Dad Indulgences: They’re Not the Stuff of Tabloids

photo credit: North Charleston Business Expo via photopin (license)

We – by ‘we’ I mean us, as in me and you readers and writers – had a bit of a reputation.

Many six-words prompts for a segment of 6 Words post history contained comfort items, mainly wine, chocolate, and pizza. The Trinity of Indulgences, you might say. Have some downtime? Wine. Have some alone time? Chocolate. Have any time? Pizza.

Indulgences sponsor parental warfare – let’s not get it crooked.

Our friend, Janine, writes the blog Confessions of a Mommyaholic. She blogged recently of her own mommy indulgences and even furnished a printable Do Not Disturb sign. This sign bore the symbols of mommy indulgence – smartphones, sweets and the like.

Janine’s post got me thinking about dad indulgences.

Or more specifically, mine. See, I don’t speak well for daddies at large. Other daddies watch golf and use electric trimmers. They collect can koozies and stand around in garages with the neighbors and say things in really loud booming voices.

I watch old NFL highlights and use a nose-hair trimmer on occasion. I collect Stormtroopers, and stand around in the woods by myself and wonder where my golf disc landed and mutter bad words under my breath.

I’m quite classy with my indulgences, though.

A bag of ginger snaps and a bottle of store-brand coke zero, at 1 a.m., writing a post I wanted to post an hour ago. I got it like Frank Sinatra. I’m bucking the trend tonight, hacking away at 9:30 p.m. with my shorts unbuttoned and my hair all mussed up.

All. Class.

Here are my top five dad indulgences. You parents: What’s one of yours?

A writing day (or part of one) in Publix

Sometimes a brother just has to shove his laptop in a backpack and venture into the wild to get some writin’ done. Or, the nearest Publix, what with its free Wi-Fi and a bakery that is to pastry what Pippa Middleton is to the luxury class of royals.

I’ll grab a corner table. If I get squirrely, I bolt to the deli counter for a steak sub. I stretch my legs and hit the free samples around the joint. Hell, I can get a chunk of Havarti, a cube of brownie and a plate of romaine with grilled chicken and dressing on a good day.

A day in soccer coaching pants

It’s imperative that a coach looks and dresses the part. Some fools even brandish cleats. Try-hards. Soccer coaching pants fit baggy and allow for all sorts of action, probably even a little Chuck Norris action if I had to go all Texas Ranger on some cat.

They’re required for a training session or game day. We Lake Norman Soccer Club coaches look fresh in all black gear. I’ll tell you, though, when there’s no coaching to do, to dress in the next comfiest outfit since Underoos? That’s the way to go.

Totino’s pizza and a root beer

I rooted for the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers, mostly for their cool copper helmets. They played one year for the USFL championship, and do you know who gave two hells? Me. Only me. Every other kid in the neighborhood played outside while I watched the game.

I settled in with a Totino’s all to myself – with crispy crust – and a cold root beer. Arizona won that day and so did I. Even now when I have a sick day and need a lift, I’ll cough up $1.36 (plus tax) on a combo pizza and really live on the other side for 15 minutes.

Disc golf/meditation/yoga

All so cosmic. Disc golf, 96% of the time, becomes my escape into the woods. Chasing plastic discs becomes the world’s only challenge. I’ve missed yoga a while, but it centers me after I’ve conquered the series of challenges with which it attacks a 44-year-old body.

Meditation comes into play more every day. What incredible powers. I can put my soul on ice and zap-heal parts of me I’m not sure could fix on their own. I’m still learning, too. It’s warded off pain and coaxed understanding and more than I could ever imagine.

My view from section 42, row 15, seat 5, at Fenway Park. The visiting bullpen is front and center. The Green Monster is to the right, out of sight. I ate a slice of pizza at Sal’s, just outside the stadium, before first pitch. I shared my pie with a hungry passerby.

Box seat at Fenway

My indulgences cost little. Even if I splurge on name-brand root beer, we’re talking about 3 bones, tops. Last week, I bought a bleacher seat at Fenway for $27 to watch the Red Sox face the Indians in the approaching twilight of a gorgeous New England afternoon.

I’d once reasoned a man should feel comfortable spending his age on a game ticket. I could have upgraded to the grandstand, then; I’m glad I didn’t. An evening immersed in history among new friends on the edge of the vast, historic outfield?

Right where I needed to be.

indulgence quote




  1. Nikki says:

    My Indians! Golly, how I miss going to the games in Cleveland. Was an every summer thing with my boys…Nebraska, not so much.
    I like this list. I’ll have to figure out my own!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Cleveland won 4-2! We have tons of minor-league parks in the Carolinas, and nothing beats day baseball.

      Is there a minor-league team where you are? I’d love to see what’s on your list, too.

  2. stomperdad says:

    God bless baseball. If I wasn’t a 14 hour drive from Toronto I’d be there when they played my Orioles. Substitute a Coke for that root beer and your indulgences are an expertly placed shot from the 18 yard line.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Amen, brother. Who’s the closest team to you? Not surprised our indulgences come from similar ground, Eric.

      1. stomperdad says:

        Boston is 11 hours and Toronto is 18. There are no MLB teams “close” to us.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Any minor-league parts about?

      3. stomperdad says:

        None that I know of. The only ball near us is are the local clubs. We’re pretty much out in the boonies.

  3. Lyn says:

    I’ve been to one football game (Rugby League) in my whole life and saw the most amazing 100 meter run to score a try (touchdown), and I’ve seen one cricket match between Australia and India (we won).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think you’re good luck for teams when you’re in attendance, Lyn.

      1. Lyn says:

        Haa I’d like to think so, but that’s a bit ‘pie in the sky.’

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Nothing wrong with pie in the sky, pet.

  4. Ginger snaps! Mmmm. Root beer. Mmm! I love root beer so much that when I make lip balm (a little hobby), my personal favorite is root beer, followed by spearmint. I love that you meditate and do yoga. Meditation especially is amazingly healing. One of these days I’ll have to give disc golf a try – never done it. Glad you got to take in bits of Beantown. I loved going to the Quincy Market area when I lived back there. Cambridge, around Harvard Square, is great on a summer evening, with all sorts of street musicians out and about (at least there used to be). Coaching shorts must be to guys what yoga pants (or in my case, sweats) are to women.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel like ginger snaps and root beer would be my favorite celebrity couple. If you ever make an extra root-beer lip balm …

      Meditation amazes me. More so than yoga, although I hope to be healed enough soon to get back to the mat.

      There were so many things I wanted to do in Boston. I hope to go back. I’ll definitely go back to Fenway and Sal’s pizza just outside the stadium.

      Coaching pants are even better, and yes, same concept – only not as form-fitting, fortunately, as yoga pants.

  5. You and my husband must be soulmates. He is a sports watching, pizza-eating, frisbee golf (woods wandering)fool!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Great minds think alike, Rena. Sports/pizza/disc golf is the triple play of a man doing things right.

  6. Holly says:

    Your last item just reminded me I have to get O’s tickets sooner than later now that I live (slightly) closer to Camden Yards.

    My current indulgences are decorating my new place on the cheap, killer cardio sessions on the gym, the nearly-5K riverwalk near me (all or parts of it, depending on my mood and need to walk), cashews with sea salt, and diet cherry coke from Sonic during Happy Hour.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Don’t miss out, Holly. Your indulgence list is prime, especially decorating the new place on the cheap.

      Sonic should sell a cashews with sea-salt-and-diet-cherry-coke-combo and name it after you. I’d get it.

  7. Kisma says:

    My 18 year son lives off Totino’s pizzas and pizza roles.

    We all have our guilty pleasures. Mines drinking an entire can of Diet Pepsi and eating chips on the side!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They’re like manna from Heaven, Tiff. Or something. When was the last time you indulged that way?

      1. Kisma says:

        Saturday😉 it’s my once a week cheat.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        A weekly indulgence sounds like the best idea of the day so far, Tiff.

  8. ksbeth says:

    flaming hot cheetos, nyt crossword puzzle, sparking water, tabloid tv.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      all at once?? classic

  9. Rorybore says:

    A whole day of writing. Just Imagine! Wow. And people say to me, “you’re home all day, just write.” SMH. Do you have any idea how many interruptions occur in this house – even when I am alone in it (which is rare since hubby is a shift worker) on a daily average? Phone. Texts. Pesky things like laundry, sweeping floors and cleaning a kitchen in a constant state of disarray. I can’t always settle in and write in this house. The walls close in and no one wants to read the writing that may be borne out of that nightmare.

    A big dream indulgence? A weekend (at least) on a train heading nowhere and a sleeper car all to myself, and free Wifi. The dining car is where you meet other literary sorts who have bled out in their own private cars, and now come seeking like minded creative souls to discuss plot and character development over wine. This train exists, and I want a spot on it.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Writing, and snacks. Very important. I’d love that, like, fantasy love it. Working from home is hard, because you know where the cheese is and a nap on the couch feels like the right thing to do.

      I write better in a cafe or somewhere I can’t easily scratch wherever I feel itchy. Itching seems to counteract the good vibes of writing.

      I love the train idea. No way really to have your writing Zen derailed that way. Does it really exist?

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        If I can’t go on it, maybe I can stow away on a train, Rore.

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