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The Spring Cavalcade of Parental Gifts - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
terribleturnip

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The Spring Cavalcade of Parental Gifts [May. 5th, 2008|11:01 am]
terribleturnip
My parents, demonstrating poor planning on the part of THEIR parents (see, I come from GENERATIONS of poor planners. People who think, oh, no big deal, I'll be able to get it all done...) each have their birthdays in the spring.

Not just in the spring. My father's birthday falls about a week before Mother's Day. Then I've got a whopping two weeks off before my mother's birthday, followed about a week and a half later by Father's Day.
And truthfully, for my mother, it's not so hard. Heaven knows she's happy with any token of affection, but that makes me feel even lamer for going with the easy-out of flowers or some other low-involvement, low-thought gift, where I just give my credit card and the address and it shows up, without me investing any more time and thought than 5 minutes at lunchbreak.

Why NOT take it easy, then? Well, heck, it was my mother who taught me that a small gift chosen, wrapped and set was more meaningful than just clicking on a button on the FTD webpage. But maaaaaa-oooom, no one else handwrites replies to wedding invitations anymore...

Except for us. Sigh. And deep down...I'm proud of being us.

So, okay, I'm creating more work for myself. Again, as often is the case, I am the creator of my own pain. Has anyone added my picture to the "martyr" wiki yet?

And then there's my Dad. The man for whom gifts cannot be bought. He buys whatever he wants, although that's not really a lot. He hates getting gifts, hates having his birthday recognized. He's mostly vegetarian and has the kind of health issues where sending him all of the other desirous food things is usually not an option. Augh.

And then...in the space of 2 months, I have to get all four gifts packed and shipped...on time. Because you don't even want to know the Yankee lecture you get in my family when you ship 2nd day air...not only the expense, but also, your inability to plan...and of course, it all falls right in the middle of Virginia Faire...

And if I had any sense at all, I'd buy, wrap, package and just have it all ready to ship in February....

But really, doesn't it make the whole thing better if I can also flog myself with the knowledge that this could have been avoided...for the 30th year in a row?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lowlandscot
2008-05-05 03:40 pm (UTC)
Your grandparents have nothing on my in-laws in the poor planning department. My husband's birthday is two days after Christmas. And he's a twin.

Can't you just enroll your dad in Tuber-of-the-Month Club or something?


Edited at 2008-05-05 03:42 pm (UTC)
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From: kudrasslipper
2008-05-05 03:49 pm (UTC)
You know, sometimes I'm really thankful that my mom totally SUCKED at being a mom, and my dad was sorta... well... just never there. When it comes time for mother's day or father's day, I can get away with a card and nothing more. The only slight complication is finding cards that DO NOT say: "best MOM in the world!" or "My dad is #1!!!" Because, as in ALL things, I just CANNOT tell a lie.

Shawna to Hallmark store attendant: "do you have any cards that say something like, "thanks for pushing me out, but for god's sake, let's call it a day, shall we?" No? Really? Huh."
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[User Picture]From: fountaingirl
2008-05-05 04:08 pm (UTC)
Not to laugh at pain or anything, but your idea for a new line of Hallmark cards made me laugh pretty hard.

I'm picturing the print version of these, which sadly don't have a Mother's Day line.
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[User Picture]From: chellebelle74
2008-05-05 04:21 pm (UTC)
There is software out there for you to design and create your own greeting cards. Just a thought.... It would also come in handy for delivering special bday wishes to your man that include *very* specific instructions on how to unwrap his present - you. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-05-05 04:40 pm (UTC)
:)

for my Dad I always gave him the ultimate in caring daughter's gifts: I failed to remind him he had a daughter by not calling him.

I heard he was quite happy with the sentiment.

Mom was easy - flowers, booze and candy. Sorry - never quite figured out how to giftwrap men.

ya know they just don't make cards for some families do they?
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[User Picture]From: chellebelle74
2008-05-05 04:26 pm (UTC)
For the hard to shop for Dad - are there any hobbies or events that he particularly likes? Perhaps you could purchase him tickets to a sporting event (if he's into sports) or pay the greens fees for an afternoon (if he's into golf) or pay his way to a convention on his favorite hobby. My older brother is another one of these hard to shop for guys. This year I paid his way to Balticon, since he is a scifi/fantasy geek (2 of us in one family, go figure). Or perhaps you've already exhausted this vein of gift giving and you should just ignore me....
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2008-05-05 04:42 pm (UTC)
Except for us. Sigh. And deep down...I'm proud of being us.

And that's why you do it every year.

Oh and if you really start flogging yourself I want the ticket concession :)
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[User Picture]From: pyratelady
2008-05-05 05:22 pm (UTC)
My younger brother's birthday is May 7.

Both of my parents were born on the same day (4 years apart) -- May 18.

Then, as you pointed out, there's Mother's Day.

My twin brother and I were born May 24. Which either falls on a weekday or is completely overshadowed by Memorial Day weekend.

Thank goodness my niece and nephew's birthdays are in November and February.
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