After All, We’re All Somebody’s Father

Last month, after receiving a discount coupon toward the bulk purchase of Father’s Day cards, I questioned just how many dads one might have. Obviously, no weird, multi-party alien reproduction system is at play here. CVS and the greeting card companies are simply pulling out all the stops to move as much product as possible, forcing their wares down the throats of an unsuspecting public. In all probability, these multinationals are also working in shadowy collusion with the United States Postal Service, and possibly even the glue-for-envelopes manufacturers1, enriching themselves at the expense of our environment and our wallets.

Even understanding this vast conspiracy as well as I do, however, I still found myself astounded by the many types of Father’s Day cards on offer.

Father’s Day cards for husbands
Happy Father's Day to my Husband Card

While your husband is not your father, he may be the father to your kids2. I suppose recognizing him for that on Father’s Day makes sense.

Father’s Day cards for grandfathers…
Happy Father's Day to my Grandfather Card

…and uncles too
Happy Father's Day to my Uncle Card

Fine, fine, a grandfather is a type of father, and an uncle may perhaps be like a father to you. What else have we got?

Happy Father's Day to my brother Card

OK, your brother is definitely not your father.

Happy Father's Day to my Son Card

Now this is just getting ridiculous. They might as well sell one for your son-in-law too.

Happy Father's Day to my Son In law Card

Holy hell, they did it! They really did it! That’s not even a blood relative! Jesus christ, how low will you sink, Hallmark? Have you no sense of decency?

Happy Father's Day from the Dog Card

Alright, I’m sorry. I’ve calmed down, and I can actually accept this card. You see, I suspect that though your dog may not be able to vocalize it properly, her unconditional love probably does mean she wants you to have a happy Father’s Day.

Happy Father's Day from the cat Card

No. NO! I accepted the dog, but no freaking way does the cat hope you have a happy Father’s Day. Look at him up there, just glaring at you, eyes full of hate. He’s hoping to eat a plate of anchovies, drink a saucer of milk, and bear witness to your sudden-and-ideally-entertaining demise.

Yet despite the ludicrousness of the previous cards, another stands alone. This card represents the pinnacle of the commercialization of Father’s Day:

Happy Father's Day to my Mom Card

This is truly brilliant. With this single card, the male domination of Father’s Day which has stood for too long has been smashed. Even after expanding to cards for grandfathers, uncles, brothers and the like, over 50% of the market was going untapped. No longer!

Finally, at long last, the ladies are being brought into the fold as well.


  1. Seriously, I can’t believe that in 2011, I still have to lick envelopes with my own tongue. ↩︎

  2. Then again, he might not be. Studies show that 4% of men may be raising a child who is not their own. Happy “Father’s” Day! ↩︎