$600 for Binoculars? YAKM!!

By Michael

My Sunday magazine supplement had a great article over the weekend about the best gift ideas for “dads and grads.” Notice how dads rank so high that we don’t even get our own gift list. Even worse, note how graduating females are assumed to want the same gifts as both 18-year-old high school seniors and 85-year-old men.

But I digress.

In the first paragraph, a gift expert assured us that “you don’t have to spend a ton of money to make sure your loved one feels special, whether it’s Father’s Day or graduation.” Or Arbor Day, Halloween or Festivus, or any other unrelated events that arrive at about the same time.

And then we have a list of four products which, combined, would cost $1,620. The cheapest is a handheld vacuum (Hint: don’t buy this for Mother’s Day, either.) and the most expensive are night vision binoculars. Because every graduate wants two things right out of school: binoculars and a job.

But I digress.

So what’s the best gift for grads and dads? The same thing that’s the best gift for everyone.


As I’m overly fond of saying, you can’t make it, store it, replace it or experience it the same way twice. It’s the greatest gift in the world and, both free and priceless at the same time.

Of course, I could also use one of those long shoe horns that let you put on your shoes without having to bend over too much. And some light bulbs for the upstairs track light. Both are gifts I know I can use and they’re both in my size.

But I digress. Again.

I asked a bunch of dads what they wanted for Father’s Day and nobody asked for some high-tech gizmo or overpriced novelty item. They don’t want to be carted off to some new place they never went to before or receive an introduction to a new pastime like crochet or collectible plates.

All they wanted was some time with their families, an opportunity to relax and someone to share it with. Take advantage of this sentiment. It’s about as close as we ever get to cuddling.

Michael Rosenbaum is 5 Minutes for Parenting’s first dadblogger. He is a business consultant, playwright and author of Your Name Here: Guide to Life.

Michael blogs on life issues at Your Name Here Guide to Life and manages the Adult Conversation discussion group on Linked-In.

4 Responses to $600 for Binoculars? YAKM!!
  1. Kelly
    June 8, 2010 | 10:26 pm

    But time doesn’t sell magazines.

    (Insert wicked ex-journalism black humor laugh here.)

    How about a card? What say you about that – skip it or buy one or write a letter?

  2. Michael
    June 9, 2010 | 4:18 pm

    Cards are nice, especially when the children are young and draw them. Awwwww. I still have a few of my daughters’ drawings hanging up in my office. (“Oh, how cute. How old is she?” “24.”)

    But it’s not about me, except for my kids. It’s about your husband and what he likes. I’d never tell him what he should want for Father’s Day, as he is bigger than me and “has skills.”

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