Omigod!! Wake Up, MEN!!!! It’s Valentine’s Day and you didn’t get anything!!! What are you going to do to survive this disaster?????????
JK, guys. VD is next week, so you can hit the snooze alarm. Still, we could be posting this alert two months from now and it wouldn’t matter. For most guys, Valentine’s Day is a lose-lose proposition that adds anxiety and risk, but doesn’t exactly spur a ton of strategic thinking.
Yeah, there are a few traitors to the YChrom Movement who book spa days and hire private chefs and learn how to, um, scintillate via foot massage, but most men are going to claim they “think best under pressure” and grab whatever they can get delivered in an hour or less next Sunday morning.
Yours truly will probably get up around 7 a.m. on the 14th, steal the neighbor’s Sunday papers, and cut out letters for a VD card that just might be incredibly endearing—if I was six years old. Since I’m several times that tenure, it will look more like a ransom note and it will be received almost as warmly.
Let’s face facts here. For most men, Valentine’s Day is not the most alluring of holidays. Thanksgiving has food and football. New Year’s has food and football. Super-you-know-what Sunday (today!!) has food and football. Valentine’s Day? Well, there’s food, usually, but not the incredible array of nachos/pizza/wings we get when there’s football.
More than the food/football gap, Valentine’s Day is designed for failure. Seriously, there is no way to buy the exact right thing, say the exact right thing, and massage all those toes the exact right way. The only thing that comes in the right size is a Roomba and, trust me, guys, this gift is not as romantic as those Home Depot ads would suggest.
Never fear, though, for the passionate devils at Dad Writes have devised the perfect manly measures for VD excellence. No matter what your situation, here are the perfect gifts for that special other humanoid in your life:
If you have children, buy them a pizza and eat it in the car, leaving your significant other alone at home with no interruptions. They get a bit of me-time and you get a pizza. Win and win.
If you’re quarantined together, buy a Peloton. There’s no better way to say, “I think you’re hip and hot and fit,” than a $3,000 hamster-wheel/TV combo. And, yes, we’d still think it’s the perfect gift even if we hadn’t bought options on 30,000 shares of Peloton stock.
If you’re both working from home, nothing says “You’re a star,” like a bath towel they can use as a Zoom background. Pro tip: Buy a gray towel so the lint and soap suds are less obvious.
If you won’t be in the same place, order a romantic dinner to be delivered to each of your locations and enjoy it together on a video call. We suggest a heart-shaped pizza as the main course, although we forget what wine goes with anchovies.
If your relationship is brand new, send flowers. It’s the most polite way to say, “I’m excited now, but I know this might fizzle in a week or two.” Plants and candy might still be hanging around as painful reminders after the passion fades, but flowers know how to leave before it all goes south.
If your relationship is decades old, buy a bottle of cheap champagne. It’s not very creative, or romantic, but both of you will be too tired to argue about it once the bottle is empty.
Best of all, every one of these special, meaningful, truly romantic gifts can be arranged today, while we’re all watching the matchup of, um, you know, uh, those teams from those cities that we don’t live in or near or come from. And enjoy your nachos. After all your Valentine’s planning, you’ve earned a break.
Dad Writes subscribers are prepared for all the holidays, from Valentine’s Day to Alban Arthan, and you can be an expert, too, if you just click here.
Yes, brand new year, fresh start, only a few days old and yet…it seems there was something you were going to do and you just haven’t gotten around to it. What was it? It was really important and the success of 2021 depends on it and you’re not going to be able to sleep at night until you figure it out.
Oh. Yeah. That’s it.
You forgot to make your New Year’s resolutions. What in the world were you (not) thinking when you didn’t tackle this critical project? Not to worry, though, because the scolds at Dad Writes has been working non-stop to find all the changes you should make in 2021 to become a better person.
We understand that some of this will be difficult, but it’s for your own good. You’ve really screwed up a lot in the past year—no offense—and you need some tough love guidance to get you back on the straight and narrow. The list of all the changes you need to make is huge, so we will just focus on the top ten resolutions that you must follow immediately:
These simple steps are guaranteed to make your 2021 even better than drowning in quicksand or dining on dung beetles. Even better, they give you absolute freedom to ignore all those so-called “experts” with their “wisdom” and “experience” and “good advice” and “common sense” that never works. No, no need to thank us. Making you a better person is the least we can do.
How else can Dad Writes explain all the ways you need to improve your life? Find out by clicking here to subscribe to all our judgments about what’s best for you.
This is absolutely the best week of the year, every year, any year, with zero exceptions. EVER.
Yes, maybe somebody had a better week once, when they got married or promoted or had a kid or, more likely, when their kids finally moved out of the house, but that was once and this week is always.
Seriously, can it get any better than this? Even in a pandemic, the week between Christmas and the New Year rules bigtime. How is it best? Let us count the ways…
So let’s all waste every minute, savoring this week of limbo. Immerse your soul in its blessed emptiness, the hopelessness, the irreversible finality of it all. Even if the calendar doesn’t say it yet, the year is over and the normal demands of our lives are suspended. When a week offers up no demands, no pressure, and tons of day drinking, how can it not be the best week of the year?
And did I mention day drinking?
What’s the second best week of the year? Find out by subscribing to Dad Writes by clicking here and you’ll be the first to know.
I spent an extra $20 on a hand cart last month because it’s made in the United States, plus another $10 on a broiler pan that’s also made here. So, for 30 bucks, I feel like a hero. Not like one of those heroes who run into burning buildings to save orphans and puppies, but a hero nonetheless.
And why not? I’m helping support the American dream for some business owner while I slash into our trade deficit with China and Japan and Mexico and Germany and Cote d'Ivoire and pretty much everyone else. I’m making it possible for some entrepreneur in Arizona to buy a few shirts for the school baseball team, if they ever get a chance to play baseball again, and for a clerk in Vermont to buy some locally brewed maple syrup. I’m tipping the scales, ever so slightly, for the home team.
Frankly, this is getting to be a bit of a fixation for me, but it’s probably one of the healthier addictions I’ve undertaken over the years. Besides the endorphin rush I get out of buying American products, my bragging rights come with almost no effort. I just add ‘made in USA’ or ‘made in America’ to my search terms and even Amazon will offer up a wide array of options. This is exactly the kind of heroics I like. All gain, no pain.
Even better, almost all the products have been very well made. I should probably retract my initial claim that I paid extra for Made In USA, because the quality level made these items more valuable than some of the imported stuff I’ve purchased. Several letters have rubbed off my made-in-China keyboard recently, as the photo with this blog attests, so I’m just a bit more in touch with the price/value ratio these days. So far, the Yankee products have ranked fairly high on that scale.
Beyond the products themselves, many U.S. manufacturers have fascinating back stories on their websites about how the business started. If you love the American Dream, this is required reading.
I’m also loving this process because I don’t need to depend on anyone else or any government programs to make it happen. I believe in free trade and I believe in freedom of choice, so I wouldn’t legislate where most (non-security/defense) items are made, but buying from my fellow citizens seems to be a very sensible choice.
It’s very timely, as well. I’ve heard a rumor that many Americans will be buying a ton of stuff over the next 26 days. Locally sourced items could make December just a bit more merry and bright.
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When it comes to mixed blessings, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to surpass Thanksgiving 2020. Our annual celebration of American excess is being disrupted for most of us this year, bringing a ton of disappointment and a surprisingly large number of benefits.
The disruptions are obvious, of course. There’s nothing better than a holiday that allows…no, demands that we eat nonstop from roughly noon until the last dishes are done. Our hearts are warmed by the family traditions, whether it’s Aunt Mildred’s stuffing recipe or the grandkids circling all the presents they want in the “toy mazagines.” Old jokes, platters used only once a year, placing bets on which old fart will fall asleep first on the living room couch…really, there’s no place like home for the holidays.
The upside is not quite as obvious, but that’s because we keep thinking about Thanksgiving like we’re living in a Normal Rockwell painting. We’re not.
The fact is, nobody has ever liked Aunt Mildred’s stuffing. It tastes like fish guts wrapped in a bicycle tire and she always insists on giving everyone a second helping. We only pretend to like it because she’s loaded and we wanted to inherit something when she kicks it, but now she’s moving in with her yoga instructor and there’s no point to this charade any more.
Meanwhile, Cousin Marley whines every year about failing to buy Google at $92, Auntie Kim complains nonstop about her ex, and there’s no escaping the incredible genius of Randy, who isn’t even a relative but somehow shows up every year anyway. And when dad and the uncles fall asleep on the couch, the sound of snoring isn’t the only thing emanating from their stupors.
In 2020, though, there's no family to get in the way of the perfect holiday. We can start eating and drinking as soon as we wake up, because it’s noon o’clock somewhere, and we can stuff ourselves with pizza or egg rolls or enchiladas or anything else we crave. We don’t have to deal with Aunt Mildred’s stuffing or Kim or Marley or Randy or all those smells emanating from the coma couch. If some chirpy cousin insists on doing a Zoom call, we can just put up a photo of a turkey as our background and hit mute while we search for any leftover Halloween candy in the back of the pantry.
Best of all, now we have time to come up with the perfect Thanksgiving music and maybe win the Nobel Peace Prize along the way. Seriously, someone needs to save us from eight weeks of figgy pudding and DUI reindeer.
Contrary to all common sense, Christmas music started up right after the election, or maybe it was already on the air by then and being drowned out by all those good-will-to-all ads that the candidates were running. Either way, it’s just too soon, and the only way to stop it is to insert Thanksgiving music in between. Assuming we had any Thanksgiving music, of course.
This year, with all the time we'll be saving by not having to entertain Marley and Kim and Randy, we can finally get around to creating the great songs that this all-American holiday deserves. It's hard to believe we've gone this long without Thanksgiving jingles and carols and noels, since the rhyme schemes are so obvious.
Turkey rhymes with murky, perky, quirky, and even herky jerky. Yams and hams are a natural, as are pies and thighs, slurps and burps, and giblets/niblets. We can even do a song about turkey gobbles and family squabbles, stressing over dressing, and Uncle Roy on the Lazy Boy.
There are only two types of people in this universe: poor benighted souls who want all Christmas music all the time and the sane people who would outlaw any Christmas music until there is actual snow on the ground and we can all see our breath. Sorry, but it’s not Christmas yet when Starbucks is still hawking their pumpkin spice latte and George Washington is trying to sell me a mattress.
That's why we're calling on all the unemployed songwriters in America (see: all the songwriters in America) to make the magic happen. There won’t be any bump for the economy as everyone downloads the tunes for free, but we’ll have a brief truce in the war over how much Christmas music is too much…and too soon. Did I mention the Nobel Peace Prize? Why, yes, yes I did.
Have a great Thanksgiving. We can't wait to hear the song about Aunt Mildred's stuffing.
Find out what great songs will celebrate Thanksgiving from this year forward by subscribing to our weekly rants at Dad Writes. Just click here.
Finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, a Halloween worthy of celebration. Even the darkest of clouds has a silver lining and this infernal pandemic is giving us a reason to celebrate at last.
Regular readers know that I’m a true expert on Halloween, especially when it comes to techniques for getting the best candy with the least aggravation. It’s a game for chess masters as parents strategize the optimal routes for their children and try to psych out their neighbors to score full-size Snickers in exchange for a roll of Smarties.
Not so this year, though. With social distancing and hygiene concerns, millions of kids are giving up on the idea of standing six feet apart to wait for a Junior Mint that mom will insist on sterilizing in the microwave. Millions of people are standing in line for hours to cast their ballots this year, but how long is anyone really going to wait for some Candy Corn?
Finally, on a holiday that’s really about the parents, we can celebrate without guilt and without all the craziness. With so many families opting out of the traditional tricking and treating, it’s a breeze to follow our simple guide to Halloween bliss.
Of course, there’s no risk this year if you simply put a sign on the door to announce that you aren’t giving any candy. After the panic buying and shortages in March, most parents I know are keeping their soap and toilet paper locked up, so you’re safe.
Isn’t this the holiday you’ve always wanted anyway? Just you, a big bowl of candy and, well, what else do you really need? Halloween should always be this way, even if we’re not lucky enough to have a pandemic next year.
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.