What Do Highlands Dads Really Want?

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Last month Mr. Miller, Pacific Cascade’s band teacher, distributed neckties to his advanced band musicians to be worn at their performances. These were James-Bond-meets-Johnny-Carson, ornate blue herringbone, PTSA-funded compositions.  At first I groaned…and then I applauded. To don this permanently-knotted tie you put your head through a noose and zip it up. Yes, a subtle zipper is sewn into the noose, which will theoretically be tucked under the shirt collar. The result is a perfectly dimpled, centered tie that any 13-year-old could master with talk show host panache. “Thank you, Q. But does it also come with a GPS satellite device, heat sensor and liquid nitrogen?” No, but you will look tres chic when laying down your chord progressions.

I wish they had this kind of tie when I was young. Every Father’s Day my sister and I would buy my dad a new tie. He wore one every day for his job. It was practical, sure to be worn, but whimsical enough that it didn’t fall under the category of a utilitarian gift.

Nowadays, if my boys gave my husband a tie for Father’s Day it would be a received as a curious museum artifact. We would tilt our heads and mutter, “What’s he going to do with that?” as if were a relic like a yo-yo or game of jacks.

Shopping for dad can be tricky. Some families spend hours researching consumer guides and customer reviews to hone in on just the right leaf blower, hubcaps, grill lighter, beer-making kit, etc. Others coordinate calendars and schedules to plan a getaway in honor of the patriarch. Finally, some pick up the phone and pay their respects to pops by shooting the breeze. Not every approach to this holiday is the same, and not every dad wants an elaborate form of recognition. But you might be wondering, “What Do Dads in the Issaquah Highlands Really Want For Father’s Day?”Father's Day - June 16, 2013 (7)

To help answer that burning question I took a neighborhood poll, tapping a cross section of six community districts, and men who have been fathers longer than eight years. I wanted seasoned dads. “Give me a short or lengthy response; thought-provoking or shallow – it’s all good!” I said. It may come as a surprise to you that no one requested ties this year for Father’s Day.

The results of my informal poll were fascinating. We have some big thinkers living amongst us. I like the optimism and creativity with which they responded to my probing question. So, what do dads want for Father’s Day? Raj Thiagarajan is hoping that Tiger wins this year’s US Open. On a less lofty scale he’d appreciate it if the Highlands had a putting green, or perhaps even a driving range where he and his boys can try out irons, wedges, chippers, and drivers. I’m seeing a theme here, and it doesn’t involve something you can pick up at Fred Meyer.

I received echoed requests from different dads who just want to experience an uninterrupted televised sports game. From Grand Ridge Drive to West Highlands Park, there is a resounding call to be allowed to watch a completely undistracted match, tournament, competition or game. I can hear incredulous wives now muttering, “You mean all he wants for Father’s Day is to put his feet up and watch TV all day?!” That one is pretty inexpensive.

Tony Cowan had more targeted goals on his list; chief among them was a practice wall to help rebound soccer balls for kids’ practice. He hit a bull’s-eye with other dads by mentioning that there’s a lack of dart boards in Issaquah. Anyone else aiming to play that game? Finally, it is Tony’s ambition to have a Men’s Night at Sip. Why do women get a night of discounted drinks? He has a point.

Mat Alancheril doesn’t want a tie for Father’s Day, but he would like to tie in a workout with some quality family time. Would it be too much to ask for a family-oriented, full-featured health club with indoor tennis and swimming…plus a juice and snack bar? Coming right up, Mat! His other request sent me on a full-blown Google search. Condensed down, Mat would like a Txokos: an exclusive gathering of food enthusiasts who meet to cook, eat and share gastronomic reflections. Sounds yummy!

Please don’t cancel the urge to give the dad in your life a treasured tie on account of this column. And please ask your neighborhood dads what they really like about the Highlands, and what would be on their wish list for our community. No idea is too big or too small to daydream about, or to someday make a reality.

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