Thursday, May 29, 2014

Father's Day Blunders From the Past

As Father's Day approaches, I'm missing my dad.

August, 1960: Dad shaves while pondering my arrival and future Father's Day gifts.

Also, I'm thinking of some of the goofy gifts I gave him in the past, thanks to inspiration from the kind and hilarious folks over at Dollar Shave Club (now if they could just inspire me to shave my legs a little more often). 

There was this:

What thought process takes over and convinces one that the man who gave them life would love to have a belt buckle (and a very cheap one, per the tag that wasn’t removed) with his name on it? Dad loved this so much that he kept it in the box and tucked it away in a drawer under some socks.

Then there was this:

Dad loved fishing. I mean LOVED it. So many gift choices for a fisherman, and he got this framed 8 X10 photo of geese and carp. Carp mostly. Not even a particulary good photo of carp. Doesn't it just scream HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!? He proudly displayed this on a shelf alongside family photos, proving that his sense of humor was better than my taste. 

And also there was this:

I must have been on my way for a visit when I thought, Shit! It's Father's Day weekend and I have no gift! Think fast... stop somewhere... So there I was at a flea market and saw this gem. Dad likes antiques, Dad shaves, so he'll surely love an antique shaving brush, right?

Um, not so much.

Dad died in 2007 and I think he still had every Father’s Day gift ever received. I couldn’t believe it. I also can’t believe that these  gifts I chose badly are back in my house. 

If you have the good fortune to spend this Father’s Day with your dad, may I suggest buying a six pack and a couple of steaks and grilling for him?

Your dad won’t feel any sentimental tug to store meat and beer for the next umpteen years, and you’ll never be sorting and pitching and wondering why you have a vintage, never-removed-from-package belt buckle that says 'Carl'.

Win Win.

Happy Father's Day.

**Get your Dad a gift card to Dollar Shave Club here:


  1. Thanks for making me smile. I'm dreading this first Father's Day without my dad.

    1. As Connie Schultz says, May the day land gently.

  2. I bet he loved those gifts. There's nothing cooler than the homemade or carefully selected gift from your child to let you know how he or she sees you. I've saved all the gifts our kids ever gave me. They are so funny, cute and authentic to who they were at that moment in time. Great piece. Love the pictures.

    1. Thanks, Tonia! Totally agree on the kid gifts. I can part with the belt buckle now, but not the kid gifts : ) Every household needs something made of macaroni.

  3. I remember laughing heartily at this one the first time around, and--whaddya know?--I'm laughing again this time around! It is a mostly universal truth that dads are often hard to buy for. But it's awfully fun to try anyway. Sometimes you strike paydirt.

  4. I don't know that my father has kept any of the gifts he's received from me - but I bet my mother has saved them for him! She is the one who saves everything. My dad was a Rotarian for several decades, and it is one of the reasons I was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. I am now a Rotarian and about to be installed as President of my club. I made a donation in his name to the Rotary Foundation for my Father's Day gift this year. He doesn't need anything, and will be happy with a phone call.

  5. I once bought my dad a set of three pipes--which he did not keep, because he had recently quit smoking them, and I hadn't realized it. I've yet to discover what gifts he has kept. This Father's Day, I phoned him and he seems happy enough with that. Mostly my dad needs an audience for his seemingly endless repertoire of bad jokes.

  6. Now who could resist that shaving brush? And the gasping carp? They're loaded with personality and your sense of humor.

    After all, you could have bought him something impersonal like a "Clapper." (Remember the commercials? The perfect gift for "old people" we thought.)