The Worst Gifts To Give Your Significant Other

(Getty/Beau Lark)

“You know, the nice thing about this baby is that you can mulch the grass, attach a bag to the rear OR slap this little plastic thing-a-ma-jig on the side and discharge that shit right out into the street! Happy Birthday, Judy.”

I’m 99% sure that’s the conversation that happened between our neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Carter, in August of 1979. That assumption is based on the fact that I’d overheard my Mom say, “It’s Judy’s birthday today. I should giver her a call.” and then seeing Mrs. Carter mowing their front yard with a shiny new Lawn Boy the next day.

My goal here is to give you a list of some of the worst gifts you can give your wife/partner/significant other. Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way: no bears carved out of tree stumps, no tubs of protein powder and nothing that uses “As Seen on TV” as its marketing strategy. Consider this a “teaching a man to fish” moment.

LAWN EQUIPMENT

As my short story about poor Mrs. Carter would imply, buying your wife a lawn mower as a gift is a guaranteed way to make sure you’re sex life becomes monastic. The same goes for weed whippers, hedge trimmers, vacuum cleaners, washers and dryers…you get the point. You NEVER buy your partner anything that helps them do something they hate to do more efficiently.

CLOTHING

Clothes…bad. “You really think I’m this big?” Or, “I already have one of these. Didn’t you notice?” Even if she likes what you bought and you win, you lose because now you’ve set the bar unrealistically high for the next time. Do yourself a favor and don’t appear to be too good at anything. It never hurts to have a little bit of a “fuck up” quality to your character. Your schedule on the weekends will be much more wide open if you do.

SELF PORTRAITS

A picture of…wait…YOU! Really bad. She sees you everyday…whether she wants to or not. Women rarely hide their emotions so if she wanted a glossy 8×10 of you with the kind of soft lighting they use to use on Liz Taylor, she would’ve asked for it. My money says, she’s never asked for it.

GIFT CARDS

Gift cards are shit. A gift card says the only effort you put forth was scanning the impulse buy section of the checkout line while you were looking for Certs and came across that $50 BW3 card. That’s what you’ve made her…an impulse buy.

A STAR

How about this? There’s a website where you can name a star after someone you love. The site should also include a link to the cheapest divorce attorney because you’ll need it. Unless you met your significant other at the NASA Christmas party, naming a star she’ll never see after her is like buying Erin Brockovich bottled water from the springs of Chernobyl.

VACATIONS

Vacations…nope…UNLESS you present the idea with enough lead-time for her to be fully involved in every aspect of the planning. Otherwise, you’re going to fuck it up…yes, you will. You’ll choose to drive instead of fly so the two of you can “see some of the country.” She doesn’t want to navigate; she wants to be there. You’ll schedule at least one excursion based on your interests and not hers. The motorcycle museum will be like Pan’s Labyrinth to her. Stay home.

IN CLOSING….

It’s simple…be thoughtful. The greatest gift you can give your partner is the one that lets them know you’ve been paying attention. It doesn’t have to be big and expensive. Maybe a vintage copy of a book that changed her life or a souvenir from the restaurant where you proposed to her or a DVD of the first movie you saw together. The best gift I’ve ever received from my wife was an ink sketch she had done of our first tiny little house. This was the home we decorated exactly the way we wanted. The little Cape Cod with a single stall garage where I mounted a basketball hoop. The place where we were living when both of our daughters were born. I get emotional every time I look at it.

Unfortunately for her, I’ve never been able to match this one, but I’ll be damned if I won’t keep trying.

Jim Gaffigan Has Something to Say About Beer

(Getty/master1305/Tom Briglia)

A general rule of thumb when making small talk: Don’t talk about religion, politics, or beer preferences.

All three are bound to erupt into heated debates. In the dad community beer in particular tends to be an extremely touchy subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what makes a beer amazing or downright sacrilegious, and comedian Jim Gaffigan is no different.

You’re either in full agreement with Jim’s purist perspective or cracking your knuckles to write a scathing comment touting your superior craft beer palate.

But that’s the great thing about beer, nay… America. We all have individual tastes. Just because some guy doesn’t share your affinity for a specific brew, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong (even though he is!) It just means you get to connect with someone with a differing perspective, while drinking beer!

So, if you see Jim in a bar, don’t make fun of him for his taste in beer. Instead, buy him a round, and make fun of his age – like an adult.

Cheers, Jim!

Back To School Photo Fails

(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)

Parents love to capture the moment on the first day back to school, but sometimes that moment isn’t what we envisioned. Check out these hilarious back to school photo fails from The Dad community.

(Instagram.com/cheeksmagee)
(Facebook.com/KellySmith)
(Instagram.com/abbyjmccoy)
(Instagram.com/instagramycohen)
(Facebook.com/DaveHannem)
(Instagram.com/JoyScribner)
(Instagram.com/bullitt.with.a.name)
(Facebook.com/KristenMadral)
(Instagram.com/heatherdtomlinson)

Dad Grades – Hal from Malcolm in the Middle

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Years before his dark turn as meth kingpin Heisenberg, Bryan Cranston starred as Hal on the criminally under-appreciated sitcom, Malcolm in the Middle. While his sadistically overbearing wife, Lois, was perpetually at wits end with their four mischievous sons, the much more care-free Hal happily took the passenger seat in their parenting roles.

DAD STRENGTHS

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Hal is a loving husband and father. He shows Lois affection through raw animalistic passion and utter dependence. He even admits to it, once telling Lois that he and their boys are not smart enough to function without her, and in return can only offer his total obedience.

He takes a much calmer, more sympathetic approach to parenting than Lois. She has a short fuse, at the end of which is a barrel of dynamite eager to ground someone for the rest of their life. Hal, conversely, seizes any opportunity to bond with his boys by having a sit-down and doling out fatherly words of wisdom.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

He’s far more lenient, but will raise his voice and put his foot down when necessary. He’s often creative in his punishments. For example, when Malcolm told him “[bleep] you,” Hal sat him down in the backyard and forced him to look him in the eyes and read aloud a comprehensive list of every vile swear words, teaching him their power.

His biggest strength, however, is his laid-back, often immature attitude. It serves as a refreshing palate cleanser for Lois’ incessant shouting. He is truly the yin to her yang.

DAD WEAKNESSES

He’s more permissive than his wife. In one episode, Hal surprises the boys by letting them skip school to accompany him at some stock car races.

Hal’s lax approach to parenting is, regrettably, his biggest weakness. His spontaneity and often childish behavior sets a bad example for his sons. Case in point: the steamroller. After winning some money on a scratch-off, Hal secretly rents a steamroller.

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)

When Dewey catches him, Hal agrees to let him steamroll over Reese’s bike. Ultimately, Hal goes mad with power and Dewey must talk him down from steamrolling a row of cars. Surely this gave Dewey license to misbehave in the future. His impulsive nature is typically harmless, but still sets precedent for the delinquency of his kids.

VERDICT

Despite shortcomings at the cost of his need to be the parent his sons actually like, Hal is a great father. Sure, all four of his sons are rambunctious hellions, disobedient and destructive at every turn, but that’s predominantly the result of their stubborn, temperamental mother. He’s a big-hearted working stiff, determined to provide for his family however dysfunctional they may be.

FINAL DAD GRADE: A-

Dancing Dad Embarrasses Daughter at Baseball Game [VIDEO]

Being a dad involves a lot of anxiety, drudgery, and stress. Sometimes you get to enjoy the perks of parenting, like embarrassing your children on television. Or in the stands at a Cubs game.

Or both!

This dad knows what’s up. He ignores his daughter’s attempts to get him to stop dancing and then doubles down on the silly moves.

Father Figures: Be Positive

“My twin girls (Faye and Felicia) are both autistic.

Felicia was diagnosed before she was three; she’s non verbal and loves life in her own wee bubble. Once she lets you in, it’s amazing. That’s her circle of trust.

Faye is her total opposite, always singing and chatting up a storm. Once they started preschool, we found out that Faye was showing signs of autism that we perhaps overlooked because she was so advanced.

My wife and I, with the assistance of Faye’s teachers, pushed hard to get her assessed, reassessed and diagnosed. Faye is very smart and fooled the specialist in the first assessment regarding extra help in school. We were very lucky when she was diagnosed, because the specialist ASD doctors could still recognize her traits.

It’s been a long journey and no two days are alike. Through it all we’ve learned that Faye is just a younger, female version of her older brother. From her diagnosis, we were able to recognize the ASD traits in Jordan. He is now beginning the diagnostic process.

But long story short, both our girls now attend an autism unit in a special school. It’s a God send and they are both doing great! They turned 6 in August and Jordan will be 11 this December.

Be positive and always make sure your child gets all they need. Raising a child with special needs definitely puts into perspective what’s important in life!

Everything for the kids!”

– Nic Young

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

8-Year-Old Girl Stuns Crowd at Harlem Globetrotters Game [VIDEO]

(YouTube/Harlem Globetrotters)

When the Harlem Globetrotters called Samaya Clark-Gabriel onto the court at halftime of their game, the crowd at Madison Square Garden wasn’t sure what to expect. But at this stage in a Globetrotters game it would certainly take a lot to impress them.

First she just started dribbling.

But then she started dribbling two basketballs at once. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold. And then she started dribbling two basketballs at once while wearing a blindfold and DOING A SPLIT.

Wow. Did they sign her yet?

Big Dad Rides Small Bike as a Tribute to Late Daughter

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

Peter Williams of Penzance, England is showing incredible strength after the loss of his daughter. On Friday at 10am, he began a 211-mile ride to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity.

In 2015, Peter lost his 7-year-old daughter, Ellie, to a rare form of brain cancer, only six months after she was diagnosed.

To honor his daughter he decided to begin his ride at Bristol Children’s Hospital where Ellie was treated. He’s also making the entire trip on her little pink bike, which is only 20″ high. Given Peter is 6 feet tall, that’s going to make for an additional challenge, but he’s up for it.

Aside from a small modification to the bike’s seat, he’ll be riding the bike as-is. “My knees clear the handlebars by about half an inch so it’s going to be really tight, but it’s a great bike,” he told the BBC. When he factors in his unique mode of transportation Peter estimates the ride from Bristol to Land’s End will take him a week to complete.

Ellie loved cycling and impressed her dad at age three, when she was able to ride without training wheels.

(JustGiving/Peter Williams)

The bike he’ll be riding was her pride and joy – a present she received for her last Christmas.

So far Peter has raised £23,349 (roughly $30K US) through his JustGiving campaign, already doubling his £10,000 target.

What a guy! What a dad! Go, Peter, go!

If you’d like donate to Peter’s campaign, visit his JustGiving page.

If you want to learn more about where the money is going, check out The Brain Tumour Charity.