As I was searching my basement this weekend for suitcases, I found myself in a nostalgia detour. My inner procrastinator happily combed through boxes and Ziploc baggies brimming with the past, and as each vessel surfaced with archives of long-lost treasures (treasures maybe a strong word for old pictures, “Welcome Home Baby” cards, baby teeth and hair, positive pregnancy tests from my first and second born–yes, I kept them–and umbilical cord stumps, but one person’s treasure is another’s trash) another hour was almost surely lost. But then I came across something else quite unexpected.
Father’s Day is a tough one for me. I’m torn. I can’t help but think of my Dad who is no longer here, but I’m also so blessed with a man in my life who is a loving husband and father to me and our children. But it’s more than that. My husband met us when I was newly divorced and my two children were three and five years, respectively. We were adjusting to a new life together and, personally, I was trying to find my way as a single mom, convinced that was what I needed to do…for myself and for my kids not wanting to make another mistake or “fail” again.
Every year figuring out what to get my husband is a challenge. What can I give to the most wonderful man in the world that is as creative, witty and smart as he is? Also, I must admit, he isn’t the easiest to buy for. Even me, the Gifting Whisperer, had a few purchases he exchanged (the horror!!) and even returned (audible gasps!!), but that got us to a better place and now I know to avoid embellishments and any logo appliqués.
Refocusing… I’ve already done a number of gift ideas for men, sports and game enthusiasts, space themed gifts and tech & gadgets that you should feel free to reference if it makes sense for your recipient. The list below highlights some fun and even a few unique ideas for the humorous, quirky, creative guy in your life who likely isn’t a conformist, probably listened to They Might Be Giants and likes (or better yet loves) you for you.
It’s been a while since I did a sports themed gift list and with football season getting off and running it seems the time has come (I know it’s this time of year because of the content showing on our living room TV on Sundays and Monday nights). So here is a list for your pig-skin loving giftee, and also a nod to mine (love you honey bunny xxoo).
I come from a long line of baseball fans… OK fanatics. And couple my tri-state location (some of my family is in Connecticut, I am a New Yorker) with an Italian lineage and you end up with Yankee fans… Shhh, my son is the rebel Met fan. My grandmother, may she rest in peace, used to religiously watch games and would pray for the players. I remember her telling me about going to a book signing for Daryl Strawberry (when he was a Yankee) and when she got up to speak to him, she said: “I’ve been praying for you.” Graciously, he replied: “Thank you, ma’am. I’ll take all the prayers I can get.”
When my husband and I got married, he made a few things very clear: loved me, the kids, his family and the NY Yankees and no one could say anything bad about any of us. His love of baseball goes very deep, and I wish he could have known my grandmother to be able to share this passion together and she would have loved to see her great-grandson get in on the action. So as I watch the Yankees play Toronto (actually I’m watching my husband watch the Yankees play Toronto), I put together this unique list of gifts for the baseball fanatic.
Today my Dad would have been 76 years old. It’s hard to imagine him a day older than 61, his age when he passed, and he seemed more like 45 when he reached 60. He was a dapper dresser, loved his cigars, played soccer from the time he was a boy and loved to fish and garden. He believed in self-reflection, creative expression and was a devout patron of the arts. He was always a good father, but became a great Dad as I got older. I miss him everyday and wish he could see his grandchildren and the life I have today, as I think he would be proud, satisfied and experience joys not yet revealed to him when his life was cut short.
This list include gifts I think he would have wanted, and that I would have wanted to give him, had time and circumstance been different. I’ve also often said “dead people don’t have birthdays” so I’m about to contradict myself when I say Happy birthday Daddy. I love you. I hope this makes you smile wherever you are.
Recently I reconnected with a cousin from my Dad’s side. As we were catching up on family, jobs and kids I mentioned my Aunt D on my Mom’s side. Without skipping a beat she said me: “Oh my God I always thought she was so cool! I loved her leather pants. You were so lucky to have her for an aunt.”
I couldn’t agree more. As a little girl she was the coolest… I used to think “when I grow up I want to: wear leather pants, straighten my hair, wear cowboy boots, look cool in just about everything, be sassy and saucy just like her.”