With less than a week to go until Father’s Day, the ridiculous parade of allegedly dad-focused marketing is already well upon us. On the way to work this morning, I heard a countless number of commercials trying to convince me to buy my dad a new cell phone. On TV, I’ve survived a constant barrage of pleas to pick up new flat-screen sets, stereo equipment, and various implementations of carpentry hardware. Online, it’s been cameras, camcorders, USB memory sticks, hard drives, and all sorts of other computer gadgetry.
Each holiday it gets worse.
I’m not against the idea of getting someone a thoughtful gift, either. I think that if your dad has been pining for something for a while and you’ve got the means to get it for him, then maybe you should. But isn’t the whole idea of the holiday lost when you’re stuck in some infinite loop of trying to one-up last year’s gift with something more and more expensive and outrageous?
The idea of buying someone a cell phone as a gift is utterly absurd to me. A cell phone is a personal thing that you should shop for yourself, since you’re the one who’s going to be using it most of the time. Not only that, but if the gift receiver doesn’t have a cell phone already, he / she’s going to be stuck with a new monthly bill, thanks to your thoughtfulness.
The notion of gifting a new television is just as bad. As if people need another $1,000+ added to their burgeoning credit debt.
Since when did the idea of showing your appreciation for someone include buying them a menagerie of electronic gizmos?
While retail world is busy buzzing in peoples’ ears about its newest pile of shiny garbage, I’ll be taking a quiet trip up to the country to my parents’ house. I’ll probably end up wrestling with some technology anyway; I hear my dad’s been having some computer problems. But I think that he’ll appreciate the help a lot more than being saddled with an unwanted new cell phone.
Unfortunately, the balance of the entire universe will be thrown off anyway – because for Mother’s Day, I only sent a card this year. Sorry mom!
Image courtesy of Creative Recycling