Have you ever just been going through your day like a normal person when “WHAM!” something happens that brings back a memory so buried in your inner core that you are shocked you even remembered it?
Well…that exact scenario happened to me last week. And it kind of freaked me out. It made me wonder if there are other things, bad things possibly, that my brain has not let me remember…you know, kind of in a protective way.
But that is not what today’s post is about. Today, I’m going to fill you in on this emotional memory that this particular moment brought back.
I’m sitting at my 3rd graders basketball practice, or what I usually like to call “yawn fest”. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to watch my kids play sports! I really do. The games are awesome, but the practices, not so much. Setting up plays, practicing free throws, in bound passes, defense, blah, blah, blah, blah…You lost me at “hello.” Normally I will read a magazine or do a crossword puzzle and let the other parents worry about what my six year old is doing. What? I don’t ignore my six year old on purpose, but sometimes an article in US magazine about the length of Brad Pitt’s beard is so exciting that I forget I brought another child with me.
Anyway, that’s enough bad parenting confessions for one day…back to the story.
This particular practice I am sitting at the top talking with one of the other moms, whom I totally adore. Our oldest sons have been on the same basketball team for the past couple of years. The boys as well as us parents have developed a pretty good friendship. Anyway, my friend, the mom, has three other kids. Her second son is friends with Gibson and then she has two of the cutest freaking girls I think I have ever seen, I would guess they were four and two.
This particular night my friend forgot to bring stuff with her to keep the girls occupied during basketball practice. So they were all over her asking for gum. My friend didn’t bring in her purse so she didn’t have any gum with her. Her girls weren’t excited about that, so she told them to check her pockets. They were pulling out receipts, stickers, scrap papers, pony tail holders…but no gum. Until the youngest reaches into a hidden pocket in her jacket and she pulls out one of these…In the blink of an eye, I start to tear up and get emotional. I immediately have a flashback of the year 1990 when I first met The Ex. It was the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year at college and I had just started my summer job where he worked.
He was nice and funny and exciting to be around. He was four years older than me and boy I thought he knew how to live life. I was infatuated with him, but not in a, I have to be around you at every moment kind of way. It was more like he was just a really cool guy to hang out with. We had fun together. He taught me how to loosen up and enjoy life a little. We became fast friends and hung out quite a while before we started dating.
Anyway, I was a receptionist at this summer job and he was in sales. I loved working at the same place as The Ex. It made work fun to go to everyday. We would chat and have lunch and shoot each other little glances throughout the day. It was great.
One day, I couldn’t go to lunch with him and was sad. He went with some of his buddies and on the way back stopped to pick up his dry cleaning. When he came back to work he came up to check in and said that he had brought me a little present. I was so excited. What could it have been? A piece of pie, a cup of coffee, a diamond ring? The anticipation was killing me, until he pulled out a package of Smarties he had picked up at the dry cleaners.
He said he had thought of me when he saw them.
It made me smile!
From that day forward he would bring me Smarties every time he picked up his dry cleaning. I loved it that he was thinking about me when I wasn’t with him.
I don’t know what it was about that candy that made him think of me, but to this day every time I see a roll of Smarties I get a little teary eyed and think of him.