My dad is amazing in so many ways, but when it comes to buying gifts, he is a real pain in my behind. Every birthday, Christmas, or Father’s Day, I ask the same question, and receive one of four answers.
“Hey Dad, what do you want for ______________________?”
A . Nothing (or I don’t know) – these two answers are interchangeable
C. Sweatshirts – plain, solid colors
D. Sweatpants – not a pair of stylish Under Armor or Nike. Nope, the type with elastic in the cuffs.
It’s gotten to the point that I refuse to buy him any of the above because they are such boring gifts.
A couple of years ago, I decided to to rogue and buy him some new clothes to help keep him looking young. That same year, I bought him a new pair of stylish shoes. (My mom buys him the same pair of white gym shoes. Every. Single. Time.
Pretty sure they all still have the tags on them.
I am no longer allowed to buy clothes because, “Your father is particular about his shirts.” I am no longer allowed to buy shoes because, “Your father likes his white shoes, they are comfortable.”
So now gift buying is like a solving a cold case. All year long my mom, sister, and I listen carefully for clues about things my dad may be interested in.
One year he causally mentioned that he would enjoy doing some boxing in the garage as part of his morning workout routine. That Christmas he got a punching bag and a pair of gloves. Last time I checked, both items were lost somewhere in the garage.
That next year, he hinted at taking up star gazing, and having a telescope would be so cool. He would set it up in the office above the garage, and look out at the great cosmos. That birthday, he got his telescope. He did set it up in the office, but all he gazes at is the corner it is in.
Last year, he alluded to what a neat hobby metal detecting would be. That Father’s Day, I bought him a metal detector, as well as a book titled 101 Things You Should Know About Your Metal Detector. My dad now knows 100 more things than he needs to about his new toy, except that to use it, you need to actually take it out of the box and put it together.
So, this Christmas, birthday, and Father’s Day, my dad will receive a couple movies and a sweatshirt with matching cuffed sweatpants. At least I know he will use that stuff.