Finding the perfect Father's Day gift

I tried to go shopping for Fatherís Day yesterday. I was unsuccessful. I know it may not sound like a difficult task, but thatís only because you donít know my father, my father-in-law or my husband.

For years, the only gifts my dad would ever ask for were socks and sweatshirts and handkerchiefs. For Christmas, we would fill up baskets with these three extremely boring gifts and place them under the tree. After a couple of years, I realized it was probably not a great amount of fun to get the same practical presents for each and every holiday, year after year.

I tried to add more gifts to the familiar repertoire, but my dad likes things he actually needs or will actually use and when he thinks of something like that, he usually just gets it. I saw him at the store last week. He was buying things he really needed, and I asked him if he was still going to have ideas for Fatherís Day presents. He said of course. Now, only a week later, I have been told that he really could use some new socks, and thatís all he could think of. With Fatherís Day presents coming from five daughters, he should be stocked up by the end of the weekend.

Iíve been married for almost three years now, so shopping for my father-in-law is still a relatively new process for me, but after a couple of holidays and birthdays, Iíve come up with one conclusion; he has a lot of stuff. Apparently, my husbandís dad has come up with the same conclusion, because last time I asked him for gift ideas he said if he couldnít eat it or drink it, he doesnít need it. That narrows down the gift selection considerably. So far Iíve been relying on local restaurant gift certificates, but thereís only so many times you can do that and feel good about it, especially if they always use it to buy you breakfast.

I considered giving him my two evil dogs, but he didnít seem too keen on the idea, so itís back to the drawing board. (The drawing board said I might just have to make my husband pick out this Fatherís Day gift.)

Then comes my husband. Last year, he had to miss Fatherís Day, so this year I want to make it really special. Iíve wracked my brain trying to think of what we should do and where we should go and what kind of present to get him. Maybe Iím just not creative enough, because so far, Iíve come up with nothing.

Instead, I have ruled out several things. First of all, after three years and two puppies, Iíve decided itís never a good idea to give a pet as a present. My husband loves his Christmas puppy and his welcome home puppy, but I think they were spawned by Satan, so no more puppy presents. Second, Iíve ruled out any kind of firearm, mostly because theyíre loud and I donít like them, but more importantly, because I donít think I should buy something I know nothing about, because I will inevitably get the wrong thing. (This logic also rules out most motorized vehicles, power tools and some electronic equipment.)

I know itís the thought that counts, but people usually only say that when you give them an awful present, so from now until Sunday, I will be scouring every store ad and circular I can find, in search of presents for the fathers in my life.

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