What a Dad Wants, What a Dad Needs

Written by Mary K. Moore

With Father’s Day fast approaching, we know a lot of you are thinking…Shit, it’s this weekend?? Never fear. Charles, 70-something father of Smatter contributor Mary K. Moore, offers numerous hints on what a dad wants…and, er, doesn’t.

(Gift certificates? “Easy but thoughtless. Just get me nothing and say you don’t care.”)


No! Nowadays hardly anyone wears ties, and most people have enough to last a lifetime. Besides, I only renew them if they get out of style. So why waste money? Next.

Now that's not a tie!

Grooming essentials (shaving kits, soap on a rope, etc.)

For the most part, it’s just junk. Soap on a rope? Seriously, no one is going to use that. A nice cologne can work sometimes. But to me, a man’s cologne is very personal. You have to identify with the scent. It needs to be about the man so that’s hard to pick for someone else.  For example, I’ve been wearing English Leather and Brut for years, but recently, I wanted to make a change. I tried Polo, CK, Stetson–you name it–but nothing had a scent that spoke to me. Maybe I’m going too deep on this one.

Electronic gadgets

Men are crazy for that stuff.  So if you know he wants it, get him a cell phone, computer or one of those iPads. I take that back. No iPads. They are way too expensive, and a dad is going to feel bad about you buying something that’s almost $1000. Don’t do it. I mean it.


They’re always good for the handyman. If that’s his thing. Giving your husband a tool is like giving him a doorknob for a gift. He’s not into that stuff. But for a person who likes to piddle, it’s perfect. Besides, everyone needs a good electric drill. I don’t care who you are.

Sports gear or tickets

Great gift! Great gift! A neat gift might be his favorite sports channel on his Dish. You could buy him a package for the year. But I love tickets. I really love tickets. Like to Texas football games. But Oklahoma versus Texas tickets–that’s huge. Or tickets to Texas versus anyone. I love tickets. Especially to Texas games.


Books are nice, but if he’s not a reader, move on. You better know what he likes though. You should. He’s your dad.  Me, I love a good murder mystery or political drama. Or what’s that thing called…a Nook! Now if you get him a Nook or one of those Kindle deals, he can get the book he wants. You can even load it with books he enjoys…like murder mysteries or political dramas.

Charles sez: Hint, hint...

Gift certificates

They’re the easiest but least thoughtful. Sure, a dad can spend it how he wants, but it’s still pretty lazy. It’s a last-minute save, and your dad knows it. Just get a thoughtful card instead. Or you can put tickets in it. Texas football tickets.

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