Happy Father (Figure) Day!

Today is Father’s Day and that can be complicated for people because fathers are complicated people.  I’m very lucky to have a wonderful father (and that Hailey does as well) but for a lot of people this day can be hard or bittersweet or lonely or just plain uncomfortable.  So if you are feeling too much today then I encourage you to change the day up.  Go out and honor father figures in your life.  Maybe they’re friends who’ve been there for you, or people you’ve seen care for others in inspiring ways or even heroes you’ve never even met but who helped to make you who you are.  Honor the things you’ve done to help others grow and become better people.  Sometimes the best fathers aren’t even fathers at all.

And that’s sort of amazing.

Thank you to all who inspire, whether you are a father or not.


And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


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38 thoughts on “Happy Father (Figure) Day!

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Be nice or I will stab you – my new mantra. I thank you for being an inspiration to so many people. And thanks to Dorothy Barker for always making me smile. What a gorgeous dog! Happy Fathers Day!

  2. It is so important to be reminded to celebrate the good people in our lives. Sometimes life feels awfully scary. It’s nice to remember there are wonderful parts too.

  3. Be nice or I will stab you. I feel that far to often, lol. Luckily for most people I’m not allowed knives usually, but I do occasionally have spoons or bananas and they work just as well. So still, be nice. I sincerely hope you got your father some kind of large taxidermy platypus or something. Hugs to you and yours. Happy Fathers Day to my Dad!!

  4. Some of the best fathers aren’t actually real, either (I’m thinking of Atticus Finch, here), but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a shout-out. I’ve learned a lot from reading, and met some fabulous dads there, when my own didn’t…well, just didn’t.

  5. Thanks for a way to deal with the angst of a bad dad. Mine was neglecting and absent for the most part, and cruel enough times to make this day bitter for me. Happy Father’s Day to Victor! And to your dad as well. And to all Fab Fathers out there: keep it up. It isn’t a simple job, but it is very important. And for single parent kids: find others who will help, but never settle for abuse in the name of discipline, or neglect in the name of work.

  6. The positive and negative of this day.

    First, the negative:
    Father’s Day has never been a great day for me. My father and I were really close when I was very little, but as I grew older and the “gayer” parts of me started to become more apparent, he just seemed to lose interest. He pinned all his hopes and dreams on my younger, football-playing uber-heterosexual brother. My father was never physically or verbally abusive toward me, but sometimes being emotionally withdrawn from a child can hurt just as much.

    Now for the positive:
    I had a wonderful caring mother who loved me unconditionally. She had her flaws and wasn’t perfect, to be sure, but she always had my back.
    I was lucky enough to have two father figures who stepped into my life when I needed them, all by chance. My high school drama teacher (who was a closeted gay man at the time) taught me about social skills & etiquette, table manners, dressing professionally, following through on commitments, being a dependable person, basic construction skills (and just how to be good human being in this world. Next was a boss that I worked with for 10 years, who was a friend and mentor first and my boss second. He taught me what some consider to be stereotypical “guy stuff”. He taught me how to check my oil (it seems intuitive, but it isn’t for many of us), clean auto battery connections, fix a flat tire, etc. He took a homophobic young man, another employee who was unhappy I was the manager, aside and told him in no uncertain terms that “queer” and “faggot” were completely unacceptable terms in his business, and that if he had a problem with me being his boss, he either needed to get the hell over it or get the hell out. He had such an impression on that young man–we’ll call him “Marco”–that Marco actually made a point to get to know me and became a good friend at the time. This was in the mid-to-late eighties in Texas, so open-minded, heterosexual men accepting of gays was the exception, not the norm. I learned from this man how to be a compassionate, decent human being who gives to the world instead of taking.

    So, if you’re reading this and you’re one of the people who had a shitty father, or an absentee father, and are feeling down on this day to celebrate fathers, then just try to remember the people–men or women–who stepped in to your life to help make you into the person you have become.

    And know that there will be more. It seems like there are so many bad people in the world, but the good ones are there, too, and they’re here for all of us.

    Love and much thanks for Jenny for reminding me of this today, as I celebrate yet another birthday when it horrifically falls on this day of paternal celebration. Thank you for reminding me to remember, honor, and celebrate the people who stepped in.

  7. We travel full time in an RV. We are caravanning around WA and ID this month with my in-laws, who also live full time in an RV, so I get to spend today with the father of my children, and his father too. I’ll call my own daddy later.

    For me, it’s not complicated. And I am so very grateful for that. I don’t take it for granted.

    I offer my respect and compassion to those who struggle with this day.

  8. We celebrate Father’s day in September in Australia. While Mother’s day seems to be aligned across the Pacific Ocean, it’s not for Father’s day.
    I hope Victor was spoilt 😃

  9. Thank you Jack Reacher and NCIS Special Agent Leeroy Jethro Gibbs.
    Your rules have inspired me. 🙌

  10. I can never stress these words enough – cherish your parents while they’re still with you. That said, we (me and the kids) are helping hubby celebrate with BBQ ribs and other summer comfort foods. I’m already full, and I’ve only had breakfast so far. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there.

  11. You just wrote the perfect Father’s day post, Jenny. At least for me. It includes stabbing, potty humor, and a reminder that families are where we find them, not where we’re born. Perfect.

    Happy Father’s Day, Jenny.

  12. I wish mine had left my mum sooner, so I could have saved a shed load of money from the cards and presents I bought to try to appease his ego. Father’s Day for me is a mix of wishing I’d had a human being for a father instead of the sociopath that he is and being thankful that I don’t have to see him any more. Now I have the other strand – those father figures who were there and were kind and generous and supportive, both my granddads (both gone, but their memory and the things they taught me are still gifts) and my ‘uncle’ (he and his wife are such a huge part of our family that we adopted each other). Thanks for the reminder of those great substitute fathers.

  13. That was a great post!! Happy Father’s Day Victor……….Dorothy Barker is happy about it 🙂

  14. I grew up without a father, but watching my husband parent my children has been incredibly healing. There are PLENTY of people who are father figures, and I love your reminder that we can and should celebrate those, too!

  15. My father died years ago, and while we had ‘reconciled’ months before we’d never gotten a chance to really rebuild our relationship (I cut him out of my life for awhile for my own sanity, after way too many broken promises). I’ve had a very up-and-down relationship with my stepdad over the years, in part because he was very abusive to my mom for awhile and that was hard for me to look past even after he showed he’d changed (he really is a wonderful and loving person now, amazing what jail can do sometimes!). It’s only been in the last two years that I’ve started dropping the ‘step’ when talking about him, and I no longer look for ‘stepfather’ cards on Father’s Day. He really has become a wonderful father (and a wonderful husband to my mom).

  16. My father isn’t great truth be told I didn’t even like him as a person when I was 4. He drank all the time even while driving (me in the car too) and all he cares about is looking like a good father not being one. But I never felt like I was missing anything because my mom was my mom and dad. She taught me how to change a lock, use power tools and fix lots of stuff. So this goes out to all the moms stepping into the dad roll and all the dads stepping into the mom roll. Your all rock stars 🌟

  17. Yeah, not a day for me. I have known some decent men, none of whom I would call a father figure. I’ll yoink FranFW’s nomination of Atticus Finch. My Y chromosome provider died to me decades before he left his body. The rest of my family are blocked and dead to me for being rumpistas. Don’t know really how to deal with the emptiness.

  18. Lol, for me it’s “be nice or Ken will stab me” (as per my latest post!) Happy Father’s Day to all the good men out there—and there really are a lot of them, including my own husband and dear daddy!

  19. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. My father and stepfather weren’t the best, but I learned what a father is SUPPOSED to be by watching my Father in Law and my husband as he figures out what being a good father means. 😀

  20. My Father’s Day wish is that just one of the many many women who bio-dad has abused and robbed in “love fraud” would stand up to him when I try to get the police to intervene, so I can get him in court and in jail. Their shame at getting played denial, and likely, broken hearts means he just does it to some new rich lonely widow again.

    That photo of Victor… I’m thankful.

  21. Trevor Noah gave a shout out to his Mom and all other single moms who had to be dads, as well. I thought that was pretty cool…particularly as I was a single mom, myself.

  22. My own dad’s been dead for over a decade now. I miss him very much, and know how lucky I was to have had such a father.

    Thank you Jenny, for remembering so delicately that there are many kinds of “fathers,” and all the good and decent iterations should be honoured.

    To khereva and others in the same boat: Other days have similar emptiness for me. I don’t know how to fill that void either. Remember in the old Roadrunner cartoons how Wile E. Coyote would get a hole from Acme and move it around to try to catch the Roadrunner? Sometimes I feel like one of those holes keeps scooting around in front of me, no matter how often I side-step around it. Sometimes I fall in. But even when I don’t, I’m aware it’s there. Some days (weeks, months) are like that.

    On another note: Damn Good Company, indeed, Jenny! And company in which your book certainly belongs.

  23. Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for all your inspiration to all of us! You are amazing in every way. Every Father’s day it’s been hard for my three boys (or men because they are all grown) because they really don’t have a good relationship with their dad. Only my oldest actually talks to him and that’s in part because after our divorce he not only abandon them, he told my middle son he no longer existed in his life because he chose to come with me after the divorce. It was petty and childish yes, but I suppose I know where he was coming from because I would have been devastated if they had chosen to stay with him. But I would have never said anything remotely hurtful to any of my boys. So there began the divide between my two younger boys and their dad. So I raised them entirely on my own, because he chose not to interact with them for almost 15 years. The only reason my oldest still talks to him is because my son calls him and visits his dad. Anyway my point is, that even a single mother can be a great father figure. I taught my boys how to drive, to cook, to iron to shave (that was an oddly but hilarious lesson) and to work on their cars. I taught them how to do yard work and to take care of themselves because I told them that any relationship is a two way street. I taught them to respect women, to love with all their hearts and to be good, honest, decent loving men. About four years ago Father’s Day rolled around and I’d got a Happy Father’s Day Mom! And I was surprised and shocked, but I learned that despite the fact that they have a father, they recognized that as their mother I took on both roles, and I didn’t even realize it! So here’s to all the single mothers out there, Happy Father’s Day!!!

  24. The local arthouse theater had a special Father’s Day showing of The Godfather. It seemed a good and right to spend the afternoon with a father.

  25. Sooooo did you actually get to give this Who Gives a Crap paper a try?? Because I have found recycled TP to be pretty un-soft for the most part. My husband is a total toilet paper snob, travels a lot, and always saves room in his suitcase for Charmin Ultra sensitive with lotion and aloe. So I would totally go order him fancy toilet paper for his next gift receiving holiday if this stuff has the Bloggess stamp of happy butt approval.

    (I’m using the recycled ones now and it’s definitely not as soft as the charmin ultra but it’s still good. They have a premium version though that’s much softer that I may try next. No recycled though. ~ Jenny)

  26. of course, really good father and mother I loved my father and mother very much and happy father day

  27. This was my family’s second fathers day since we packed a bag and left early one morning. It was a hard day last year, but I think by this year, everyone has enough distance to be relieved just to be safe. Obviously, leaving affected a lot of things, especially our financial situation, but being safe and happy and together is so much better than hurting in even the fanciest and most gigantic of houses.

    We had a hot dog barbecue with a friend of mine who’s in the same situation with her kids’ father, and then watched Lion King together. It was a fun day, and it was a lot more fun than father’s day ever would have been if I hadn’t left, so I’m happy.

  28. I’m kind of late on posting this, but I realized just the other day that my step-father has now been in my life longer than my actual father, who died when I was 20 (I’m now 47). So my step-dad has been my dad longer than my dad was my dad, which makes Father’s day a little confusing and guilt inducing for me, but I keep it to myself, as it would hurt my step-dad’s feelings terribly if he knew how I feel.

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