Your parents want to hear from you. They are sitting at home, by the phone, incessantly refreshing Gmail, patiently waiting. No matter how old you are, how many kids you have, how much is in your bank account, or how often you already communicate with them, they want to hear from you more. Right now, if you are not communicating with one of your parents, you are failing them and they’re very, very lonely.
You could call each parent that you have (step-parents included, if you have them) once a day, every day, until they day they die, and it still would not be enough. Your parents are freaky-deaky in love with their kids and they can’t quit you.
You probably already know this about your mother, because she won’t shut up about how great you are and how she misses you. Your dad, on the other hand, will be super coy about it. “Thanks for the call,” might be the most he offers, but the attentive child will hear the awkward longing for attention in his voice. He wants to hang! He wants to chill! Remember when your dad was the cool dad that snuck you a sip of beer on Fourth of July? He’s still that cool dude.
On the cusp of another Father’s Day, I think it’s high time we all ruminate on how to better appreciate old dads.
1. Try Liking Sports
This is what your dad would call a “no brainer,” because your dad is prone to corny sayings and clichés. If you already follow this step, you are one step ahead of the curve (that’s a sports reference). Keep it up. Know which teams are your dad’s favorites. Know which sports are his favorites. What sports your father likes says loads about the kind of man he is. Does he like the Olympics? If so, your dad is probably more continental, worldly, and sophisticated. Does he like NASCAR? That means he’s probably a bit more of a rough-and-tumble type. Does he like monster truck racing and Arena Football? If so, your dad’s probably not around much anymore, frequents strip clubs and has a large income tax burden. For a gift, may I suggest cash?
2. Invent A Cool Handshake You Can Do Together
Dads love shaking hands. A good handshake is like a rare vintage wine for a dad: it doesn’t come around often, so savor it. Developing a special grip or jive handshake with your old man will make him feel like your special dude, and it will also give him something to marvel at every time he sees you.
3. Laugh At His Jokes, and Offer Some of Your Own
Everyone knows your dad isn’t funny. It’s just the sad truth of fatherhood. You immediately lose any semblance of comic timing you ever had the minute you lend your sperm to create a new human being. Remember how Eddie Murphy made you laugh in Beverly Hills Cop, Coming to America, and Trading Places? He had a bunch of kids and made The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Meet Dave. None of this is a coincidence!
Don’t be afraid to trade dad jokes with your pops, either. Comb through the Dad Jokes sub-reddit for ideas. I heard that’s where Adam Sandler got the idea for Blended.
4. Buy A Cool Car!
I cannot stress this enough. Your dad will not think you are truly successful until you have a cool car! Not a Volvo, a Subaru, or a Saab. I mean a cool car. Your dad will respect you in a Prius. He will pay to have your faced carved into Mount Rushmore if you get a Porsche. Dads love cars! Don’t ask me why. I’m not a dad and I drive a Yaris.
5. Ask About How He Met Your Mom/Other Dad
Dads love talking about stories of sexual conquest. All but one of those stories are in bad taste. Only inquire about the one that led directly to your current family unit. No one wants to hear about how your dad got a handy in a Jack in the Box drive-thru, forgot to get his food out of sheer excitement, and drove into a light pole. Dad doesn’t even tell that story to his friends. His own dad hated that story too, because it was his (cool) car that got ruined.