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Just About as Cool as a Dad Can Be

My dad is an amazing gift-giver.

It’s probably because he gives an enormous amount of attention to detail. So when my sister, Katie, or I would mention something in passing, Dad would make note of it and remember. Then on our birthdays or at Christmas, we would open our gifts to find the exact Barbie, Bonne Bell lip gloss, N*Sync CD, straightening iron, or Ugg boots we’d been pining after.

I was not so good at returning the favor.

For example, when my sister, Katie, and I were in elementary school, we saw a bright turquoise blue t-shirt, emblazoned with screen-printing that read “Just about as cool as a Dad can be.” We laughed out loud when we saw the shirt. Daddy had to have it, so we begged mom to buy it for him for Father’s Day. (Or maybe his birthday; they’re less than a week apart most years, so we usually combine them, but I digress.)

Daddy, being the ever-supportive unselfish guy he was, wore the mildly insulting (and horrifically uncomfortable, I’m now finding out) shirt all over Six Flags for an entire day. He never once complained.

That shirt was probably the worst gift we ever got him, but none of our gifts during those years were terribly exciting. Out of a lack of other ideas, we usually gravitated towards buying him cologne and new rags to use for washing the car for all gift-giving occasions. If he was disappointed, he never let on.

But we were a family of all girls. What did we know about what men wanted?

Poor Daddy. He was so outnumbered for so long.

Until one day, I brought this guy home with me:

After awhile, I married him, and suddenly, there were two guys in the family. Finally, Dad wasn’t alone.

But it didn’t stop there.

Two years later, I brought home another guy:

Then sixteen months later, a third:

Now I’m the one who is outnumbered. You’re welcome, Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.

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