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Carol Perkins: The surprise is half the fun at Christmas

Her well planned gift buying had its problems, but it worked beautifully. Click more to see what happens next.
Next earlier column: The beginning of the story: Carol Perkins: One me, two places to be, at the same time

By Carol Perkins

One afternoon when Guy was out-of-town, I slipped off to Bowling Green to Sam's Club to buy his Christmas gift. He had shown me what he would like to have "someday" so I knew exactly when that "someday" would be.

Without wasting time, I went directly to aisle "9" in hopes I could buy the gift and get back home before he did. The sign read "take this tag to checkout" but there were no tags in the holders. Now what? I was not going to be able to get this item without help, so I asked several people in various departments to find someone to assist. After much waiting, I devised a plan to ease the box off the shelf and across my cart.

I tested the weight of this box labeled "muscle rack" by pulling on the plastic straps. Too heavy. I didn't have a muscle anywhere, so I shoved the front of the cart level with the stack of boxes and "scotched" one wheel with one foot. Carefully, I shimmied each edge of the box (about five feet tall) left and then right until it fell horizontally across the shopping cart. The problem now was maneuvering it to checkout without wiping out customers.

Once at the checkout, I asked the cashier for help loading it. "Sure, just give the receipt to the guy at the front and he will page someone." I wasn't sure about this paging business. In the meantime, she was preoccupied with her ring that had caught in her knit sweater and in trying to get it out, she pulled threads with it. Finally, with the ring free she asked, "Do you see a hole where I pulled my ring out?" After a close examination, I assured her there was no hole. It was a new sweater. The young guy loading the heavy box had not an inch to spare from the one end of the SUV to the other. I covered it carefully with two blankets and headed home. There would be no hiding this gift; it was staying where it was. In the meantime, Guy looked for his gifts under the tree. "I only have one?" It was more of a statement than a question. I had bought him another gift for under the tree. Christmas morning after he opened what he thought was his only gift, he tried not to show his disappointment. "Surely you know that is not your real present," I said. "Well, I didn't know for sure," he said. We slipped out to the garage and his face lit up like tree lights. "How did you get this thing in the car?" he said as he scooted it out. "I know you didn't lift it yourself."

"Well, you're half right." We all go to great lengths to give special gifts. After fifty years of marriage, he never knows what might (or might not) be under the tree or in the trunk or how it got there. The surprise is half the fun.

This story was posted on 2017-12-28 05:57:50
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