A Most Memorable Present.

One early spring day 1979 I was surprised to receive a small check in the mail from my paternal grandmother’s estate.  Not only had she never met me in person, but she had passed away 23 years earlier.

The check was enough to fill my car with a load of groceries. Or not.  I chose the latter.  I went shopping.

I don’t remember what I purchased for myself or for the two girls.  (Our third was still a twinkle in her daddy’s eye.)  But, I DO remember the gift I purchased for my husband.  It was a striped shirt of multiple blues in a very popular loose knit style.  It was the most I had every spent on a single item of clothing.

We had a little package opening party that evening when I arrived home from work. 

“Wow!” He exclaimed.  “This is really nice!”

He tried it on and it was a perfect fit.  I suggested he take it off and hang it in his closet.

“The directions say ‘dry clean only.’ “ I warned him.  “And, I would like you to save it for special occasions.”

“Okay,” he said, and wandered towards the bedroom closet.

A few minutes later I saw him… outside looking under the hood of our neighbors car.  Still wearing the shirt.

I opened the door and yelled -- “Take that shirt off!”

“Be right in – we’re just talking.” he promised.

A few minutes later I looked outside and I saw his feet sticking out from under the side of the automobile.  I pedaled myself out there with steam rolling out of my ears.

“Get that new shirt off right now!”  I screamed.  Too late.

He came out from under the car with a big smudge already adorning the costly material.  There were daggers piercing him from my eyes and he was acting sheepish and apologetic.

Later, I pulled the shirt out of the laundry hamper to assess the damage.  That’s when I noticed he had also pulled a thread from the loose weave.   I turned it inside out to determine if the thread could be salvaged by pulling it back the other direction on the inside.  That’s when he walked up beside me. 

“Oh!  That’s easy to fix!”  He pointed, and before I could object, pulled out his pocket knife and cut it.  SNIP.

I started crying.

My inheritance.  Gone in 60 seconds.  (I could have written that movie.)

I didn’t speak to him  that night or the next morning.  I was truly angry. 

That is why I was surprised the next afternoon by his attempt to make amends.

“Hey, hon.  I’m really sorry about the shirt.  I figured I’d do my best to get it fixed.  I took it down to the lady at the store that does the altering and she made it look pretty good.”

I was somewhat mollified. Then, I reminded him he would need to get it dry cleaned, too.

The oddest look crossed his face.

“What?” I rolled my eyes then closed them in dread.

“I washed it.” He whispered.

We walked into the utility closet, opened the wash machine,  and removed the shirt.  It was about half the size of the one I’d paid a fortune for the day before.

In a very nice gesture, he gave it to the little teenage girl that lived across the street.  It looked pretty nice on her, too.

* * * * *

East Coast Life is asking about gifts as the host of today’s Fun Monday topic.  Wrap your favorite photo or story and present it!


bermudabluez said…
Holy Cow! I'm surprised you started speaking to him that soon!
EastCoastLife said…
I would have reacted the way you did.

To the man, it was no big deal. If it's dirty, have it washed. If it's torn, have it mended. They think we ladies like to make a mountain out of a mole hole. :P

It's like the stories in 'Chicken Soup for the soul, a post that warms my heart. Great post for today's theme, Pamela.
Sandy said…
That is classic, Pamela. My dad did me, a single mom with 2 kids and 2 jobs, the same kind of favor. He put my only formal dress - made of Qiana - in the washer. Turned it into a Barbie dress!

It was the thought that counted, though.

Great post.
Gattina said…
Hahaha ! what a good idea ! he knew what to do with unwanted shirts ! It would never work with Mr. G. he puts everything on I buy for him, if he buys things for himself he would look like a clown ! Sometimes I feel like Barbie who has to dress up her Ken !
karisma said…
LOL! So did you buy his shirts at the thrift store after that?
Debs said…
O M G! MEN! LOL At least the shirt did not go to waste. :D
The Church Lady said…
That is one funny story, Pamela! Sometimes they (men) have no clue!!

p.s. The betta fish in my aquatic creation is for sure a tropical fish. We keep him in a sunny room, but not in direct sunlight, therefore making the water temp slightly warmer than room temp. We have had him for over a year now.
Debs said…
Pam TY for the idea of drying flowers. I have said I prefer a rose bush to roses. LOL
heather said…
This is why humor is a necessity for marriage!
Jan said…
Sorry to say, your hubs is pretty typical. At least he realized he'd error-ed!
lisaschaos said…
lol - now I'm wondering if you've ever gotten him anything nice since. I guess next time you spent the larger portion on yourself?
Jan n Jer said…
Hahahah...too funny...I can relate to your story...I buy only dark shirts for my hubby..got tired of trying to get all the spots out of the light colored ones.
12ontheinside said…
All women can relate to this. I even gasped out loud in parts, I could just picture the steam coming out of your ears!
Last month my other half machine washed a very delicate dress I'd worn to a wedding the weekend before. Sigh. However he hasn't yet picked up on the fact that I really can iron, so he does all our ironing and I let him get away with dumb stuff like that. :)
DesLily said…
LOL great story! it's funny when looking back on it..but I know it wasn't when it happened! lol ahhh the moments of our lives!
Sayre said…
Oh NO!!!! I am aghast and laughing all at the same time. I kind of feel like having a husband is like having another kid when it comes to clothes and responsibility for them. Until my own husband grows up, his clothes will continue to come from Wal-Mart and Goodwill, just like my son's!
Intense Guy said…
My dad was never very careful with his clothes... he worked a dirty job and always said, "My shirt might be dirty, but my money's clean."

It still drove (and continues to drive) my mom up the wall when he ruined nice things - brand new sissors used to pull nails out of boards... that sort of thing...

I've not inherited all those "genes".
Peter said…
Is there a deep hidden point to this story that we (males) cannot see Pamela?
You should have just bought something for yourself..or groceries..but I suppose you were still young and so much in love..with romantic stars in your eye blinding you to common sense and reason.
Great story..I did enjoy it:)
Kila said…
LOL, classic story.

That inheritance lasted a long time--it gave you a story that's still going.

Hopefully the teenage girl enjoyed the shirt!
Carla said…
That's too funny in a very sad sort of way.
Donna said…
Hahahaha!! I would have LOVED to see the look on his face!!
FUN story Pamela...Now!LOL
Happy night to you!!
Diane said…
Still laughing........
Jettie said…
oohh thats a good story!!
Hayden said…
ow ow ow ow... don't know to laugh or cry... winced all of the way through your funny story!
Gattina said…
On Monday 26, I will host, the topic is on my blog since yesterday I think Eastcoastlife forgot to mention it on her blog.
I've just spent a while catching up on your latest posts in my reader ... glad you didn't LOOK at the photos while you were driving though I know the temptation to do so. Enjoyed your sonnet and this memory piece ... am reminded it's been a long time since I've shared much writing of my own and even longer since I've participated in Fun Monday or Pensieve's challenges ... strange how busy life can get and what falls away. I'm still laughing at the rock photo from your petrologist friend ... too funny ;-)
Hugs and blessings,
laurie said…
oh lord i am laughing, pamela! i can feel your pain..but i'm still laughing!
C said…
OMG - men are such an adventure. ;)

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