There are several days during the year that I find myself unintentionally dreading. With all of my skills and innovative problem solving experience, I am filled with anxiety at the thought of these three very specific days:
Poor dad. He's got a poverty stricken daughter who would rather spend her money on DSL or out of town trips to visit friends than such frivolous investments as food or car maintenance. My gift giving is usually the result of brainstorming how to convert objects around my house into something giftable for the least amount of money possible.
This practice has led to dad being the proud recipient of some of the lamest gifts ever given. He has everything a dad could want already; power tools, electronics, awesome daughter.
This Father's Day I had nothing. No ideas. No money. No inspiration. Not a single clue as to what I could possibly make for this wonderful man. It's June, so most of the practical knitted items are out. I haven't been painting lately. My silk screen process is pieced together from scraps and flawed enough that I don't feel comfortable gifting the shirts I make. Also, I don't have a shirt in his size on hand.
While checking my twitter one fine day, I came across a contest from ThinkGeek.com with fabulous prizes, some of which he would enjoy very much indeed. So I entered the contest.
I didn't win. Of course I didn't win.
A few days later, they posted another contest. This one involved writing a 500 word "essay" about my geeky dad. He's not completely geeky in the traditional sense, but he's got lots of moments that make you realize his dorky humor and his nerdy interests. He owns it, however, and he's always been built like a jock, so not many people have noticed. Anyway, I entered that contest, too.
And, strangely enough, I won. Or he won.
I owe much to the networking of my browncoats. They advertised and posted the voting links. We had what amounted to 5 hours to rustle up enough votes to be one of 5 winners, and we did it! We won a $100 gift card to ThinkGeek for my dad! I believe he intends to purchase a spy watch. (Oh dear)
This all brings me to the lame gift aspect. How to present the "gift card" to dad in such a way as to express the fun and hype and community involvement that went into winning? The emails sent, the facebook messages, the tweets? Well, a scrap book of course!
I took an unused 20 page sketchbook and colored it with markers. I printed out the ThinkGeek contest pages and emails. I glued them all inside in a focused burst of lame crafting late Saturday night and gave it to him wrapped in brown paper, tied with a ribbon when he arrived Sunday morning.
It looks awful.
A child could to better, honestly.
I have a frakkin art degree!
So you see. All of the information was available and time constraints and money issues, blahblahblah. Poor dad. He opened the present and teared up a little. I'm sure it was because he was flattered by the efforts that went into winning and not because he was offended by the aesthetics of the scrapbook. And because my dad's a class act of awesome. I hope he gets that spy watch and saves the world with it.