Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Dad Files: I

I've decided to start a new little blog series about my father. My family doesn't read my blog, so far as I know, and if they do, well, we'll just hope that nothing I say is offensive! I want to blog about my dad in a particular way, and that is through a typical package I receive from my dad: An envelope with clipped coupons.

My connection with coupons and my father began many moons ago when I was in the 9th grade. I had to make a collage about "me" for an English class and dad had recently done his coupon clipping thing. He found a coupon that said "Expiration 9-31-1998." Of course, there IS NO September 31, we know. Dad gave it to me and I put it on the collage and for many moons after that kept it on my various bulletin boards as I moved from dorm to apartment and on.

Since I moved out of my parents house, my dad has been clipping coupons and either giving or sending to me. It's just a small white envelope with my name scribbled on front in my dad's boxy, legible-only-to-the-familiar manner. Inside is a myriad of coupons clipped from the Sunday ads -- all shapes and sizes meticulously chopped from shiny paper sheets. Napkins, deodorant, cereal ... you name it, it's in there. I've been getting these coupons for five or more years, and with each envelope I sit down with my little coupon folder and sort through the ones I'll keep and the ones that are either, well, not usable or outside of my typical shopping list. But in every envelope I receive there have been many that just make me snicker, giggle, shake my head or say "Oh, dad ... sigh."

The most common one is when I get Playtex or Always coupons. I know I'm a grown woman and that I shouldn't be "weirded" out by my father sending me feminine product coupons, but there really *is* something strange about it. It's just one of those things. Then there's those like the one's below ...If you can't tell, that's a coupon for Van Camp's Pork and Beans. It's to save 40 cents on four cans, which, truth be told, even if I ate pork and beans, I don't know why I'd need four cans at once. Secondly, as I was sifting through the most recent coupon delivery, I pulled this out and said to Ian, "You've got to be kidding me ... it's PORK ... seriously?" To which Ian replied, "Oh! I bet he sent that for me, we had a conversation about pork and beans." Strange? Yes. Ian eats pork, yes, but I sure don't, and i told them that we definitely don't keep pork in the house ...

And then there's the Hebrew National coupons. I ALWAYS get these from dad. Since years ago when I started exploring Judaism before my conversion more than a year ago, dad was giving me the Hebrew National coupons. I typically don't purchase the Hebrew National dogs, and try to go for turkey dogs, but thanks, dad :)

And here's a Schlotsky's coupon. Seemingly there's nothing wrong with this one. It's a kind gesture -- I love sandwiches! But then there's a tiny, tiny detail ...

Yes, folks. Good only in Omaha and Lincoln! I live in Chicago :)

Then finally, there's the following coupon. I live with a self-made chef, who specializes in the Italian cuisine. I love my dad to pieces, but Ian and I don't eat out all the time, and when we do, we eat local, ALWAYS local. We're not chain restaurant kind of people, especially with Ian being the self-made chef that he is!

Every month I get the special coupon delivery, as well as mail that shows up at the house for me. But I look forward to the coupons. Only recently have I really begun to appreciate that my dad takes the time to send them to me. I started thinking, Someday, these coupons will stop coming. And that made me incredibly melancholy. So I'm documenting the humor that couples these coupons. Cheers to pop!