My lad is celebrating his 18th birthday this week but trying to find an appropriate birthday card for him has been a nightmare because they weirdly assume all teenage boys love fishing, golf, bowls or football.
Naturally, he likes none of these – although I blame myself for his football aversion as I once took him to watch my team, QPR and the highlight of his day was eating a foot-long hot dog, which is normally my highlight too.
Card buying is an awful experience. The section you need is seemingly, the only one where people are standing and constantly reaching across you, and, after 10 minutes of miserable pursuit, you always mutter: “Oh, this will do” and trundle forlornly to the counter.
I could’ve bought a card with “18” on but all these seemed to say was “Wahey! Welcome to adulthood, party, party and get drunk!” – Which is fine, and he probably will but it wasn’t really the special heartfelt message I was hoping for.
I spotted newish, all-encompassing cards, that read to: “like a son”, “like a daughter”, “like a mum”, “like a dad” and strangely, “like a virgin.”
Normally, I would buy my lad a ridiculously stupid card with monkeys in sunglasses, playing guitars but as he will be 18, I decided to do the decent thing as it’s a “special” birthday and get him something with nice words that resembles how I truly feel from the heart for once and that he may keep and look back on in future years.
It’s just the kind of thoughtful dad I am and I’m sure his mates will see it and mock him terribly because, as a teenager, I would too. It’s the law and it’s perfectly fine.
Eventually, I found a nicely worded card for his special year. I know I’ll have this same problem all over again in 3 years-time when he’s 21.
But for the next two years in between, I’ll gladly be buying him monkeys in sunglasses, playing guitars.