The quest for the 'perfect' gift


Man, am I thankful for all this help.

One would think it’s a real struggle to find the perfect Father’s Day gift to give the man who raised you. You know, you just need to sit back, close your eyes and think of your father — his likes, his dreams, his general personality. I tried that. I let my mind go blank. I thought back to days when I remember my father laughing the most, or those precious things that he took extra time to share with me. I figured the dream present was right around the corner.

Nothing.

I couldn’t get him a professional sports franchise to satisfy his love for that idea, and I couldn’t snap a quick photo of my mother lighting one of his cigars to replicate one of the moments that brought him the most joy and laughter. I couldn’t win the World Series to give him that boost of pride a beaming father can sometimes have, and I couldn’t instantly become that one individual who does nothing wrong in his eyes — my little sister.

As a side note, she’s really not all that. Sure, she works for a charitable foundation to satisfy her desire to help others, and she has two beautiful sons that light up my father’s world, but what you’re seeing is just the surface. Ladies and gentleman, I have met pure evil. And she’s my sister. I have seen this person grab a ...

But I digress.

I originally set out today to discuss the perfect Father’s Day gift, and my subsequent inability to find it. Frustrated with my rather impotent effort, I decided to walk outside to re-clear my mind and grab the mail. Eureka, my friends. Eur-freakin-eka.

I should have just thrown myself to the experts from the beginning. There are people who do this kind of thing for a living, after all. I’m a word guy, not a present consultant. But these little flyers that came in the mail? Oh, these people should definitely know what they’re doing.

The first one I saw advertising “the perfect” gifts for Father’s Day was an electronics store. My dad likes electronics, I figured. This should be good.

But, for some reason or another, this place was intent on moving printer cartridges and CDs from the swing era this Father’s Day. Sure, my dad needs printer cartridges sometimes, I guess. But for Father’s Day? Probably not. And swing music? The very term invokes images of limber people dancing with enthusiasm to very old music. I can’t remember the last time I saw my father dance at all, with or without enthusiasm — to old or new music.

Next flier, please.

I still held on to some of my optimism as I grabbed the next advertisement. It was from a department store and, from what I could gather from the cover, they were promoting giving really preppy clothes to 20-year-old male models for Father’s Day.

Next.

No, I’m not going to get my father a colonoscopy for Father’s Day — I don’t care about the savings.

Now frustrated, I went inside scratching my head and muttering to myself about how much more success these businesses would have if they just worked with the brilliant people in sales and graphic arts at the Coastal Point newspaper on a creative and dynamic marketing campaign that would best serve ...

Double digression this week. All apologies.

I surrendered. It just wasn’t going to happen for me and, thus, it wasn’t going to happen for my dad. There would be no heartwarming scene of my father opening “the perfect” gift from his son, and no days in future years of my father reminiscing to that great day his son lit up his eyes with his thoughtful present.

Stuck, I knew I was out of options. It seemed a toss-up between a gift card for one of his favorite stores or a coupon for that colonoscopy. The argument for the ages of pleasurable versus practical.

And all I wanted to do was let the big guy know that I love him and am thankful for all he’s given me. He’s taught me to respect others, treasure family and believe in myself. He’s shown me through his own acts that being a man isn’t about bullying others or running the ship, it’s about doing things right and carrying your share of the load on the ship. He’s provided me a lifelong study in how to live one’s life. Now, what can I do to tell him all that?

Happy Father’s Day, dad. I love you.