With grad season coming to a close, we collectively find ourselves rapidly approaching the Season of Dad. But Father’s Day, unlike graduation day, seems to have a surprising lack of ubiquitous traditions. Sure, some people may have the luxury of a miniature fire escape grill, or a handsome Ikea toolbox, but prototypical he-man activities don’t quite scream “dad” the way they did before we moved out of our parent’s basement.
So what’s a non-dad dude or dudette to do this day? Recent adults might just be realizing that their friends may have multiple father figures, may have lost the man who was always there for them, or may have become daddies themselves. How can we collectively traditionalize the Day of Dad so that all can enjoy?
I propose any fellow non-dads reclaim this and every third Sunday of June as “Dads for the Day.” Don’t just celebrate your dad bod, swap your PBR for a Bud Light and roll out to soccer practice with your dad squad! Those half-baked puns locked away in your childlike head? Set them free under the groan-producing guise of dad humor instead. Here’s your guide to dadding out in Brooklyn today.
Dad Bod is the easiest of our brand new traditions to achieve. Simply cancel your Planet Fitness gym membership, since you were just window shopping when you opened the account in January anyway.
Achieve Dad Bod IRL: Get into that hip dad exercise spirit with Tai Chi Brooklyn in South Slope, and relate even further to Robert DeNiro’s character in The Intern. Make sure to still drink a few beers afterwards so you maintain your hairy, nearly-fit charm that defines the Dad Bod.
Dad Fashion requires the unironic use of your American Apparel fanny pack. Please also be advised that Hawaiian shirts are now in play, and your jeans may no longer be skinny.
Achieve Dad Fashion IRL: Beacon’s Closet in Park Slope is consistently filled with awesome clothes donated by new dads making extra space for strollers, so you will find it a Mecca for dadding materials.
Dad Dining focuses on the addition of unnecessary salt and red meats to the meal you’re making in direct violation of your doctor’s orders, and then promptly burning said meal. Later at Denny’s, make sure to send back the food once and only tip 15 percent.
Achieve Dad Dining IRL: The barbecue and beer game at Fette Sau in Williamsburg is beyond. Whilst dining on customary dad eats, try your hand at man cave traditions like pool, muttering that you were much better in college under your breath.
Dad Squad promotes other Dads for a Day meeting up for a drink at their local sports bar, and basking in the joys of repressed emotions while silently watching mild homoerotica. Whomsoever excuses themselves first with the excuse “I just remembered I was supposed to pick up that Califia Farms almond milk on the way home!” collects $200.
Achieve Dad Squad IRL: Unwindulax together at Brooklyn Crab, where squad members with little ones can lounge and let them play in the sand, and those without kiddos can stare at Lady Liberty and contemplate living kid-free. Plus, there’s plenty of dad-approved games like cornhole and mini golf, the kinds of of games you can play while keeping an eye on the kids.
Dad Duty is the most difficult of them all, requiring you to babysit or join a mentoring program to get in some dad reps in preparation for the real thing. If that is one baby step too big, get practice taking care of living things by walking dogs for Rover, because dogs are fatherly AF.
Achieve Dad Duty IRL: Join the Brooklyn chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and take 8 hours out of your monthly Netflix binge to spend one-on-one with a new little sibling near you.
Dad Humor is the final tenet of our paternal practice, where rather than self-immolate in embarrassment like a non-dad, you boldly walk on the stage of the Comedy Cellar open mic to feel the icy burn of both unenthused intoxicated hecklers and the IcyHot medicated patch on your lower back.
Achieve Dad Humor IRL: In terms of magnificent father funnery, there aren’t many dad hacks beyond Punderdome, the ultimate showcase of dad humor hosted by an actual dad, Fred Firestone, and his daughter, Jo Firestone. Visit Punderdome 3000 or play the card game, i.e. dad hacks for your abode.
Extra dad points shall be given to those who don’t speak all day long, but use it more productively by paying the bills or washing the car of the nearest Uber driver. Automatic win to anyone who picks up the NY Times and only skims the articles, to later bring up one of the headlines out of context at the breakfast table. Okay, dads for a Day might just have turned into a large scale cosplay contest.
For more childish nagging follow Steven on Twitter @stevenhajar.
This post has been updated, originally published in 2016.
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