I love my dad. I think most people know this about me approximately ten minutes after meeting me. Either the tattoo on my leg gives it away or I use one of his made up words in conversation and in explaining it, have to also explain that my dad is the funniest person in the world. On top of having an arsenal of pun-fueled jokes, my dad also taught me everything I know about hard work and true love. I can’t think of a time growing up when my dad wasn’t working. If not at his actual job, then in the garage making stained glass bunnies for my sister and my windows or building a bookshelf for my mom. And even when I was a snotty teenager who didn’t care much about what anyone thought, I always thought to myself I’d be lucky to ever find anyone who loves me as much as my dad loves my mom. In the end I think I did pretty well with Tony, and I hope Teno grows up admiring him as much as I’ve always admired my dad. But I still hope he thinks I’m the funny one.
I’ve done two Mother’s Day guides now, but no dad guides. I think this is because my dad likes cigars and Mexican vacations and my own husband likes New Eras and giant t-shirts. There isn’t really much to say there. But I’ve met a lot of other cool dads lately (the wonders of Twitter) and I wanted to at least make an attempt at a gift guide for them. So really, this is the stuff I’d want for Father’s Day if I were a dad – but I’ve been told in the past that I think like a guy, so I’m pretty sure I’m qualified to make this list. Feel free to add your own picks if you think I missed something amazing.
OK, so I’ll start with something that has actual dad-approval. Nixon Nomadic iPhone headphones. Tony basically talks about these things every day. One of the few sucky things about iPhones are that you have to take our your headphones when someone’s calling you, unplug them, answer the phone, hang up, plug them back in and turn your music back on. Life is hard. But with these iPhone-specific headphones, you just push a button on the cord to answer a call and push it again to end the call and go back to your music. You can also control the music from that button, so you can keep your phone in your pocket or where ever instead of sitting there and holding it like a weirdo. There $120, but I made the switch from earbuds to big ‘ol headphone a few months ago and it’s well worth it. I hate having those little rocks in my ears and I think when you’re wearing giant headphones people assume you like cool music. Meanwhile, I’m listening to Rosemary Clooney.
On to something Tony definitely does not want for Father’s Day (because we are straight edge) but that I still think is pretty cool and dad-like: recycled beer bottle drinking glasses. These glasses come from Chicago glassblower Nicholas Paul and prices range from $25 for a set of two to $60 for a set of six. Recycling, obviously is always a good idea and glass is awesome because so far, it hasn’t been shown to leach anything creepy into our beverages. Please do not sue me when it turns out that glass gives you AIDS.
Got a dad with a sweet tooth? So do I! Mine likes classic Rice Krispie treats (do NOT even think about putting chocolate chips or peanut butter in there or he will turn this car around and take you right back home) and chewy caramels. A few weeks ago I bought a bunch of spiced vanilla caramels from Have It Sweet Confections and they got the dad stamp of approval. Buttery-sweet, with just the right ratio of chewy-to-melty, they were heaven. Plus, they do a lot of rad things for the environment (you can read it in their shop info) so it’s a cool back story as well as a tasty treat.
I know for a fact this is a dadtastic gift because I gave one to Tony last year and my dad got one a few months ago – Aerogardens. Seriously. I know they have sucky commercials, but they’re awesome – and they’re even way less ugly now than they were when I bought Tony’s. This little guy is just under $80 – I got Tony the big daddy and honestly, it was kind of more garden than we needed on our kitchen counter. Depending on which one you buy, you can grow herbs, strawberries and even tomatoes. We had so much fucking basil we were just eating it raw. Then the mint took over my house and we chopped the whole thing down because we were scared it would strangle us in our sleep.
Quick- name two things all dads love. Donuts and hot ladies. Yeah, buddy. And never before have the two come together quite like they do in this $15 print by Caged Tomato. My dad has what we call “the man room”- a wood-panel, leather chair kind of a joint complete with mini bar and slot machine. This sexy donut lady would look awesome in the man room.
My dad could probably do without any horror shirts from Fright Rags. Actually, it was my grandpa who got my addicted to horror movies when he rented Return of the Living Dead for a friend and I to watch when we were about 7 years old. He’s always down to watch The Howling or a bad zombie flick so long as it’s on TV when he happens to be sitting there and Jon Stewart isn’t on. But I know there are dads out there who would love anything from this site, and this shirt in particular because everytime I send someone a link to it they lose their mind about it. Monster Squad, kids. Look it up if you haven’t seen it.
Here’s one you didn’t see coming – Survival Cappa Cups by Circa Ceramics. Two 5.5oz cups with saucers featuring knives, rusty pipes, flash lights, a transistor radio and and axe. You know, survival stuff. I have several pieces from Circa Ceramics and they’re just gorgeous. You really have to hold a piece of their porcelin to understand how quickly one can become addicted.
Now this might be a stretch – I can’t say for sure how my dad would feel about growing his own mushrooms, and I tried to talk Tony into asking for this and he ignored me. But if I were a dad I would for sure grow my own mushrooms. Mushrooms are amazing! They’re creepy, spongy and delicious all at the same time! Sometimes they’re rare and expensive and sometimes they’ll straight kill you! Sometimes they cure diseases and sometimes they devour a 500 year old tree at the roots. You just never know! Well, I guess you do know when you buy a kit from Fungi Perfecti because they only sell the delicious kind, not the killer kind of mushrooms. Dang, I really want to grow my own mushrooms. When’s Mother’s Day again?
I like beards. Lots of dads have beards. Tony has a beard. My dad has a goateee, which is like a beard, only smaller. Tony’s dad had an AWESOME beard. If I was a dad I would grow the biggest beard ever. You would be able to see my beard from space. I never have penis envy because penises are kind of hilarious, but man do I have beard envy. I really hate you guys for being able to grow those things on your faces. Oh, and also I found these beard shirts on Etsy and they’re all awesome. (Thanks to Honor for helping me beard shirt hunt.)
Hey- I know something your dad/baby daddy doesn’t need or want but that you should buy him anyway! Will Farrell sun screen! Fact: dads love Will Farrell. Tony can just look at a picture of Will Farrell – just sitting on a chair not even doing anything – and laugh his ass off. All the proceeds go to Cancer for College, which sounds horrible but it actual a non-profit that raises money to provide scholarships to cancer survivors. Dang. How do you say no to that?
I can honestly say that my dad would never, ever shop at Fred Flare. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have totally worthy dad presents. Just maybe not for my dad. This might be better suited for 30-something dads who don’t think PacMan is the latest in video game technology. (In his defense, my dad was pretty great at Zelda when I was a kid. ) Either way, the stackable Lego flatware is awesome. Dad can take it in his lunch instead of using plastic and unless they’re total dicks, the other guys at work will all be totally jealous. And at home by the BBQ he can be the coolest with a Rubick’s Cruet salt and pepper mill.
At our house, Teno screams “make me a sandwich” at us just about every Saturday afternoon – which is why Tony and I crack up about this shirt. I would really hope that your dad/father of your children never says this to you, but it’s still a funny shirt. Actually, all the shirts at Seibei are funny shirts. They hit on all my favorite things, and all of the things that Tony and I have in common – tacos, monsters and pooping. Plus, you can get 10% off when you enter the code BAKEANDDESTROY, so you have that going for you.
Last but not least – this might be my favorite dad gift of all. The SIGG stainless steel cutlery set. It’s a Swiss army knife, but with utensils. It’s amazing! Tony’s had a set for almost 9 months and he loves it. Only posers leave the house without silverware in their pocket. What if you come across some food that needs eating? What will you do? Preparedness. It’s a fundamental dad quality. Own it. Oh, and you can see a lot more “reusables for real men” by checking out this here guide that I spent like, three days writing the html code for because our website is like, 300 years old. Tony’s in there! Everyone go look at Tony!
Um, so I also found this pretty awesome Sleeptracker watch that wakes you up during a “most-awake” point in your sleep cycle as opposed to an REM point so you’re more alert during the day. I know that sounds like bullshit but I worked with a guy who swears by it. I’m not posting a picture because it’s kind of ugly.
There you have it, that’s my list! Happy Father’s Day (in a few weeks) and be sure to leave your ideas in the comments!