58 percent of fathers are sorta jerks

Tuesday , June 10, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Sorry, fellow dudes, but I’m about to throw us under the proverbial bus.

According to some new poll conducted by some online company, this coming Sunday dear old dad will again be getting “the short end of the stick,” holiday-wise. The basic conclusion of this recent survey was that, as a society, we make a much bigger deal about our mothers on Mother’s Day than our fathers on Father’s Day. The poll claims that we buy more gifts — and nicer ones — for the honorees of Mother’s Day. What’s more, apparently we put more thought into gifts for her than gifts for him.

Well, duh. Also, boo-stinkin’-hoo.

Let’s take a look at some of the “findings” of this Father’s Day survey, commissioned by something called RetailMeNot.com:

• FINDING NO. 1 — “Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers surveyed believe that people spend more on Mother’s Day gifts than on Father’s Day gifts.”

Now, I’m no mathematical genius, but if 48 percent of the people in a survey say one thing, that means there’s an even larger percentage — 4 percent more, in fact — who aren’t saying that. In other words, we could rephrase this finding to claim that “More than half (52 percent) of consumers surveyed don’t believe that people spend any more on Mother’s Day gifts than on Father’s Day gifts.”

Ah, statistics. Bless their misleading little hearts.

• FINDING NO. 2 — “Twenty percent of consumers surveyed admit they are more creative with gifts for their mom on Mother’s Day than for their dad on Father’s Day.”

Twenty percent? Does that even count as a thing? And again, wouldn’t that imply that a whopping 80 percent aren’t willing to admit to such foolishness? Hardly even seems worthy of a mention.

But most telling of all is this little polling gem:

• FINDING NO. 3 — “This gift-buying behavior is consistent with findings from the 2013 Father’s Day Shoppers Trend Report, which revealed more than half (58 percent) of dads feel they spend more money on their partners for Mother’s Day than their significant others typically spend on them for Father’s Day.”

Really? Nearly six in 10 fathers polled actually said they thought they spent more money on their partner than their partner spent on them? Like they were keeping score or something?

Abject disappointment in 58 percent of an entire gender in three, two, one …

Indeed, gentle readers, that’s the key difference between mothers and fathers. My guess is, most mothers who were asked this idiotic question simply hung up on the pollster.

However, despite such silly survey questions, the implication is all-too-clear: While parents should never, ever play favorites with their children, it’s not a two-way street. Because it’s fairly obvious that, all other things being equal, most kids prefer mom to dad.

And frankly, the surprising part is that this would be news to anyone.

Don’t misunderstand. Fathers are important. But a child instinctively knows what the rest of us are too politically correct to admit: In almost all cases, mom trumps dad.

Think about it. If there were a fire in the house, and a child could save only one parent, would it be the one who goes about, day after day, quietly attending to the child’s every need? Or the guy who, after finally — begrudgingly — changing a dirty diaper, offers a triumphant “Ta-daaah!” and waits for someone to congratulate him, or present him with an award or something.

Is Mother’s Day a bigger deal than Father’s Day? Certainly. Should it be? Absolutely, if for no other reason than 58 percent of the fathers out there have been keeping score on their gift-giving.

WHAT’S NEXT? The annual RetailMeNot.com Independence Day survey, in which pollsters prove that 67 percent of Republicans are 48 percent more patriotic than 52 percent of Democrats. Then, later this year, it’s the annual RetailMeNot.com Christmas survey, which shows that Santa Claus actually hates 27 percent of American children.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or msaal@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SEMarkSaal.

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