Remember that time you found the perfect card for Father's Day? The one that summed up dear old Dad in a single line? Well, psychologist Phillip Hodson says that very same card can often reveal just as much about YOU as it does about Dad – as you were the one who choose it. The underlying message may surprise even you. So let's do a quick analysis of your cards.
Beer or sport cards
You think they mean... It's no secret your Dad likes a cheeky beverage and is glued to the TV whenever there’s sport on. What better way to bond with him, therefore, than through a celebration of his innocent pastimes?
What they really mean... But you're also telling your Dad you DO notice how much he drinks. And some of those 'jokes' can be borderline moans: ‘Dad, thank you for loving me slightly more than you love golf.’
You can’t go wrong with… Best Dad by Par Father's Day Card, £4.25, Paperchase; Chilled Beer Father's Day Card, £2.75, Marks & Spencer
You think they mean... That you love your dear old Dad to pieces, since you two never have a harsh word. Hence you choose pictures of fluffy kittens sat on velvet cushions for the big day. Between you two, it's sweetness and light all the way.
What they really mean... That's phooey, and you know it. Sure, the family's close, but all real people have arguments because everyone has personal opinions and wishes. Just as all kittens have claws, and all cats can kill – something you probably overlooked when you selected your sweet little puss-in-booties card.
You can’t go wrong with… Giraffe Photographic Father's Day Card, £2.25 Marks & Spencer; Wear Capes Father's Day Card, £2.50, Paperchase
You think they mean... Dad doesn't mind a bit of sarcasm about his love life with Mum, or his 'personal' habits because ours is a very broad-minded family.
What they really mean... But you are literally questioning your Pa's attractiveness, while you – of course – remain red hot with your youthfulness. And some sarcasm can have sharp elbows, you know: ‘Dad, thank you for having me – even if it only was to get someone to look after you in your old age.’
You can’t go wrong with… Happy Farters Day Card, £2.50, Paperchase; Daddy or Chips Card, £2.50, Paperchase
You think they mean...
That Dad is nothing like those blokes in boozers screaming at the footie on the box. His day is best celebrated with a refined card – perhaps a nice watercolour picture of the Lake District on a sunny afternoon.
What they really mean...
That you are missing the point of the exercise unless you add some tender words of affection, because no father wishes to be stuck on a mantelpiece as a bit of landscape geography art. It’s like comparing him to the Mona Lisa (a girl suffering from far too much Botox). You appear to be telling him: ‘I thought I'd give you this card instead of an awkward hug.’
You can’t go wrong with… Special Dad Father's Day Card, £2.75, Paperchase; Thank You Dad Father's Day Card, £2.75, Marks & Spencer