It’s almost Father’s Day, which is chill for the folks out there with dads who actually dial back, but potentially triggering and shitty for those of us who don’t have a conventional father figure, or a living dad at all. [Peels back wet blanket.]
But the impending date of Freud Fest (Mark it: June 19) reminds us that you don’t have to have a literal dad to have a father figure. The “dad” in your life could be mom, for all we know. Or perhaps a lovely uncle, an older cousin or sibling, a grandparent, a bartender at your local dive, or a slew of other people who have at one point tousled your hair. You know, someone(s) in your life who has stood in as an unconventional parent, who took you fishing and also showed you how to do salvia; someone who has been there for you, through it all, as family made not through blood, but kinship. (Or it could be by blood. Again, very loose definition here.)
We all know Father’s Day isn’t a real holiday, and that some company somehow engineered it to sell cards or pint glasses or something, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have real consequences on your feels—especially if you’re in the non-trad camp. It often sucks, but it doesn’t have to. This Father’s Day, tell your non-dad father figure how much they mean to you. If you feel like giving them (or yourself) a gift, that’s cool too—and will probably mean more than you know.
Yet another mouth to feed
To be fair, you always wanted a sibling. And sometimes, you have to take matters into your own hands.
Endless heated Shiatsu massages von Herr Jurgen
A robot that massages your neck wherever you go? Sehr komisch, aber delightful! Your father figure can take this to the office, be it at home or somewhere else; on the couch during movie night, and (one day, hopefully soon) in the movie theater. No wonder this machine is one of the best must-have items from Amazon.
A personalized video message from Pauly Shore
“Heyyyyy buddyyyyy! Oh, wait. I’m not your dad.” Cameo is truly a crockpot of celebrities, inlcuding Pauly, members of Insane Clown Posse, Lindsay Lohan, and more.
Summer is chain weather
All weather is chain weather, but summer especially. Swing low, solid 925 sterling silver, gold plated curb chain. It’s substantial in weight, but not so thick as to be a statement piece. The perfect little something to sparkle on their wrist, no matter what their style is.
Quit your carping
Now these could take the socks with sandals aesthetic to exciting new waters. They’re perfect for anyone who has ever caught a fish, or seen one in a tank, and thought, I wonder what it’s like to be you. Gift them to your father figure, then invite them out to one of those pedicures where the fish eat your feet.
Butter them up
As seen in the FROW of the VICE Other Mother’s Day gift guide, this butter medley is like having a chorus of international dancers for daddy’s taste buds. You’ll get Danish Lurpak (is that a Neopet?) butter, British goat butter, French Échiré, and cultured Vermont butter that tastes like a spreadable cloud. Overnight shipping available.
A present for them (and for you)
This 1970s console has a special place in Gen X’s heart. But even if your father figure is, I don’t know, 15 years old (who are you?) the Atari will slam. It’s a bonding experience, and it will look really cool by their media center/TV spot. Retro, but not gimmicky.
They like an earthy DIY project
Did your dad figure ever go to the Monterey Jazz Festival? Do they smoke hemp-derived, CBD joints, or identity with toadstools and mycelium more than people? (Very goblincore.)
Your daddy is daddi
Have you ever used a really nice penis ring? It’s like slipping into a cashmere sweater made from the wool of goats who were all born on your birthday, with one goal in mind: Keep that penis hard, but comfortable. This particular vibrating penis ring is by the luxury Swedish brand LELO, and it’s made of a durable but velvety silicone and features an easy-to-use control interface for its six stimulation modes.
Vader at the beach
Normcore won. Socks and sandals? An inter-seasonal, corner-store-run classic. Wide brim hats that tie around your chin have been back in fashion for a minute, and we’re predicting the resurgence of flopping floppers with a back neck flap. They can take you from the garden to the beach; a date to a day of wandering incognito.
Get matching Tevas
The Hurricane Drift is one of Teva’s most stylish and amphibious pairs of sandals, capable taking Papa from the lake to bar and beyond in leightweight, quick-drying comfort. It comes in five earthy colorways, but we think there’s something extra chic about the off-white.
A posh Korean steakhouse feast
Order them an entire feast from the lauded grill of NYC chef David Shim, who has prepared a Goldbelly-exclusive steakhouse experience where you get to grill, slice, and enjoy your own Korean-American BBQ with a spread of fresh pickled vegetables, lettuce, and savory ssamjang sauce.
The clout of being a knife owner
This is the kind of knife that will look just as good on the trail as it will on the bookshelf as a jauntily placed objet d’art. Also, under what other circumstances will you be able to say to someone, “Why, yes. That is torched bone.”
A shrimpy neck pillow
Not a day goes by when we don’t think about Daddi. Not a day goes by when we don’t think about shrimp. Now, for the first time, we can combine those loves by gifting Papa a shrimp-shaped neck pillow that will give him support on the plane, in the car, or while watching TV.
It’s easy being green
Has your fatherly figure always wanted to grow their own herbs, but doesn’t have much outdoor space? AeroGrow’s highly rated indoor grow light planter is over $30 off this Father’s Day, and a great side project for the one who has helped you grow into the strong beanstalk you are today.
Now go do your thing, sport. All the parent holidays are almost over this year.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.