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Your Father's Day Shopping Guide (HURRY!)

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So did you look at the calendar this week and think, "Oh shit! It's Father's Day!"? No? Well, aren't you freaking super-special. Congratulations.

Of course some of us aren't so perfect, and excuse us for living! Also, let's hope our dads will excuse us for forgetting Father's Day was just around the corner. Especially in light of the fact that, historically, Father's Day gifts really kind of suck. Are neckties, cologne, and slippers really the best we can do? Isn't your dad cooler than slippers? Does he really need more soap-on-a-rope? (Do they still make soap-on-a-rope?) The bottom line is, that we need to get creative here, people. Our dads are better than Generic Dad Stuff.

Active Dad!

If dad golfs, buy him golf stuff; if he runs, buy him running stuff. Okay, okay--golf does fall a little in that "traditional Father's Day yawn" category, but if your dad loves to golf, what the hell--why not? Just avoid themed apparel and get him something that is actually relevant, and/or will contribute to, his game. NO, NOT A BOX OF GOLF BALLS. Basically, whatever dad does to have fun, pick something that will enhance his ability to have fun doing it. Something really cool, such as:

• Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game: If dad hasn't read it, he should. It's practically a golfer's bible. • Personal training for two: Sign up for a regular workout class, or team personal training sessions and work out with your active dad! He will love spending quality time with you, even if you sign up your basketball-playing active dad for yoga. If dad runs, sign you both up for a race and train with him before race day. • Massage: An active dad who is comfortable with his body may appreciate a massage to soothe sore muscles. If your active dad would not be comfortable with a massage, see options one and two.

Fancy Dad!

Fancy dads love nice clothes and high-end grooming products; they also probably take great care of their cars, and don't wear their bathrobes to the curb when they retrieve the paper. Fancy dad may very well like:

• Men's fragrance from Luckyscent: Yes, we did say cologne was lame but we were talking about last-minute drugstore cologne. If your dad is a fancy dad who loves scent and personal grooming products, Luckyscent will be his new favorite website. (And yours, too, if he's hard to buy for.) • Total car detailing package: If your fancy dad has a nice car, and he takes extra-good care of it, buy him a detailing package at his favorite service center. • Billy Reid Espadrille Chukka Boots: With a $295 price tag, these are for the fanciest of fancy dads. Truly gorgeous in calfskin; made in Italy. If Houston's Billy Reid & Nordstrom are fresh out, the Billy Reid store is full of great fancy dad alternatives.

Vintage: Old Like Your Dad!

Hunting for a Father's Day gift in a consignment shop or second-hand store is a little more risky than hitting a department store, but you are also likely to find something unique and personal; something that required you to really think about your dad. If he served in the armed forces, maybe a cool print or some vintage binoculars; if he is a cocktail lover, a set of vintage tumblers or some antique beer steins would be appropriate. If your dad is a bookworm, a first edition of his favorite book would likely be well-received--if you can't find anything at a second-hand shop, try an independent bookseller, where they sometimes stock signed first editions.

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