The end of the Hallmark-induced Inferiority Complex season is finally approaching. I admit to wandering the aisles of the card store–reading, chuckling and sometimes even sniffing at the sentiments penned by some anonymous wanna-be poet.
And often, I end up buying a card or three. There are times when you have to do what you have to do. Yes, I could (should) make them. I have all the proper card-making equipment. Yet, Hallmark does it best.
The other day I was looking at all of the Father’s Day cards, trying to find the one that would say to my father what needed saying, without being smaltzy, or outright lying. (*We have had our talk. It’s all good between us; things are the way they are– regrets offered, mistakes admitted, an odd truce drawn. We enjoy each other’s rare company.) But tell that to the greeting card makers.
I had to put back the funny card that reminded dad about ‘all the times he could have run away from home (but didn’t)’ because he did. The faux-stern cards that quoted all-American dad-isms like ‘As long as I put a roof over your head, you’ll follow my rules’ were returned to the rack. The ‘treating me like your princess’ card almost passed muster, until I read the inside.
As usual, when push came to shove, I chose humor. Not crazy or rude, but slightly wise-assed. But even then, the right amount of humor is difficult to locate, when most of the cards are designed for fathers who raised their kids.
The man who got that card from me died a long time ago. But it was always a difficult card to buy as well; all the ‘Grandpa’ cards were childish or overly sentimental. Guess it was a good thing I called him Daddy Gus, because I simply amended the title on the card.
When I was in elementary school, the teachers had you make a card for your MOTHER for Mother’s Day. They didn’t suggest a card for the special person who took care of you, who raised you, no matter what you called her. That didn’t make my childhood any easier, thanks. Buying a Mother’s Day card is still a more difficult task than the Father’s Day card. But, both have been dutifully mailed, as in years past.
The card that was easiest, (or hardest, when it came down to not choosing them ALL) was the card for my Aunt Gael for her 70th birthday.
It is Aunt Gael who is most like a parent to me. Her children allowed me to ‘borrow’ her (mostly without complaint and with a smile) throughout their childhood (and beyond).
‘Wish I could be there— HAVE A HAPPY ,HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!’Love you!
(I have a relatively non-embarrassing slide show of Gael, but I can’t get it to link…sigh)
Let’s move on to less inflammatory holidays, shall we? Like the Fourth of July. This year it will be for us a grand celebration of my Mother-In-Law, who will be getting out of the Rehab center, where she has been recuperating from back surgery since April, on July 1 or 2. Fireworks, BBQ and not a greeting card in sight!
~~~To some of the other men whose ‘dad-ness’ that I admire—My husband, (who is going to be the most awesome of Grandpa’s some day) Richard F., Jim C., Joe G., David D., to name a few….A Happy Fathers Day to you as well…~~~~