EDITOR'S NOTE: Carole Townsend, a correspondent for the Daily Post, is beginning a new blog called "Food For Thought." It is available online at www.gwinnettdailypost.com/townsend.
Sunday is Father's Day, and I for one look forward to it. Fathers sometimes get the short end of the stick when it comes to parenting credit, but they affect sons and daughters just as much as moms do. They set powerful examples that teach sons how to be men, and they impact how their daughters expect to be treated by men. They model character, strength and responsibility. My husband is a terrific dad, and I am thankful for that. I try to spoil him on Father's Day, and now that our kids are pretty much grown, so do they.
I do get a kick out of shopping for Father's Day presents. Around the third week of June, gadget commercials take over the airwaves. "Try our new jet-fuel-powered grill brush," and "Dad will love this handy combination TV remote/bottle opener/radio!" I think these products are silly dust-catchers, but I am not a guy.
Years ago, when we first bought our house, my husband and I went furniture shopping. I still remember and chuckle about the furniture that seemed to call his name, no matter where we went. Finally, in one store we visited, he couldn't stand it any longer. I was looking for a sofa and loveseat in one section of the store. He had wandered off to the "build your own home theatre" section, and he was in heaven.
The monstrous pit group he had found and with which he had fallen in love was upholstered in navy blue velour. Sections of the group had footrests that popped out like a recliner, and in the middle was a small refrigerator. The top of the refrigerator was an organizer of sorts, with an area designated for chips, one dotted with color-coded cup holders and another for remote controls. Discreetly-placed lights illuminated this area. Speakers were strategically placed in the headrests, and the two center seats vibrated and pulsed in a manner that was supposed to simulate massage. If the furniture housed a bathroom, theoretically, one would never have to move. He was sold.
We negotiated and settled on a more conventional ensemble for the family room, but I have never forgotten how happy he looked, how totally comfortable and in love he was with that horrid furniture. It was then that it really dawned on me how much he loves handy gadgets. Apparently a lot of men do, thus the deluge of gadget commercials in June.
My dad, who's nearly 92 years old, is currently in the hospital and likely will be on Sunday. He was the king of all gadget-lovers back in the day. I'd give just about anything to be able to find something this year that would bring some of that spark back, that would delight him into a belly laugh and a good story.
And why not? Unless we're talking furniture, I say this year get Dad the coolest contraption you can find. If it has a power source, that's great. If it lights up and makes noise, even better. He's earned it. Just be sure to set aside the day for him, and to tell him "thanks." He's earned that, too.
Have any great Father's Day gift ideas? Share them with readers who may be stumped this year.
Carole Townsend is a freelance writer and a 25-year resident of Gwinnett County. As a mom, a wife, a former corporate executive, stay-at-home mom and correspondent for the Daily Post, she brings a unique perspective to life and living it in Gwinnett. "Food for Thought" gives Gwinnettians a forum where they can share perspectives, opinions, advice and solutions, as well as enjoy a few chuckles.