Contrived Holidays

By Mike Johnson

Happy Father's Day!

It's a fine line between celebration & obligation.

As a father, I don't need a special day. I don't want any extra attention. I certainly don't want anyone to "owe" me a card or a call or a gift.

I do enjoy the expectation to "take it easy" today. Now I can decide to do chores or not, free of social baggage.

Yesterday, Minnesota proclaimed it "Joe Mauer Day." The long-time Twins player had his number retired.

Friends & family & teammates flew in to celebrate his day. The stadium sold-out. Video tributes were played. It was nice.

Joe was touched but uncomfortable. He squirmed as the center of attention. He'd already experienced a tearful, retirement goodbye in front of a packed stadium last season.

Paid $184 million over 8 years, the Twins still presented him a few gifts. More squirming.

He must've hugged 100 people. He had to make a speech to 37,000. He had to wear a suit on a Saturday. Then he watched his #7 uncovered as "retired" on the stadium wall. Right next to Jackie Robinson's number 42, which baseball retired from every team, in every stadium.

It was a big to-do.

But deep in his secret heart, I suspect Joe would've preferred they slapped his number up over the winter, mailed his gifts & left him alone at home with his family, barbecuing.


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