It doesn't look like I'll get my first official choice of a Father's Day gift:
A short suit.
As everyone knows, short suits are the rage for the American male. It's a suit, but instead of trousers, you get a pair of shorts.
Perhaps I'd go for one in beige linen or, better yet, a smart dark silk model — suit jacket, shirt and tie, with loafers, and matching shorts to show off my hairy legs.
And to complete the picture, I'd grow a three- or four-day beard, to get the right urban-stubble look.
"Absolutely not," said Betty at breakfast. She'd heard me mention it on the radio a few days before and thought it was merely a stunt.
But to prove just how wrong she was, I showed her a few paragraphs from Business Insider, which offers tips on technology, finance and, yes, proper office fashion attire.
One article mentions a company named Topman, offering a short suit for only $390, and includes the manufacturer's description of its product:
"For a contemporary and stylish silhouette, our skinny fit suits offer a figure hugging and trend-led shape."
A UK firm called Reiss offers a pair of khaki suit shorts (just try saying that one quickly three times) for a measly $130, so that on warm days "your style remains sharp."
"Reiss recommends pairing the shorts with a plain black crew-neck T, suede driving shoes and a pair of aviator glasses for a look that says 'smart and informal.'"
Smart and informal? That's me, I told her, even without the No Chumbolone Zone cap and the polo shirt with the ancient, hardly noticeable stain. And my aviator glasses from the '80s are still in my sock drawer somewhere.
"Don't even joke about it," she said. "Don't even."
I'm not joking, I said. I'm a short-suit man.
"You're fishing for quotes again and you can forget it," she said. "And you're not wearing one of those things."
My sons backed her up.
"Nooooo," said one.
"Dad, please," said the other. "Please."
The idea of their father brandishing his bowlegged shanks in a short suit was even more horrifying than enduring my occasional demonstrations of Dad Dancing at some family wedding or christening.
All three begged me to settle for something else for Father's Day. I said OK, even though the alternative wasn't as stylish as a short suit.