I love being a father.

Every day, the mere presence of my wife and kids serve as a reminder that I'm blessed because I get to be a husband and dad -- and that no matter what troubles may roil the world, every day with them is Father's Day. (search)

That's not what the calendar says, of course. It decrees that Sunday is the real, exact, precise father's day -- a holiday which, as far as I can tell, exists only to move merchandise and underscore the fact that men and women are unfathomably different.

One key difference: Women care about Mother's Day. If a guy forgets about the holiday, he dies. If he forgets a card, he dies. If he forgets dining reservations, he can get five to ten years, with the remote possibility of time off for good behavior. The second Sunday in May calls for pomp, circumstance and celebration because moms are indefinably special and essential -- and because they love the festivity.

But Father's Day: That is a different matter: If you ask the normal dad what he wants, chances are it's something related to leisure -- two hours on the couch to watch basketball, a pass to play a round of golf, a nap, a chance to barbecue.

There may have been a time, long ago in the scheme of things, when men served as hunter-gatherers, but in this day and age, most guys -- given choice and opportunity -- will turn into vegetables -- all of which will give them something for which to perform penance come next Mother's Day.