June 14, 2006

Am I A Tightwad Ingrate?

Warning: Greeting card holiday coming up – Father’s Day, June 18. This Sunday we gather ’round and pay homage to the man who taught us to operate a bicycle, automobile or both, taught us how to paint and pound nails into a board, taught us “do no wrong and fear no man,” and taught us that it’s okay to stare at the carnival freaks because that’s how they make their living.

I owe a lot to my dad in addition to the hundreds of dollars I’ve borrowed from him over the years, which by the way, I’ve paid back. He has given me advice, both sound and bogus, that has somehow stuck with me throughout the years. He has shown me that the human species can overcome gargantuan obstacles if properly motivated. He has proven that tuttering over unimportant things is indeed a valid way to pass time. He is my dad, and I’m proud to have inherited his compulsive tendencies as well as his nose.

With the adoration I feel for my father, you’d think I could come up with an appropriate Father’s Day gift for him. Nothing. Not a single thing has sprung into my wildly creative mind. So, for the first time ever, I clicked on one of those internet ads that says, “Popular Father’s Day Gifts.” Here’s what they suggest:

1. Collapsible propane grill - $189 – He has a grill; budget says no more than $25 for something made up by the greeting card industry.

2. Father/son grilling aprons - $28 – Stupid, as I’m not his son. Again, over budget.

3. Short-sleeved pique polo shirt - $72 – I said, $72!!!! For a shirt that is worth $10? Get serious. Still over budget.

4. Sony Handycam Camcorder - $1099.99 – Well, I don’t think I have to justify passing over this suggestion. Way, way over budget.

This list went on, but I couldn’t bear to read it. I came to realize, if these are “popular” Father’s Day gifts, then I am just about the worst daughter ever because I’m so cheap. I should be flogged for having such lofty principles at the expense of a man who waited up worrying about me when I was out with the boys. I should be ashamed that I’m not living the second half of my life giving everything I have to the man who produced such hearty little sperm just so I could exist. What is wrong with me?!

But then I realized that the suggestions on the list aren’t really popular Father’s Day gifts, and I’m beating myself up over nothing more than a marketing ploy. Sure, Dad gave me all he’s got. In return, he’ll get a small trinket of affection every June for the rest of his life. It’s what he’s come to expect, and it’s something I’m more than happy to give. Maybe a nice gift certificate to Culver’s. He loves their frozen custard that is oh-so-good for his high cholesterol. Enjoy, Dad!

1 comment:

Linda said...

OMG we're psycho! I was going to take my dad to Culvers for dinner but he'd already gone there the day before - so instead we went to his next choice - Perkins! Sometimes he's so adventersome!