Some dads are great. Some dads suck. Some dads give you all the tools to succeed in life, while some dads just give you therapy bills. The point is that there are a lot of different types of dads, but I guarantee – guarantee! (offer not valid in Alaska, Hawaii or any of the 48 contiguous states) – that your father is one of the following 11 types of dads. And no matter which type they are, we can’t help loving them.
Happy Father’s Day, dads.
This dad refuses to accept that there isn’t more to this world than whatever mundane 9-5 existence he’s probably living, and, more importantly, he also taught you to believe that you could be anything. Never underestimate how powerful having your parents 100% in your corner no matter what fool idea you have can be. Your dad was never willing to accept mediocrity, so why should you?
The Best Friend
This dude just wanted a bro to hang out with, and from the time you were little, he was always getting you involved in whatever he was passionate about, whether it was watching the game together or just hanging out because you liked being around each other. That’s not as common as you might think. Not everybody has that with their dad. You get to have not only a kick-ass father, but the biggest ride or die bro there is. So the next time you’re having a beer with your dad-bro, make sure that he knows how much you appreciate him.
The flip-side to the best friend dad is this guy, who rode your ass into the ground because he was trying to “make a man out of you.” As much as you probably hated him growing up, the truth is that he was just doing his best the only way he knew how, and he was only doing it because deep down – deep, deep down – he loves you more than anything else in this universe, and just wants you to be a good dude. He may be hard to get along with, and he may expect the world from you, but that’s just because you’re his son, damn it, and that’s how much he believes in you.
The In-Touch With His Feelings Dad
This dad is a modern man. He’s in-touch with all of his emotions, he’s gentle, he’s kind, and he’s probably never yelled at anyone in his life, with the possible exception of the waiter at the restaurant who made the mistake of serving him non-organic greens. Look, this dude can be a little trying at times, because, let’s face it, deep down we all want our parents to smarten our asses up once in awhile. But you can’t doubt how much this dad loves you, if only because he never, ever shuts up about it. In the end, knowing that trumps everything else.
This dad lives to make people laugh, and growing up he probably seemed like the funniest dude on Earth to you. Now that you’re older, he probably seems super-corny, but that’s okay, because he taught you how valuable it is to laugh at life, to not take everything so goddamn seriously, and that to make someone smile is one of the best things you can experience. Of course, you’re still going to roll your eyes at him the next time he pulls out a joke that was last funny in 1982, but one day you’re going to tell your seven year old that same joke, that kid is going to laugh his little ass off, and you’re going to realize one simple, undeniable truth: your dad owns.
The Tool Man
This is the dad who loves the idea of being the handyman. He can fix anything, great or small, and has no use for those thieves known as “professionals.” Of course, the great irony is that your tool-man dad probably breaks just as much as he manages to fix, but you love him anyway. If nothing else, he projects an air of confidence, and that in turn made you feel safe growing up, and gave you the confidence to try even though sometimes you might fail. There are worse role-models to have. Much worse.
This dad might not be so handy with the tools, but he can help you pass Physics and that’s got to be worth something, right? Right. This guy filled you with a love of learning from a young age, and whether it was making crazy baking soda volcanoes in the garage or just teaching you that reading is, in fact, not just for nerds, he’s the one that taught you that it’s not just okay to be curious, it’s the key to discovering new things, and that’s how you build a life.
This dude is a tough one. He never shows you his emotions and he probably has only said “I love you” to you once or twice in your life, if that. But those one or two times are extremely powerful things because you know that he meant them. I’ll be honest, having this guy as your father can be difficult, and you’ll probably need therapy at some point, but hey, you probably also grew up knowing that your dad isn’t someone to fuck with. But the biggest gift an ice-man dad can give you is letting you know how valuable affection can be, and so when you have kids of your own, you’ll know exactly what to do. And, perhaps more importantly, what not to do.
Look, this guy tries. He really does. It’s just that he can never quite get his shit together. It’s just who he is. And as hard as that may have been for you growing up, you have to realize that at least he was there. At least he made the effort. And it had to suck for him, knowing how much he was fucking up all the time. No one wants to be that dude. And it’s easy to quit, easy to walk away from that, but this guy never did. He just kept trying and kept on fucking-up, no matter how hard it was for him, and no matter how painful it was for both of you. That’s because he loves you more than he loves himself. He may not be the best father out there, but he’s your father, and he will fuck-up one million times just on the off-chance that he gets it right once and makes you happy. How can you not love someone like that?
This one could have plenty of sub-categories all its own – the happy drinker, the sad drinker, the violent drinker… but really, all drinking does is exacerbate some underlying truth or personality trait. In short, for good or ill, your dad’s drinking just brings out one of the other types of dads on this list. Still, sometimes this can be become a personality type all its own, and let’s be honest, usually that’s not a good thing. Still, it just reminds you that your dad is a human being, and even if he’s half in the bag all the time, he’s still your dad, and he will storm the basketball court for you like Shooter in Hoosiers.
The Absentee Father
Look, I don’t want to end this on a bad note, but we can’t deny that there are plenty of dads out there who just weren’t there for whatever reason. Sure, sometimes that means that you get raised in poverty by a single mom and maybe even her carpenter boyfriend, and then you grow up and get in trouble with the law along with your gang, but enough about Jesus and his absentee father.
Look, the truth is that your dad, wherever he is, probably regrets leaving you more than anything. He’s out there, and he does love you. And if he doesn’t? Well, then fuck him. You’re here. You made it, and you are stronger than just about anyone you know because you had to figure it all out for yourself. Either way, it’s time to stop being angry with this dude and just feel sorry for him. Pity him. It’s a hell of a lot better than being angry all the time, and who knows? One day, you might just work it out. It’s easier to do that if you can make your peace with what he did. Even if he did let you hang on a cross for three days.
Dad and son image by Shutterstock