"What shall we do for Father's Day?" I ask my 12-year-old. "Dunno," says he, thumbing his Xbox controller, not even bothering to look away from the screen. "I didn't get you anything for Mother's Day, did I?" Without wishing to point out that my own lack of bounty was hardly setting the gold standard, I suggest that maybe we should give his father something he actually needs. Like, a pair of jeans.
I don't understand my other half's dressing habits. I have perhaps 20 pairs of jeans; he has two. One he wears every day unless it's in the wash; the other is a spare pair for (yes!) washing days. Unbelievably, they are both exactly the same.
I drop a cunning hint. "Do you want a new pair of jeans for Father's Day?" A positive response is elicited, followed by instructions so precise they're borderline rude. They must be very dark blue denim, narrow in the leg but not skinny and with no obvious branding. They must be, then, pretty much the same again.
I browse mrporter.com in search of something maybe just a little different. He looks over my shoulder snorting with derision. He doesn't want his jeans to be in any way distressed – and neither do I. Levi's Vintage Clothing jeans, even the plainest pair, are "too wide"; APC, too red. Black jeans are too Nineties. And so, we settle upon a pair of Acne jeans which are remarkably similar to those we bought for him the Christmas before last.
It's safe to say that this hasn't turned out to be the most imaginative of shopping experiences. On a positive note, though, should he happen to read this column, there's no danger of it ruining any Father's Day surprise.
Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor of 'The Independent'