The Card He Didn’t Buy

My father has never been a gift giver. It is not in his nature. He doesn’t shop period, and especially not for cards. That is why having four daughters has saved his marriage…well, not really. But we would get money from him and go buy a gift for our mom from him and a card. We’d even wrap the gift. All he had to do was sign the card., and hand the stuff over. He was always as surprised as her when she opened her presents.

One such time, my oldest sister was in charge of buying for their anniversary. She took care of all the details and just had him sign the card and present her with the card and gift.

We later asked our mom if she liked what he’d gotten her. She laughed and said, “Well bless his heart. He bought me a birthday card instead of an anniversary card. I don’t have the heart to tell him since he went to all that trouble of picking it out himself.”

My sister and I rolled our eyes at each other. It was all we could do not to double over in laughter. She let Daddy take the blame for the card because otherwise we’d be ratting him out for having not bought it in the first place and she was so touched that he’d tried. Or so we let her continue to think.

It was funny that my sister had read it. I had read it. And my father had read it. None of us caught it. My mother caught it instantly. We secretly laughed over it for years. Eventually, we told them both, and they got a good laugh as well.

59 thoughts on “The Card He Didn’t Buy

  1. Ha. Now I have solution for all those special occasion cards I keep forgetting to buy. Pass it off on the kids. My husband is so good at getting them for me, I always feel terribly guilty when my hands are empty. Sweet story, I love they could both laugh about it in the end.

  2. I frequently (along with siblings) help my dad buy gifts for my mom. Bless his heart, he’s just not very good at it! LoL This was such a cute story. Made me laugh.

  3. What a sweet and funny story, SC!

    Reminds me of my own father.

    Every year for ANY occassion, he left it up to me to get my mothers gift, however he always enjoyed selecting the card himself.

    But, what’s really funny is that he would say the same thing every time…

    “Ron, go get your mother a nice big bottle of Jean Nate’, she loves that stuff.”

    To this day, everytime I smell Jean Nate’ I think of those moments.

  4. That’s so funny! One year, I was proabably about 12, I saved up some babysitting money because I knew my dad liked the aftershave Aqua Velva.

    For Father’s Day, he opened the gift – said “I love it!” and for every Father’s Day for the next 8 years that’s what I bought him and exclaimed his love for it each and every time.

    It wasn’t until after he died we were in this closet, and I stumbled upon a box, opened it, to find 7 bottles of Aqua Velva – in the 8 years I’d given it to him, he never even used one bottle! 😀

  5. Wow! I am being amazed lately, because almost every time you blog, I seem to have a story . . . that just happened . . . that somewhat (SOMEWHAT) relates. In regards to cards.

    I am a card person. You can skip the gift, but you (and by “you” I mean HUSBAND!) are required to give me a card for EVERY OCCASION. Yesterday was our wedding anniversary. We went to the store. My husband, the BAD actor that he is, says to me with his keys in his hand (so I know what he is going to say before he says it), “Ya know, I am kind of worried about the car. Would you go watch it? Please? There is too much stuff in it.” (And there was, but who is going to break into a car and walk off with a 100 pound grill?). As he was talking, I realized what was happening. He was buying my card. As I walked to the car, I realized that he had me go one way in the store while he went the other because he was picking out the card. And just now, it dawned on me that because he was picking out the card he hadn’t gotten upset with me because it took me FOREVER to find the olives.

    As I was walking to the car I was tempted to Tweet “Sometimes my husband thinks I AM a dumb blonde.” But I didn’t because it is too hard to explain that the statement is a joke, but he really thought he was pulling one over on me. So funny.

    As he handed it to me, I said something about knowing that was why I was sent to the car and he laughed. He said he was going to admit it, but I beat him to it.

    Nice of you girls to come to your father’s rescue. Some people just aren’t “card people” and some people are. I am.

    Thanks for the funny story!!!!

  6. My grandmother had a birthday card for my grandfather. One birthday card. She kept it in the dining room sideboard. Every year on my grandfather’s birthday, she’d take it out and hand it to him. He would read it and thank her and give her a kiss. He would hand it back to her and she would put it back in the sideboard for next year.

    They were married for over 60 years.

  7. hello suzicate … skipped over to see what’s new and read this touching story, so well-written, and read all the comments too since they are often entertaining as well. In my family, the joke is always with my younger, twin sisters … who shop separately yet somehow always manage to buy the SAME EXACT cards for people and sometimes, even the same gifts. It is almost a cliche with them! Thanks for sharing your story!

  8. My wife and I used to use the same cards over and over for each other year after year. Now, we don’t even bother with that. We just aren’t holiday people.

  9. Your mother caught the “glitch” because the card was important to her. This was a great story. I have no doubt replayed over and over again in families all over the world 🙂

  10. Very funny! Definitely one to *always* remember. I swore if I married again it would be on HIS birthday. That way I’d only have to remember ONE date. Brilliant eh? Go figure Jason’s Birthday is New Year’s Eve and he refuses to marry on his birthday. HA.

  11. You guys are so sweet … that is such a funny and cute story. I will never forget the EXboyfriend who once bought me a Christmas card that read, TO A NICE BOY …. uhhuhh. Not nearly as heartfelt as having a bunch of kids who try and parents who truly appreciate it!

  12. Aw, you girls were good daughters. I love that your mom thought the poor man had just made a mistake :P. I’m glad you told them about it all one day, though, and that your mother wasn’t hurt by it. I guess at a certain age and when you’ve been married for a long time, these little things really aren’t what matters most in love and the relationship.

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