Contrary to popular opinion, Dads aren’t really that much different from moms. Sure, there are obvious areas.

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Father’s Day Done Right

Contrary to popular opinion, Dads aren’t really that much different from moms. Sure, there are obvious areas.

We’re hairier. We usually don’t smell quite as nice. We think we can still play tackle football without any negative effect no matter how many times we’re proven wrong. But despite these minor points of differentiation, there’s definitely a common denominator – we love our families.

That means that, just like moms on Mother’s Day, we usually want to spend Father’s Day with our families. How we spend it though, is where things change a bit. So here are a few things to keep in mind while planning the ultimate Father’s Day experience for the man in your house.

1) We like fire – Sure it’s cliché, but there are very few guys out there, even ones who don’t like to cook, who don’t like to light up the grill and cook some meat over an open flame. A pile of charcoal and a can of lighter fluid or even a tank of propane is a recipe for Father’s Day bliss. And that’s before a big pile of meat for the whole family enters the picture. Personally, I like my grilling to have a little Asian flair. So I marinate thinly sliced top sirloin in a mixture of:

  • 1/4 cup Japanese or Korean dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for grilling
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed, peeled, and grated
  • 3 scallions, root and dark green ends trimmed, and 6-inch stalks minced

You can add a cup of sake to the marinade, since the alcohol burns off, if your family is open to it. Drop the slices on the grill, then wrap ‘em in lettuce and call it freakin’ delicious.

2) We’re big kids – Half the reason we love our kids so much is because they provide someone to play with. So playing Xbox/Wii with the teenager who otherwise wouldn’t be seen with us, organizing ill-advised games of street baseball/hockey/basketball with the kids, or napping with said kids in a makeshift pillow fort sound like pretty spectacular ways to celebrate.

3) We really do love sports – Not always watching them, of course. A Father’s Day trip to the lake for some fishing and sandwiches with the family is just as good as, if not better than, a day spent on the couch learning the rules of jai-alai courtesy of ESPN 2.

4) We like being dads – Behind the macho posturing, the occasional guttural grunts, the flexing we do in front of the mirror when we think no one is looking, most of us think our best accomplishment ever is becoming a dad. We know it didn’t take too much work on our part, and many of us aren’t so great at that whole housecleaning thing, but being a dad is still pretty amazing to most of us. Just like when we finished up that first birdhouse in shop class, we get to look at our kids and say, “I made that!” Sure, we had help. But we were there to hold the bandsaw, darn it! So recognizing dad’s contribution to the care and feeding is a sure way to deliver the warm fuzzies.

Your mileage with these tips may vary, depending on the kind of dad you’re dealing with. But no matter what, dads just want to know they’re appreciated and loved. And not such a total embarrassment that the teenagers in the house refuse to be seen in public with him.

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