It’s Father’s Day weekend, and, as usual, I have no gift for my husband. I can’t even provide my children with an idea for their father.
It is always tough to think of gifts for him. He never wants anything. He never wants any hoopla. He’s that quiet, unobtrusive guy who thinks, way before I do, of what others might be feeling about a situation. For a guy who doesn’t seem to listen much, he sometimes picks up on casual comments and says something to me like, “Do you think she meant …?” I open my eyes wide and say, “Maybe? I never considered that.”
He’s generous with gifts he gives others. Far more generous than I would be. When I suggest a dollar amount for a graduation, wedding, or shower gift, it’s never enough in his mind. “What could they do with that amount of money?”
For my birthday, Mother’s Day, or Christmas he always asks what I want. In the past, he used to take my list and shop. He had great taste in clothes and jewelry. I’m retired now and certainly don’t need any more jewelry. I occasionally buy myself some casual everyday tops or jeans but don’t need much else. He hates shopping, especially wandering aimlessly for inspiration. Now he asks me to pick out my own fun things that I wouldn’t normally buy myself. He always makes sure I get myself something and at Christmas he even wraps them. This Mother’s Day I got a beautiful handmade stepping stone from Mosaic Creative Works, a piece that I would never have bought for myself.
Mother’s Day gifts are always garden related. Father’s Day gifts are often grill related. In the past few years, since the Father’s Day he splurged on a pellet grill, the kids have deluged him with pellets, rubs, a smoker cookbook, special food thermometers and other grilling related products. Our son asked last week if his dad needed pellets. NOOOO. Last year the kids gave him enough for four years.
When my husband was working, he had shirts and sweaters for every season and could go three weeks without repeating a shirt. He’s still working through that shirt supply. Thank goodness. It is hard buying clothes for him. He needs his shirts in extra-tall and they are getting harder and harder to find. Shirts that don’t have the word “extra” in front of tall come untucked from his pants. We won’t even talk about his shoes.
For a very early Christmas last year, I bought him the best gift he never wanted. Whenever I suggested one of those quilted sleeveless puffer vests, he always laughed. “Who wants a sleeveless coat?” When I stumbled across one that I thought would fit, I bought it. The first cool fall day, when he was searching for a jacket, I pulled out the vest and had him try it. It became his most used piece of clothing from October through March. Of course, that left me with no Christmas gift again!
So here I am, stuck with no Father’s Day gift for the most generous and selfless man I know. I wish I could think of the summer equivalent of the puffer vest.