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to resent buying my dad something for Father's Day?

(21 Posts)
MyDogHatesMe Thu 16-Jun-11 13:03:13

Resent is probably too strong a word. I will get him something, but it's always such a struggle and he doesn't make it easy at all.

He's 63 with no hobbies, interests or social life (nor does he want them) and all he does is work. Everyone struggles with what to get him for Birthday and Christmas, and I've got this extra one to come up with too. Usually I end up getting him an Amazon voucher to get a book with but it seems really naff. I live too far away to do anything physically like take him out for lunch or something.

My brother has apparently stopped bothering with both mother's and father's day. As a result my mum insisted I got her nothing for mother's day, because my brother doesn't bother. I got her a card, and a little present, and told her she's going to be a grandma so she was happy with that. I feel I can't keep asking her what I can get my dad, especially as I got her 'nothing' for mother's day.

I can't get my dad 'nothing' (even though my brother will), because my dad is highly sensitive and will fall out with me over it but won't ever fall out with my brother. This kind of annoys me as he never does anything for my birthday (leaves it all to mum) and usually forgets it so I don't even get a text or anything. It all seems a bit one-way. I'd want to get him something if he was easier to buy for but it's a thrice-yearly problem that I panic about for ages beforehand and put off acting on til the last minute like I have this time.

What do you get your 'elderly' and difficult parents (if anything)?

chicletteeth Thu 16-Jun-11 13:05:15

IF you want to get him something, ask him point blank what he would like. If he says he doesn't know, say you don't know either and then just sent him a card.
Does he like chocolate or nuts or any kind of nice snack food that you could maybe give to him that you know he would enjoy.

iMemoo Thu 16-Jun-11 13:06:30

I make mine some cakes or biscuits.

nocake Thu 16-Jun-11 13:09:23

I do cards but never presents, although my parents have just left on a 3 week cruise so this year he isn't even getting a card grin

BootyMum Thu 16-Jun-11 13:10:22

I have no helpful advice to give but was just struck by how ridiculously unreasonable it is for your father to forget your birthday and put no effort in himself but expects something from you.

Imo it is parents who should remember their children's birthdays, not vice versa. I mean for goodness sake, he was around, maybe even present when you were actually born and should have little trouble remembering the date of this momentous occasion in his life [becoming a father, even if for the second or third time].

Personally I would never expect my sons [currently 2 yrs and 4 mths] to remember my birthday. Why would they? That is for my parents, siblings, friends and husband to remember.

But I guess it is nice to be remembered as a parent on mother's and father's day... But a card should suffice. If you want to get him something could you pay to treat your Dad and your Mum out to lunch somewhere special?

chicletteeth Thu 16-Jun-11 13:13:29

Bootymum, when my boys are adults (not at their young ages now of course), it is expected that they would remember my birthday.
Why on earth wouldn't they?

BootyMum Thu 16-Jun-11 13:20:36

chicletteeth in answer to your question I just don't feel it is the responsibility of my children to remember and celebrate my birthday.

It will be nice if they do remember or want to get me something. But I genuinely won't feel slighted if they don't. I almost forget my own birthday myself most years now.

I guess my birthday is not hugely important to me now that I am middle aged. [Although flowers and dinner out will always be welcomed from my DH!]

But I will always want to remember and celebrate my boys birthdays as that is my responsibility as their mother. And it was a huge moment in my life giving birth to them.

I don't know, am I odd to feel this way?

Re the birthday thing- I totally expect my DS to remember and celebrate my birthday!! The amount of stuff we do for our kids - they should appreciate it and make the effort when it is a special day for us!

Re fathers day - dunno. My dad is floating round California in a winnibago at the moment so he wont even get a card from me. I think just a nicely worded card would be sufficient!

chicletteeth Thu 16-Jun-11 13:24:46

My birthday isn't important to me either, but I have never failed to remember my parents birthday since I was quite young.
I remember it every year and send them a little something; sometimes just a card.

I never felt obliged to do this, I wanted to. I would be a little shocked if my boys didn't want to do this for me to.

If they came up with a plausible reason as to why they don't and shouldn't have to remember, I supposed I would have to accept it.

I personally think it is a little odd to not even expect a card, or a phone call, or even a text.

MyDogHatesMe Thu 16-Jun-11 13:26:09

Bootymum "he should have little trouble remembering the date of this momentous occasion in his life"

I totally agree, but apparently he does sad

I always always get him something for his birthday, and I spend a long time picking out appropriate cards that won't offend him (very difficult in itself as he is offended by everything). My brother gets round this whole issue by saying point blank he doesn't 'believe' in Father's/Mother's Day. It's what people expect from him, but I'm different and like to make sure they feel remembered especially as I'm so far away. Maybe I need to start caring less!

chicletteeth nice suggestion (I failed to mention my dad is morbidly obese) but I will have a think!

Thanks all, it's good to see what other people do/think.

ImeldaM Thu 16-Jun-11 13:28:11

Sorry to be down on this sad but if your dad is around, especially if elderly, get him something, even if just a card & box of chocs/sweets, he won't be around for ever.

Wish my dad was here so I could get him something sad

ImeldaM Thu 16-Jun-11 13:29:15

X-posted with you, not sweets/chocs then

chicletteeth Thu 16-Jun-11 13:30:57

Does he like different types of teas, coffee's, maybe some nice chutney/relish with (just a few of course given that he's obese) some Duchy crackers?

How about some stuff for the garden? (new pots/seeds/gardening gloves/nice plant)

Something for the car? A magazine or two - national geographic or something.

Music, does he like CD's?

You've probably thought of all this already.

chicletteeth Thu 16-Jun-11 13:31:29

parentheses in the wrong place in that last paragraph

AgentZigzag Thu 16-Jun-11 13:44:30

I would take your brothers lead and not get him anything, he doesn't sound as though he appreciates it anyway.

And if you're going to get it in the neck whether you get him something or not, why bother?

Just say you've lost the will to live the belief you once had in it, and if he wants a fuller explanation direct him to your brother.

MyDogHatesMe Thu 16-Jun-11 13:50:56

AgentZigzag if only I had the balls.... love it though grin

chicletteeth thanks smile he doesn't garden... he doesn't DO anything sad that's what makes it so difficult...all he does is work (says he will NEVER retire and will work til he drops, but that's another story). I don't really expect anyone to solve this for me, it's my problem, but thanks ever so much for trying smile

Amazon voucher it is (again) then!

My MIL was the same - no hobbies or anything, made buying for her so hard!!! She now sadly suffers from severe dementia and the other day whilst round there we were looking for some slippers to put on her and found loads of stuff we have bought her in the past just stuffed in the cupboard and never used!! Such a waste of time, effort and money.

Does he have any charities he favours. Just make them a donation on his behalf - better than wasting money on stuff he wont use.

Beamur Thu 16-Jun-11 13:54:11

What about a magazine subscription (perhaps more an Xmas or birthday present)?
Vouchers for the theatre
Oxfam unwrapped kind of thing where you buy something effectively for someone who really needs it

ShoutyHamster Thu 16-Jun-11 13:55:33

I'd get him nothing!!

Really.

And when he gets huffy, point out that a. it's fine for your brother not to, so if it's not the same for you, would he please outline why he thinks that is ok, and b. he forgets your birthday and you never get huffy with him.

Might make him think a bit...

AgentZigzag Thu 16-Jun-11 13:59:17

I just can't imagine anyone (or thinking that anyone would) fall out with me because I didn't get them a present.

I'd be tempted to deliberately not get them owt, I give people presents because I think a lot of them and know they will be happy I've bothered, not because it's expected and if I don't I'll get an earful!

The unfairness in how he treats your brother just adds to the mix.

Primafacie Thu 16-Jun-11 14:11:29

My dad passed away recently. One of my regrets is not getting him a last birthday present. I was very sick at time, he lived abroad, I just let it slip. sad

If you like him, I would say you should get him something. Maybe instead of a voucher, try to find a book he would like? Or some cds? I sometimes sent my dad flowers, I know it sounds odd but it showed I thought about him and made a nice splash of colour on the dining table.

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