Chaos Attraction

The Last Father's Day Card(s) I'll Ever Buy

2006-06-14, 1:12 p.m.

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Got e-mail during lunch from Mom: Could you send Dad a Father's Day card? Right now? Oh, and he's been in the hospital 295 days. Whee. Let's celebrate that milestone.

I had already forgotten about Father's Day.

I guess I'm pre-emptively no longer celebrating it, after last year's total nonentity of the day, where my long-worked-on handmade gift wasn't even opened, and was totally ignored ever after. We didn't even do a thing for the last holiday Dad was home on because it took all day just to get him up. I'm not going home to visit him on his "special day" either. I was just up there last weekend, I'll be up there again next weekend, and hell, I don't think he even knows what day it is at this point.

But getting the e-mail gave me the chills: it'll be the last Father's Day card I ever get him.

I went over to the school bookstore display. And I didn't know what kind of card to get.

I normally am a big believer in the Funny Card. I hate those sappy ass huge $4 cards that are pink or brown or white and feature a picture of a flower, that have some incredibly boring poem that's supposed to be full of meaning and yet makes my eyes glaze over. I can read one of those damned poems and it immediately disappears from my head. Mom always buys them for me once I hit a Certain Age, and she gets mad at me when I can't immediately summarize the pretty, pretty poem on the card she gave me. I'd rather she picked out something that would at least give me a laugh and be memorable.

Anyway, that's my philosophy of card-buying. Though it's grown harder and harder to find a funny card for Dad that doesn't in some way refer to a life activity he can't do any more.

This year, I was all, "I hate sappy cards. But he's dying. This is the Last Card I'll Ever Get For Him. Shouldn't it, doesn't it HAVE to be some sappy card? One of those "I love you so much, I want you to know how much you mean to me" poems?"

Then there was the Compromise Card. The one featuring Snoopy and Woodstock in a nest that says, "We have just one thing to say- Have a happy Father's Day!" Which, while not funny, at least said exactly what I was thinking without fake flowery shit.

And then, there were my usual funny cards. I eyed one card that ended in a fart joke, and thought, "Normally that's what I'd get him." (Hell, I probably HAVE bought him that card before.) Then I spotted the one I'd normally get in this day and age, that manages to avoid the whole handicapped-can't-do-anything issue.

It features beavers- "How beaver dads get in trouble." Mom Beaver is holding Baby Beaver's ears while Dad says, "What?! What'd I say? Dam? It's what I do. I dam. I dam the dam. DAM, DAM, DAM. Nothing wrong with that!" Inside: "Have a happy dam Father's Day." That was much more my dad and I's relationship, back in the day. Funny plus bad language.

But which card to get?

I ended up buying them all. After all, this is the last time I'll ever need to buy a Father's Day card as long as I live. I might as well attempt to make up for all the years I won't be doing it any more.

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