Given the complicated personal history I bring to Father’s Day , I tend not to make a great many plans for today. It so happens though that I received an invitation to go over with some friends and I figured it would be more enjoyable than moping alone, so I took advantage of the opportunity. Before I did, though, I wanted to get some things done, and as it happened, I managed to finish reading two books before I went off to rural Southeast Clackamas county. With that done, I felt as if the day had already been a little bit productive and that allowed me to feel okay about a lot of driving and lazing about. Of course, most of the time for me lazing about is still being a bit more busy than many people are on similar lazy moments. Given that I napped a few hours after arriving home somewhat early last night, I felt it necessary to try to rest at least a bit this weekend. I have felt the need to rest a good deal more than I have at some times.
That said, it seems as if other people were having the same mood I was. It seemed as if the Father’s Day I went to was more than a little bit sparse. One of my hosts joked that “his other son” had showed up, and seemed at least a bit mildly surprised, as he was when I visited there on Mother’s Day, but other than that there were only five of us eating dinner together. I am not sure how other people recognize the number of people eating together as being the sign of how they view a day. As it is, there were a great many people involved who probably felt at least a little ambivalent about Father’s Day in light of what is going on in life. I had expected at least one person there who wasn’t there as I had brought a book for her to read that I figured would be useful in light of what has been going on in her life recently. At any rate, we enjoy the people who are there and not the people we expected to see there.
While I was there I managed to write book reviews for the two books I had read this morning and read two more books as well that will likely receive somewhat critical reviews based on their contents. I suppose that reading four (or five) books would make a day particularly productive at least in terms of intellectual life, and spending time with others certainly made the book better in terms of socializing than would likely be the case on most Sundays, which I spend either doing errands or sitting by myself and reading books on my computer. I must admit that a day like today may not strike much of the rest of the world as an exciting day, especially given the sort of fun that other people like to have, but I am generally pleased when a day that I am not usually looking forward to for a variety of reasons ends up being a day that does not put me too far behind the sort of tasks that I find it necessary to do or for the enjoyment of the company of other people.
I’m not sure what an ideal Father’s Day would be for me. At least at this stage of my life, the day is always going to be a bit of a disappointment, at least at present. Yet we cannot judge a day simply because of our own experience. We have to keep our mind open enough to understand how other people can and do appreciate a day like this even if we cannot enjoy it wholeheartedly. This subject, surprisingly enough, came up today in conversation, as I commented that it was common for people to judge people and institutions merely by that which bothered or annoyed or frustrated us rather than their whole context. It is important to be just and fair to others, not least because we wish to be viewed with justice by others, and there is a strong temptation for others to view us for what they find most frustrating and most irritating about us. That is a standard few of us want to be judged with, and certainly I don’t. I know all too well just how frustrating and irritating I can be by nature without intending to be.
 See, for example: