Friday, December 12, 2008

Forever and Ever, Amen.

Welcome to Fiction Friday! This week our host is Shirley over at Sunny Glade. Join us over there for links to more fun fiction.
Some tongue-in-cheek humor for today...

Sometimes this husband of mine is enough to drive me batty! Even though I love him dearly, and wouldn't trade him for another make or model, there are days when I wish I could send him right back to where he came from--my father.

Yes, this husband of mine was a Christmas gift from my father. What's that? You mean you've never received a husband as a gift before? Well, all I can say is, be thankful! Once you receive him as a gift, there's no getting rid of him. He's in your life forever and ever, amen. And I know what I'm talking about!

All I wanted for Christmas that year was a word processor. Yes, that was a long time ago, when those things were not your common household appliance. Still, a girl's allowed to dream, isn't she? So when dear ol' dad sent me to the office that Christmas morning to get my gift, I was sure I'd finally struck it lucky and hit the mother lode of Christmas gifts.

The hallway was short and I made fast work of it, my fingers itching to caress my new toy, my mind whirling with the hours of potential delight with such a machine at my fingertips. Never mind about the time it would save me as I slaved over all those college projects and papers I was wading through—those would almost be a delight with that new word processor. Almost.

The office door was closed, and I paused there for a brief moment to take a breath and try to appear cool and composed, but inside I was screaming. Open the door already!

My hand wrapped around the cold doorknob, my fingers almost white with the will power to slow down. I turned the knob and pushed the door open, but the shade was pulled and the lights were off, so I still couldn't see anything.

Ha! They're just trying to be tricky and prolong this, I thought. I reached in and groped for the light switch but that switch was in an odd place and it took me a moment to locate it. I wanted to see, and get my hands on, that word processor so badly I could almost taste it. When I finally felt the switch, I flipped it on impatiently and nearly jumped out of my skin.

Sitting there, in the desk chair, in the dark, was a man. A man with his hair sticking up at odd angles and big smile beneath his beard.

I clapped a hand over my mouth, but, I'm embarrassed to say, not before a shriek slipped out. Once I was confident no more hidden girlieness would slip past me unaware, my hand slid down to make sure my heart was still where it belonged. I just knew it was beating out of my chest like you see on the old cartoons my dad and I were so fond of.

The man just sat there grinning, as if he found me highly amusing. “Merry Christmas,” he finally said in a rough morning voice. And my knees turned to jelly.

“Phil! What are you doing here?” I tried to bluff my way out of my faux pas.

His laugh rumbled from his red checked flannel. I loved that flannel on him. He had told me he couldn't come for Christmas, but here he was.

He shrugged as he gave me a hug. “Work was canceled at the last minute, but I can leave if you want me to.”

“Oh, no you don't!” I pulled him into the living room to confront my smug-faced dad. “And you didn't tell me!”

Dad just laughed and pointed out the living room windows. I turned and looked. There sat a red pick-up that I hadn't noticed in my headlong rush to get to the Christmas tree that morning.

I looked at Phil, in his red checked flannel, and knew I was sunk. Not only was he not a word processor, but he was a man and I thought I was done with men. I tell you, I was doomed.

It's been twenty-some years since that Christmas, and I have to admit--but certainly not to him!--that he's still the best Christmas gift I've ever received, and I've received some good ones since then. Especially from Phil.

Okay, so here's the scoop on this story--it's mainly true! Jim was a Christmas gift 20 years ago, and other than my salvation, he's the best gift I've received. The fictionalized part is how much I wanted a word processor. LoL--I barely knew what one was, but Mom and Dad had been mentioning it, so when they sent me to the office 'to get my gift', I seriously wondered.

Up until that point, Jim was the big brother I never had, but we started dating that Christmas day...and were engaged on Friday the 13th, just 3 weeks later! (Disclaimer: I do NOT advocate that time table! It's just that we had gotten to know eachother as brother/sister, without the whole dating thing--and that was great!)

And I still love it when he wears red-checked flannels.


  1. Anonymous8:52 AM

    What a great romantic story, especially that it's
    mostly true! Sunny

  2. Awwww, I love it! Sweet and romantic and TRUE!

  3. What an odd gift! :) I love your true-ish story.

  4. Sweet sister Patty,

    This is WONDERFUL! I love it when my husband wears flannel too!

    And wow, what a fabulous Christmas gift! I totally agree with you, our husband's are just incredibly wonderful aren't they? Thank You Jesus!!!

    I love you sweet sister,

  5. Awww! What a fun story! I really liked this and it was so funny to read that it was true. Neat! I especially liked the word processor bit though...I was completely convinced one bday that I was going to get a red laptop, because every clue around me pointed to it and it turned out that it had absolutely nothing to do with PC's, but a trip to NJ, what fun!

  6. I LOVED the "author's note" to tell me how much was true and the additional info. Love the voice - and what an awesome present you got! :D

  7. This was so sweet. I'm afraid if I had received a gift like that when I was in college I would have ran away. LOL

  8. Your dad was a BRAVE man! LOL. I wonder if that tactic will work for Joseph when he's older? Hmmmm. ( : Sweet story, Peej!

  9. Fun story, and I always love reading (or hearing) how someone still thinks their spouse is a terrific gift, even after 20 years.

    Of course, I am a sucker for romantic, happy endings.


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