How to Buy a Gift for an Old Man
Young people are always going on about how difficult it is to buy presents for their older relatives. While I’m not sure I would agree that seniors are hard to shop for, I fully agree that we tend to get really crappy gifts.
For the most part, the presents given to old people fall into one of two categories. The first – and most popular – is what I affectionately refer to as “Stuff I Already Have 10 of, God Damn it.”
I don’t know what you young people are thinking but just how many pairs of slippers, pajamas and bathrobes does an old man need? I live in a bungalow not the damned Playboy mansion. You’d think I never get dressed for Christ’s sake.
Likewise, trust me when I tell you that every senior has more than enough “World’s Greatest Grandpa” coffee mugs. I have 14 of the damned things. And If I’m so great why aren’t I getting a Lincoln Continental instead of some piece of crap coffee cup? What the Hell does the world’s worst Grandpa get? Leprosy and a cold water enema?”
And we certainly don’t need any more magazine subscriptions, scarves, crocheted throw rugs, jigsaw puzzles or macramé plant holders. My house looks like a cross between a thrift shop and a damned commune.
(By the way, please save your gag gifts for people with a sense of humor. Whoopee cushions are moronic, insulting and largely redundant when you get to be my age.)
While the “old faithful” gifts lack imagination, I have to admit they’re a damned sight better than those presents that I lump into my second category, “What in the Name of Sweet Christ am I Supposed to do With That?”
I spent a full 3 months last year telling anyone in my family who’d listen that my fishing rod was broken and that I was in desperate need of a new one. And when my birthday rolled around do you know what I got? A pair of bicycle shorts, a gift certificate to the Olive Garden and two tickets to see Alanis Morrisette performing in the Vagina Monologues.
And I’d have to consider that a good year. (It’s certainly better than the roller blades and sheer mesh underpants I got for Christmas.)
Look, this is shopping not subatomic physics for Christ’s sake. If you really want to select a gift that will make an old man happy all you have to do is take in an interest in his activities and pay attention to what he’s telling you.
And if you can’t muster the energy to do that, just go with a bottle of scotch. But make it the good stuff; we seniors like whisky the same we like people – mature and well aged.
Now go buy me a damned fishing rod.