“Gift Card”

I don’t normally post a blog on the weekends, and especially when I’ve already posted in the same week, but I was inspired by a writing prompt on MMA Storytime.

When I was younger, I gave my dad T-shirts and underwear for Christmas. He is a farmer and these were practical gifts that he would always need. As I got older, I would give him a tool or something generic like that. Truly, not much thought went into each gift. 

My dad and I never really “clicked.” I was not interested in farming, though I did help raise a few bobby calves and a pig named Wilbur. He tried to teach me to play basketball and I hated it. He was/is not a patient person and therefore does not make a good teacher. He never took an interest in anything that appealed to me and so we never had any common ground.

Now that I am an adult, I have limited conversations with him, but not much else. I give him gift cards at Christmas, partly because he doesn’t truly need anything, and whatever he wants, he just buys himself. Typically, I do not like giving gift cards because they are impersonal, but that is rather the relationship we have, so I guess it is appropriate. This year, it is a card that can be used at various restaurants. Basically, what I’m saying by giving this gift is, “I’m giving you this because I know you like to eat food.”

I see examples in movies and in real life of fathers and sons bonding, hugging, laughing, seemingly best friends. I can’t imagine such a relationship with my own father and when I try, it kind of makes me uncomfortable. I am happy for those who have special loving bonds with their parents and give each other meaningful, heartfelt gifts. But for me, this Christmas will be no different than the ones before:

“Here’s a gift card.”

“Thanks.”

Published by Brandon Ellrich

I live in Central Missouri and enjoy reading, writing, playing tennis, watching movies, and exploring creative outlets. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and I love to take my readers inside the minds of my characters.

7 thoughts on ““Gift Card”

  1. I liked this and it struck a chord with my own relationship with my late father who was unable to show much emotion but then he was almost Edwardian in his upbringing. I now struggle to bond emotionally with my own children – all grown up – who seem quite remote and cool. Funnily enough I have a closer relationship with two stepdaughters than with my own flesh & blood, but they are older. Maybe age – personal and cultural – has a lot to do with it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hard to have an impersonal relationship with family. Thank you for opening up about it. My dad and I have what I call a “surface level” relationship. It’s hard to get beyond that without a foundation if trust.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a father, I have to say that I really don’t need anything, and I don’t really want to put anyone to the trouble of thinking too much about a present. Gift cards are acceptable. I know that nobody believes me, but it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had what they would call the privileged coming out story. I still have a good relationship with both my parents, but it did take time to get through the whole coming out. I actually thought it would be harder with dad, as he was brought up catholic. But he doesn’t actively follow it. He was the easiest. All he said was “are you happy with that?” and I said yes, then he said, “that’s cool”. We share commonalities in musicals and dark comedy. But mum is a bit hard as we don’t really have a lot in common other than music. It’s like walking around on eggshells at times as she is devout Christian. And I’ve got a potty mouth at the best of times.

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about harnessing great relationships, it’s communication. Not just in what you say, but also how you listen and how they listen. I took the time with Mum, showing her movies and talking to her about all things sexuality. She still holds onto hope that I’ll find the right girl, but she doesn’t care about it much now. She even tells her church friends that I am her gay son.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear you have a relationship that works with your parents. I can’t really say what the future holds with mine. My mom prefers to ignore and pretend everything is fine. Thanks for the comments. 🙂

      Like

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