I try hard every year to make Father’s Day about the father of my children, not my own Dearly Departed.
I have had middling success over the years, especially the years right after his death.
My dad didn’t even like Father’s Day; he saw it as a Hallmark Holiday. I would call him and wish him a Happy Corporate Takeover of Our Culture Day or something, or say hello I am calling you for absolutely no reason whatsoever. But he was always pleased I’d called.
So I try to focus on Jan, who is an excellent father and to whom I am deeply grateful.
But the world keeps trying to make me think of Joe instead. Last night, on my way to a dance performance, I was stupidly listening to a Prairie Home Companion on the highway. Yes, yes, I have only myself to blame.
Keillor’s banal, insipid, dull characterization of dads filled me with venomous rage. He clearly had no idea what a truly interesting, engaged, weird and wonderful father could be: either from his experience as a son, or — worse — his experience as a father.
I finally did myself a favor as I was beginning to tear up and turned it off.
Calmed myself by singing a nice little Dixie Chicks ditty about killing someone.
Just as I approached the school where I was performing, what church do I pass?
Saint Joseph the Worker Church.
THANK YOU SO MUCH UNIVERSE HOW INCREDIBLY FUCKING HELPFUL
LATER: And then today we went and saw The Croods, which no one had warned me about. Again. Thank you, universe. That was awesome. Message received: this Father’s Day is all about Joe.