My dad has been talking about wanting an iPad for the past six months. He said if
Santa I got one for him for Christmas, he would happily pay for half of it. Well. About a week before Christmas, we got into an argument. (As close as we are, we bicker quite a bit. I don’t talk about this on The Blog so much.) I am usually to blame for our fights, but this time, I Was Right. I wanted to make my dad feel bad for how he was acting, so I told him I got him an iPad for Christmas (which I was planning to buy). He was sad the surprise was ruined. So was I.
Two days later, I came up with The Plan of All Plans. I told my dad that due to a conversation I had with my accountant about paying my 2011 taxes, I unfortunately wouldn’t be able to afford the iPad like I’d thought. I apologized. My dad was sad again. He thought about going to Best Buy to buy one himself. I reminded him that he recently spent a lot of money fixing his truck and had to
buy me Christmas presents be responsible with his funds. He agreed.
Meanwhile, as I always do, I went a bit overboard in regards to buying presents for The Ol’ Man. (When my mom died in 1998, I took on the responsibility of making sure my dad has a great Christmas every year. He does the same for me.) I purchased slippers, pajamas and Big & Tall clothes from L.L. Bean — your basic boring stuff that he won’t buy for himself. And unbeknownst to him, I bought the iPad and designed an invoice for half the cost that would be due to me after tax season. Yes. I asked him to pay for half his Christmas present. Anyway.
On Christmas morning, we opened our gifts. He seemed pleased with his pajamas. Time to put my A Christmas Story plan into place.
Me: Dad, can you please make some more coffee?
As he leaves the room, I run into my bedroom and grab the wrapped iPad. I hide it behind his big chair. TOM returns with coffee.
Me: So… did you get everything you wanted for Christmas?
Dad: Yes, it was great!
Me: Wait. Hey… what’s that over there?
Me: Behind your chair?
Dad: That’s just a piece of wood!
Me: No, I see something. Go look.
Dad: What, is it a bug?
When he discovers the extra present, he lights up. He opens the gift and clearly cannot keep his composure. He is crying and jumping up and down like a kid who just received a Red Ryder carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle.
Dad: I got a f*ckin’ iPad! G*ddamn! A f*ckin’ iPad! Life is good! I’m one of the cool guys now!
Me: Yay! Were you surprised?
Dad: Hell yes! I can’t poop until this is charged. Now I can go to the bathroom with my iPad! I can play Angry Birds with both my hands and see what the birds are doing! This is like when I discovered masturbation. It’s all I did for two months — I had scabs up and down my dingus. It’s like… something this good has got to be bad for you. Do you think this is bad for me??
At this point, my hands were over my ears trying to block out the grossness. Sometimes I have to remind him that he is not in Marine Corps boot camp — I am his “rich, beautiful, young daughter.” (Also his phrase.) But I probably wouldn’t have him any other way.