(The following was written by my favorite daughter, Kaybi).
In the spirit of gift giving, Dad and I wanted to share a story. Neither Dad nor I can ever talk about this story and not laugh.
A year and a half ago I was living in Fort Rucker, Alabama. My husband was going to school down there and my kiddos and I tagged along for the ride. For that very reason I was a regular on Amazon.com to send Birthday gifts to the fam back home. Dad’s birthday was coming up and I was on the hunt for the perfect gift. Because shipping on a 2009 Yamaha FJR1300 in black cherry was a smidge out of my price range I decided to find something else. Besides, Dad was pretty happy with his strom.
I was at my friends house and saw the funniest looking whisk I’d ever seen. Instead of the metal strands wrapping around and back into the handle they were straight with little balls on the ends. I asked her what it was for. She said it was the absolute best for making gravy. SOLD!
My Dad likes gravy. When I say my Dad likes gravy, it's not a casual thing. It's not that he merely enjoys gravy with his turkey on Thanksgiving or that an occasional side of mashed potatoes and gravy are served at Sunday dinner. Gravy is a staple in my parents’ home. It's practically a food group. When Dad, Mom, and two of my brothers came to visit in Alabama, one evening I had prepared Rosemary-Dijon pork chops with chopped red potatoes, home made rolls and a salad for dinner. I was proud of my meal. Dad sat down, looked around and asked, “where's the gravy?”
So, when I spotted the whisk at my friend’s house that was supposed to make gravy even better, I knew it was the perfect gift for my Dad. I looked and looked online. I checked all my favorite kitchen supply stores. Nothing. I couldn't find the stupid thing anywhere! Plus, what was I supposed to Google, ball whisk? Go ahead and give that a try and tell me what pops up. I finally found it on Amazon. Sweet! I ordered that bad boy and had it sent right away. I made sure to send it as a gift so Dad would get a little birthday message with his package. I was sure Amazon would print my message on a card and throw it in the box. That's what they do with flowers, so I figured it'd be the same thing.
I waited and waited for that package to get to Dad. I checked the package tracking number every day and sometimes twice a day. I was so excited for Dad to get this gift. I just knew that he'd rip it open and run straight to the kitchen to make some toast and gravy. After he finished his meal I knew he'd call and tell me what a life changing experience it had been and that it was the best gift he'd ever received.
The day finally came! I tracked the package, got confirmation that it had been signed for and waited because I just knew my Dad was about to call.
My phone was silent.
Ok, ok, he just hasn't finished his toast and gravy yet.
Alright, he's had plenty of time to cook and finish his meal, where was my phone call?!!
Maybe he was busy and hadn't had time to use the whisk yet so I decided to call him and see what he thought. I was SO excited! I called and anxiously waited for him to answer. Dad answered, "Hello?" "Hi Daddy!" I said. "Hi" Dad said flatly. "Did you get my gift?" I asked. "Yes" he replied again flatly. I was beginning to sense some irritation in his tone. What the heck? It took me days to find this gift. The gift of all gifts. The one that I knew he was sure to love.
Well, apparently he had ordered himself a birthday gift from Amazon right about the same time I did. He too had been watching and waiting. When the delivery truck pulled up to deliver the package Dad was equally as excited for what he had ordered. It was a Cobra FI2000 which is a digital fuel processor that he spent approximately $150 on.
You can imagine his shock and subsequent irritation when he ripped open the much anticipated package expecting to find his new digital fuel processor and instead found a funny looking whisk.
What on earth had Amazon sent him? Not only had they sent him the wrong item, they had charged him about $150 for the dumb thing! He checked that the package was indeed his package. He looked for a packing slip. There wasn’t one. Remember I selected gift so of course they wouldn't send one.
Dad was ticked! He went to his office and started looking for a phone number for Amazon. Someone was going to hear about this and it was going to be fixed today! Again, no packing slip to snag a number from. He looked the box over trying to find a number. He started getting even madder because not only had they sent the wrong item and charged him for it but they made it impossible for him to report it. Was this someone's idea of a joke? Because it wasn't funny!
About that time my Mom came home. Dad showed her what came and she was equally irritated. Dad told Mom exactly what he was going to say once he got a hold of someone. It wasn’t going to be pretty. Mom started helping Dad look for a number. She grabbed her glasses and picked up the box. After a few minutes she started to laugh. Mom handed some glasses to Dad and showed him the bottom corner of the shipping label. Dad chuckled.
In the bottom corner of the shipping label in tiny font it said, "Happy Birthday Dad. I love you!"