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Dads Eat Free

If they're around, that is.

I’m not exactly sure how Father’s Day came to be, but it’s just around the corner.  For a few theories on the holiday from Answerbag.com, click here.

Just like anything, there’s no such thing as a “perfect father”... though I know several who tie for the damn-near-perfect award. We’ve all seen examples of the best and worst dads, plus everything in between. What makes a good dad to one person doesn’t always resonate with everyone.  Being there, however, certainly does.

According to Blast! Marketing and PR:

Dad Eats Free at Koi and Chen’s PLUS Chance to Win $200 to The Home Depot

Free Entree for Dad from Chinese Plate Menu

Guests can celebrate Dad with the ultimate gift – a free meal.  Dad’s entree from the Chinese Plate menu will be complimentary at Koi in Evanston and Chens in Wrigleyville on Father’s Day.  Limit one “Dad” per table, three person minimum, dine-in only, dinner only.  PLUS one lucky dad will win a $200 gift cart to The Home Depot.

I chuckled at the “Limit one ‘Dad’ per table” rule.  Knowing how often dads are absent in children’s lives, I think the promotion might be better offered this way:

Dad Eats Free at Koi and Chen’s*

Free entrée for ANY man strong enough and brave enough to step up to the plate (Chinese or otherwise).  Guests can celebrate a greater chance at success in life by having a dad present.  The more men you bring who are willing to act as fathers, the more we knock off your bill. 

*Those who’ve lost their dads to illness, war or unforeseen accidents will be granted free entrées for life. Single moms and single dads add a brick of gold to that.  Same sex couples qualify for the original offer, plus male couples receive an extra dessert.

Though I lost my biological father to cancer this year, I truly lost him decades ago.  My stepfather did what a real man does: he stepped in; he stepped up; he stayed.  I couldn't have gotten luckier in the "dad" department, and I wouldn't trade him for all the tea in China or all the free entrées at Koi.

John C Thomson June 15, 2011 at 03:36 PM
As a Father of 3 grown children who has been married to their mother for 31 years I sort of resented the attitude your article presented. "Knowing how often dads are absent in children’s lives" It sounds like you acknowledge that most dads are no good though you might find a few good ones. You would never find this attitude about women on Mother's day. Truth is, yes my father beat my mother was an alcoholic and left the family when I was 9. Mother doesn't get any awards here either the way she beat her kids. Though I had no role models for being a parent I was a Father to my kids. If you want to bash men you have 364 other days in the year, leave Father's Day alone.
Christine Wolf June 16, 2011 at 01:26 AM
John, thank you for writing in and sharing your perspective. While my post wasn't intended to male bash, I can see how some might take it that way. It also seems that you and I were some of the lucky ones who came through difficult childhoods. I'd like to know what you and other readers think of statistics like these: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Mark_Godbey/is-divorce-inevitable_b_798052_71156737.html, http://fatherhood.about.com/od/fathersrights/a/fatherless_children.htm, http://fathersforlife.org/divorce/chldrndiv.htm, http://www.photius.com/feminocracy/facts_on_fatherless_kids.html
John C Thomson June 16, 2011 at 03:36 AM
Wow, if you have read all of these articles I can understand what influenced your article. I will do so as well, though I don't think I've had an assignment like this since college. The irony here is that both of my daughters are getting married this year. I sat down with one of my future son-in-laws last night to discuss commitment in marriage. My wife and I both come from divorced parents and all of our siblings who were married have been through a divorce. Are we lucky? No, we threw the word out of our vocabulary from the beginning and worked hard, very hard to stay commited. My daughters will not be the first girls I walk down the aisle. A single mother lived next door to us whom we befriended, so much so that the eldest daughter at the age of 12 told her mother that, "when I get married I want John to walk me down the aisle." I was touched and honored that she would see in me the father she never had. Her and her sister have honored me on Fathers Day for many a year. I'll get back to you after I absorb the material you suggested.
Christine Wolf June 16, 2011 at 02:25 PM
John, the point of my piece is my wish for more fathers like you. I'm coming at it from a female child-of-divorce perspective, someone fortunate enough to have had a wonderful father figure step in and demonstrate fatherhood: dependability; commitment; unconditional love. I don't think it's a coincidence that I married someone who reminds me of my stepfather; my husband and I will be married 20 years next month. I wish you and all dads out there a Happy Father's Day.
John Noyes June 16, 2011 at 03:44 PM
I too am a child of divorce and was surprised to see an article recently that showed statistics regarding children of divorce having a much higher rate of divorce in their own lives. I, like John, have always felt that it was never going to be an option for myself precisely because of how it affected me when I was young. Anyway, I'm happy to say in my own life that most people I know are still happily married and the dads are excited to celebrate this weekend. Happy Father's Day to all the dads!

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