Every year, I start writing this post, get upset and abandon it. But since speaking to a fellow member of the Dead Dads Club who was having the same problem, I think it’s time I finished it.
Fathers’ Day is no doubt a lovely and enjoyable event for fathers and people with fathers everywhere. But there’s also a considerable group of people who have lost their dads, hate their dads, or otherwise just don’t want dad-dom shoved in their faces every year. This post is for those people.
Make Fathers’ Day disappear from your inbox
First, let’s get rid of all those emails desperate to flog you the very same thing they tried to sell you on Mothers’ Day, but with a weak dad twist.
I can only give instructions for Gmail because that’s the only service I use, but any one with filters should work similarly – try Googling ‘create filter <email service>’:
- Click the arrow in your search box:
- Put the words to filter in the subject line box, separated with OR in capital letters (I use ‘dad OR daddy OR father’, which will also pick up ‘dads’, ‘fathers’ etc). You could put the words in the ‘includes the words’ box, but that would include the body of emails and someone might mention their dad in a perfectly normal email and get filtered. I find it safer to just filter the subject line – it should pick up all Fathers’ Day marketing mails:
Then click ‘Create filter with this search >>’ and decide what you’d like to do with those messages. I set them to skip the inbox and auto-archive, but you could also choose to auto-delete. I prefer not to just in case an innocent email gets filtered and I need to find it.
- Click ‘Create filter’ and we’re done. You can leave the filter running all the time, or choose to remove it after Fathers’ Day by clicking the gear icon on the top right, then Settings, then the Filters tab.
Stop dead relatives popping up on Facebook
- Fill in this form to get their account memorialised.
Mute Fathers’ Day chat on Twitter
These apps allow you to ‘mute’ certain topics and keywords on Twitter, so you just don’t see them in your stream:
Again, just set up words you’d like to filter – I’d recommend father, fathers, father’s, fathers’, dad, dads, dad’s, dads’, daddy, daddies, daddys, daddy’s, daddies’, and daddys’ just to be on the safe side. You shouldn’t need to include ‘day’.
- Avoid all card shops, TV and the radio until it’s over (note to trolls: JOKING)
Of course, all this advice can also be applied to Mothers’ Day or anything else that pokes you in the heartstrings. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you to ‘get over it’ and ‘life doesn’t stop for you’ and all that bullshit. The fact is, if there’s a way to avoid seeing something that’s going to kick you in the feels, it’s completely fine to use it.
We’re all fragile in our own ways, and it’s OK to wrap yourself in cotton wool sometimes.