Daughter delves into dad’s secret “drawer”

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A Father’s Secret (drawer) Blown Wide Open
by Kelli Warner
KMTR-TV Morning News anchor
Springfield, OR

Did you know Father’s Day is the fifth most popular card-sending holiday? Sons, daughters, wives, mothers, sisters and brothers will scoop up $100 million dollars worth of funny and sentimental cards this month alone. That’s a lot of love going out to dads on a day officially declared just for them.

And on top of the card, a lot of dads will get a necktie this Father’s Day. It’s the most popular gift given on this holiday. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there will also be a lot of golf clubs, tools, gift cards, and other dad-stuff given out too, but the necktie remains the most popular go-to gift that tells the man who helped give you life that you appreciate him.

My dad has always been kind of funny when it comes to gifts. He never asks for anything, yet despite this, we feel compelled each year to find him that perfect present. The one item that he will cherish and use more than any other gift he receives the rest of the year, including his birthday and Christmas. In theory it doesn’t seem that difficult a task. My sister and I have known our father for, well, our whole lives. We know what he’s interested in, what he likes to do in his spare time. He’s definitely not a necktie dad. I can count on one hand the number of occasions I’ve seen him in a tie. He likes to golf and fish, but a gift card to the Pro shop or to Cabella’s doesn’t seem special enough. So each year, we try to find something that says “Dad”, but also says: we really put some thought into this.

What we’ve actually discovered over the years is that all those efforts to find the perfect gift has led to—“the drawer.”

You may have heard me talk about “the drawer” before. We only discovered its existence a couple of years ago. It is one drawer in his dresser that apparently has been housing all those clever Father’s Day/Christmas/birthday gifts that we thought were so perfect, but that–unbeknown to us–he never used. Let me give you a rundown of the current inventory:

  • Several pedometers
  • Sunglasses
  • Belt buckles
  • Several laser pen light sets
  • Numerous specialty golf balls
  • Ash from Mount St. Helens
  • And several packs of dental floss. (My sister thinks these are great stocking stuffers—every year)

But that’s not all; apparently, many gifts given to him by other people end up in “the drawer” as well. There’s plenty of stuff in there from my uncle who spends a little too much time shopping on eBay.

My dad always thanked us for his gifts and never even hinted that he didn’t like them. But apparently, his pleasantries were just a cover-up to throw us off the trail while he planned how he would transfer his gifts to “the drawer” when we weren’t looking. This is why I’m a firm believer that when someone asks you what you want for (fill in the occasion), you should answer them honestly.  Telling people you don’t want anything leaves them to their own devices. And that leads to a dresser drawer full of items you REALLY didn’t want.

But the joke is on him. Last Christmas, my sister and I snuck into “the drawer,” re-wrapped some of those gifts, and put them back in his stocking. The look on his face when he opened them was OUR gift.

My mom recently asked my Dad why he keeps all the stuff in “the drawer.” She said he just laughed and said: “Can you imagine how much fun the girls will have going through all this stuff when I’m gone? I’m going to just sit up in Heaven laughing!” Nice, Dad.

So, while I’m still not sure what kind of gift I’ll buy him this year, he’ll definitely be getting a card: the perfect card to tell him just how much he means to me on this Father’s Day.

The truth is, Dad, I appreciate and love you 365 days a year.

But it’s on the third Sunday in June that you get the card.

Try and keep it out of “the drawer,” will ya?