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Hey Ron! - What Should I Get My Dad for Father's Day?

By Ron Hemphill

Hey Ron,

My dad is like the best dad in the world. I feel shitty because I always gyp him on Father’s Day with a cheap present. You’re a dad, right? What kind of stuff do dads want? How can I make up for 23 years of being an ungrateful dirtbag?

Thanks,
The Offspring

Growing up, my dad had pretty low expectations for Father’s Day. Probably because he used to get my leftover arts and crafts projects from school. You know, the stuff made with glue and popsicle sticks. Eventually, I graduated to the next level of bad gifts—stupid ties. Back then, they only cost about two dollars and used to say dumb phrases like “#1 Dad.” He probably only wore them once, if ever.

On the flip side, I would always do it up for my mom on Mother’s Day with brunch and gifts and stuff. It’s hard to go cheap on Mother’s Day because moms always throw it in your face that they carried you for nine months. They talk about that for like 30 or 40 years. After a while, I’m like, “I don’t care anymore, the stretch marks are gone! Give up the guilt trip.” Dads don’t need all of that honoring. At a certain point in my life, a good Father’s Day present to my old man was just his knowing that I wasn’t doing drugs, I’d finished school, and he didn’t have to support me anymore.

But just because dads might not outwardly express that they want you to go all out on Father’s Day doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve being showered with gifts. When I was a young father, I was cool with some socks or a gift card to GNC ('cause I work out quite a bit). But considering all the money I’ve sunk into being a dad, it wouldn’t be too much if my daughter rolled up to my crib on Father’s Day with a brand new Ferrari with a bow on top. If she can’t make that happen, a nice watch is always cool too.

But expensive sports cars aside, my daughter is amazing. And now that I am a little older, I understand why my dad was so easy to please back in the day. Being a father is kind of a reward in itself. One of the best gifts I ever got from my daughter was a heartfelt letter that she wrote me. She’s 28 now, a big girl. But when she was younger, like all dads, I would give her a lot of advice. Some of it she took and some it she didn’t. The letter she wrote me talked about how valuable my advice was for her and how there were times she wished she had followed more of it, instead of being a hard head. That was great to hear, because it meant she finally realized that I am here to help her and not keep her from having fun. And that all the things I do come out of love for her.

Another priceless gift she gave me is the first time she called me daddy. It’s funny, for the first ten months of her life I didn’t really realize I was a father. I just wasn’t in that frame of mind. I was still running the streets. But when she said "daddy," it hit me that I had to step it up and be a father to this kid. And that is a beautiful thing.

It’s been incredible watching my child become what she wants in life. And it’s even cooler when she hangs out with me, because it feels great to know that she wants to spend time with her old man, even though she's a young person with so much going on. That’s an indescribable feeling that you will only know when you become a dad.

So to answer your question, get your dad a Ferrari or, at the very least, a really nice watch. But if you can’t come up with those items, just make sure you spend some time with him on Father’s Day and live your life in a positive way and constructive way. Because he cares about you and the biggest joy he’ll ever get is seeing you happy.

Previously - When Should I Get Pregnant?

Ron is VICE's accounts receivable manager. He also happens to be a master of mixed martial arts and a treasure trove of knowledge and advice. Even your sick perversions, dysfunctional predicaments, and anti-social thoughts don't surprise him. So go ahead, ask him something already. Email Ron your questions to HeyRon@vice.com or tweet them to @Hey_Ron. Every person who gets their question answered will receive their very own Hey Ron! t-shirt, three print issues of VICE magazine, and a personal note from Ron.

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