THE ANNIVERSARY PRESENT

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A true story by Roger Dean Kiser

Submitted: September 25, 2011

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Submitted: September 25, 2011

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THE ANNIVERSARY PRESENT



Every year on our anniversary, Judy and I celebrate the special occasion by having bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches for dinner. A tradition we have held for fourteen years, mainly because that is what we ate on the day we met.

About three o’clock we headed to Harvery’s Grocery Store to purchase the items necessary for our meal. When pulling into the parking lot there were an elderly man and woman in the car in front of us. I began to get a little agitated as the man was driving about one mile per hour.

“If I ever get that slow I want you to shoot me in the damn head,” I told my wife.

“You’re already that slow,” she replied.

“Then forget what I just said.”

The gentleman pulled into a handicapped parking space and the two of them slowly exited their automobile. By the time we parked the two of them were heading into the store. The woman was using a walker and the old man pulled himself forward using a three legged walking cane.

After picking out a head of lettuce and several tomatoes, we headed to the meat counter for a package of slab bacon. As we round the corner, guess who ends up directly in front of us, pushing a shopping cart at three feet per hour; the elderly couple from the parking lot. Judy and I stood waiting for them to move down the line so we could reach the bacon section.

Shaking and very carefully the old man reached over and picked up a small package of pork chops. Holding them out to his wife he replied, “This sure would be good for our anniversary mother.”

“You know we can’t afford that dad,” she replied.

Slowly, the man placed the package back on the meat counter and the two of them continued down the aisle.

Judy picked out a large package of bacon and off to the bread aisle we headed. As we passed the elderly couple, the man was trying to pick up a large package of hamburger.

“The small package dad. The small package,” the woman told him.

Judy and I stopped and looked at one another.

“James Ditty time?”

“I think so, mom” I said, as I smiled back at her.

We headed back to the meat counter and rang the buzzer. Several seconds later our friend James Ditty came out of the freezer.

“Hey guys,” he replied as he shook my hand.

“James, how about four of your best center cut pork chops, maybe one and a half inches thick,” Judy told him.

“You got it.”

Judy and I waited as James cut and wrap the meat. When he returned I took the marking pen from his pocket and wrote “HAPPY ANNIVERSARY” on top of the white package.

“How are we going to do this without embarrassing them dad?” Judy asked.

“Don’t worry, I got it covered.”

The both of us turned down the bread aisle, picked out a loaf of bread and headed to the check out counter. After paying for our groceries, I took the pork chops and wrapped them in a plastic bag. I pointed out the elderly couple to the cashier and told her to slip the meat in their grocery bag when they checked out.

We stood up front waiting for the couple come through the register. As the elderly woman fumbled through her purse, the cashier placed the pork chops in the bottom of their grocery bag and sat the sack in their cart.

Heading toward the front door, the old man was trying to push the shopping cart with one hand and hold his cane with the other.

“Can I help you with that,” I told him.

“Why thank you sonny.”

As the hours passed, we finally made it the fifty feet to their automobile.

“Did I hear you say it’s your anniversary today,” I asked the gentleman.

“Fifty three years today.”

“Fourteen for us,” I told him.

“Well, Happy Anniversary,” he replied.

“And a Happy Anniversary to you guys too.”

Judy and I stood watching as the two of them slowly made their way out onto Perry Lane Road. As car after car began to line up behind them, horn after horn began to blow.

“Thank you for the anniversary present dad. It’s the best one you ever bought.”

I just looked at my wife, winked and smiled.

 


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