Father's Day ought to be a big deal at my house.
Eight years ago, my boyfriend and I adopted our son DJ, so we should be celebrating "Fathers' Day," plural, this Sunday, not "Father's Day," singular.
But we've never made much of a fuss over Father's Day. It's always been a bit of an afterthought. Someone out there is picking up the slack for us, though. Americans spend $88 on average on their fathers. (Mom does better, getting $122 on gifts, according to the National Retail Federation.)
My boyfriend and I don't buy booze or power tools or ties for each other --the three most popular Father's Day gifts -- and more than one Father's Day has come and gone without either of us remembering to say a word about it.
What accounts for our inattention to the rituals of Father's Day?
Quack therapists and religious conservatives might point to my troubled relationship with my own father. Just as they argue that my adolescent estrangement from my dad is the root cause of my homosexuality, they might argue that it accounts for my passive neglect of Father's Day. But my estrangement from my father didn't cause my homosexuality; my homosexuality caused our estrangement.
And what of my boyfriend? He was very close to his late father. In fact, we named our son after my boyfriend's dad. But my boyfriend is lots gayer than I am, and he's just as neglectful of Father's Day.
Here's my theory: In the home of a heterosexual couple with children, the fuss made over Mom on Mother's Day -- and isn't Mother's Day, which was established first and comes first on the calendar, always a bigger deal? -- is fresh on everyone's mind when Father's Day rolls around a month later. So it seems only fair that a comparable fuss be made over Dad. The same dynamic doesn't play out when both parents are male.
It may seem counterintuitive that a family with two dads would make less of a big deal over Father's Day than a family with one dad, but it's kind of a relief. We can live without the gift-giving stress, or the receiving obligation to feign delight. We're just grateful to be dads on this Fathers' Day.
Dan Savage is the author of "The Kid," an award-winning memoir about adoption (Plume, 2000), and the editor of The Stranger, Seattle's weekly newspaper. He can be reached at email@example.com.