When it comes time for gift giving, why do fathers fall into a stereotype that they are hard to shop for? It is probably why the common Father’s Day gift is a tie because the kids don’t know what else to get the man who seems to not have a single need (not that he needs another tie, either). Plus, if your father is the primary breadwinner, all the money you have to spend is his anyway. When you grow up into adults, you now have your own hard-earned money, but the need to find the perfect gift for Dad is still a challenge.
This year, I and my three adult siblings all faced this common dilemma, but we decided to attack it together. Mom and Dad moved out of our childhood home last July where they had a built-in grill. Now, that sounds more glamorous than it really was. The grill was there when they moved to that house in 1974. Usually you had to clear it of wasps, then you would turn on the gas and light the single burner with a match, put your meat on the one small rack inside hoping this time the rack didn’t fall down onto the lava stones, and it had a wooden shelf off the front that Dad made (and was now weather warped) so you had a spot to rest the plate. Highly unglamorous.
Since that utilitarian grill could not be taken to our parents’ new home, the folks have been grill-less for almost a year now. We banded our forces together for the cause of good to spring for a decent grill. Grills come in many sizes and varieties now, and the new house deserves to have some open flame and smoke out on the deck.
A week ago my sister gave our dad the money so that he can choose a grill he’d like. All is now right and good in the land, so long as a fire extinguisher is close at hand.
To all you fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day. Especially to mine.