When I was little I always went with mom when she was shopping. We did the grocery shopping together and I went with her when she bought gifts for birthdays and Christmas.
The main reason I liked to go with her was because the shopping trip would end up at the dime store. I would endure the other shopping because I knew that I would have a chance to shop in the dime store while she was there. Just like when I went with Grandmother, I always headed for the perfume area to buy some Blue Waltz perfume.
But Mom would not let be buy any. She was allergic to it so I couldn’t have it at home. But she would let me spend my money, a nickel or dime, whatever I had on the candy necklaces. I loved those things and I never bought any other kind of candy back then.
But before we got to my shopping, the year I was 3, I had to tag along in the quest for something for Dad’s birthday which was August 13. There was a men’s clothing store in town so we always went there to get him something.
This was a boring place and I didn’t like shopping there. I am sure I didn’t make it much fun for Mom when were there. She tried to include me in the decision making for his gift. That year we bought Dad a nice shirt to wear after work. After she bought it they wrapped it for his birthday and we left to hit the grocery store and then the dime store.
I thought about the shirt all day long and every time I saw the box that was nicely wrapped up I described the blue shirt to Mom and she said it was for his birthday. She also informed me that it was a secret and we couldn’t tell him so he would be surprised.
This concept of keeping a gift secret was not one I fully understood. When we got home with the present my Mom hid it in inside the china cabinet in the dining room. I watched as she laid it on the shelf and shut the door. She said it was a secret and not to tell Dad it was there and what was in the box. They should have had a lock on that door.
So when Dad came home that night, he sat down in the chair in the living room to read the paper until supper was ready. I promptly went over to the hiding place, opened the door and grabbed the box that had been wrapped so nicely and handed it to him.
He said that it was for his birthday and I should put it back where it had been hidden. I told him I wanted him to have it now. He said it was for his birthday and he’d wait. As Mom came into the room to tell us that supper was ready I decided to break the code of silence.
I told him I knew what was in it and that he would like it. Mom told me to put the box back where it had been hidden and come to supper. I just looked at her and proceeded to tell my dad what was in the box.
I said: “Dad; Mom and I went shopping today and I got this candy necklace, showing him what was left of it as it hung around my neck, and we bought some bread at the grocery store and we had a coke at the drug store and then we went to the store where the men shop.”
Mom made one more attempt to shut me up but I didn’t pay any attention to her. I then told him that we bought him a plaid shirt that was blue and had darker blue squares on it. I told him it had long sleeves and a pocket on it and showed him by touching the pocket on his chest. I told him I helped pick it out.
Mom threw her hands in the air and mumbling all the way, went back to the kitchen. I am sure Dad was trying hard not to laugh. He managed to stay composed and he put the package back in the cabinet where it had been hidden. He said he would wait until his birthday, so he could open it with the other packages.
Dad never took me shopping with him for things for Mom and I am sure he was happy that he hadn’t or I would have been spilling the beans to her too. I was never again invited to go along with Mom when she was shopping for Dad’s presents. To contact Sandy: [email protected]