaint levelled against him. The complaint - justly - is that he spent Father's Day being the least fatherly it's possible to be without tying his kids up in a burlap sack and tossing them down a well, a bolt of lightning flashing in the background as he laughs.

In the abstract, though, I certainly agree with you. The ideal Father's Day gift would be for the children to voluntarily and through careful planning relieve the father, temporarily, of the duties and responsibilities of being the paterfamilias. I do not mean this in every sense, of course; it would not have done (for example) for the infant Sanfords to have pooled their resources to fly their father out to meet his Argentine paramour. But relieving it in other and kindlier ways ("we'll provide for our mother and ourselves, we'll take care of the house, we'll give our full attention to important family decisions," etc.) is pretty much the thing to do, and would allow for that relaxation to which you rightly point.

At 12:50 PM, June 29, 2009 , Blogger Joshua said...

From my understanding of such things, a man who is sleeping with a sexy South American never has far from mind the possibility of perhaps starting another branch of the family tree. It may not be an explicit goal at that moment in time, but no man would say that having the option is not delicious.

Likewise, it is unlikely that the occasion of father's day wouldn't give such a man a slight moment's pause to think about whether his "keeping a new family on retainer" was compatible with the spirit of the day. Men who are involved in illicit affairs almost always recognize the significance of dates like valentine's day, their wedding anniversary, wife's birthday, etc.

In fact, many men will tell you that they have at least once arranged a business trip + pleasure romp on a romantic milestone that ought to have belonged to his wife, specifically to *spite* her. Or at least to psychologically demonstrate to the paramour how precious she was.

An accomplished cheater will learn to be much craftier about this. He'll lie to his paramour, for example, and claim that his wedding anniversary is June 1. Then, he'll take his wife to a wonderful getaway on May 15, their *real* anniversary. And two weeks later, he can take the paramour on a vacation, claiming "You see how much I love you! I was even willing to abandon my wife on our anniversary, just to be with you! It's so wrong, but so right!"

Anyway, you get the picture. No man would mistakenly miss such a milestone as father's day. And to use such a milestone to hook up with a paramour shows a certain mental orientation.

At 3:52 PM, June 29, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, how sad, the feminists have convinced even you that kids are a drag. So not true. Children are an absolute delight. Competent fathers enjoy their children. The modern sit com picture of the beleaguered father is bull. Being honored by one's children means more than most anything else one can imagine.


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