When Amy and I were a younger couple (circa 1993), just after she completed her degree in Elementary Education, while I was working with the Church in Niceville, Florida, she landed a substitute position at Edge Elementary School to complete the year for the regular teacher. Amy’s birthday is May 12 (that’s today) so being a wonderful husband, I sent her flowers at school. That turned out to be a mistake.
The flower arrangement was larger than I expected and proved difficult for Amy to get into the seat of our Pontiac Sunbird. And I was not the only one to send her a gift at school, so she had her arms full getting to and into the car, especially when you add school books, teaching material, and a purse.
We lived next to the church building at that time and I looked out to see Amy getting out of the car at the building and not across the parking lot at the house. The look on her face is not the joy of a wife whose loving husband surprised her with flowers, but one of panic and frustration. I soon learned, she had lost her purse with all credit cards, drivers license, cash, and everything else that a lady has in her life-line. She heard the purse slide off the top of the car and saw it land on the road behind her, so she wisely turned around to retrieve it. But by the time she was able to turn legally turn around the purse was missing – someone else now had her purse.
At this point I should tell you that I no longer send Amy flowers or balloons at school. I should also tell you that now – no matter what time of night or morning – I will get up and search for a purse if she wakens wondering where it is. We call this “purse phobia.” I think it started after that now infamous birthday I am describing.
Now the rest of the story. As I was failing in my attempt to calm Amy’s fears, possibly because I had my own fears, two men drove up with South Florida plates. One of the men was a co-founder of a national auto parts store that was opening a new location in Niceville, he was also a leader in the church he attended in Clearwater, Florida. He was behind my wife when the purse came off the car. He picked it up, found one of my business cards and was delivering the purse to us.
There are still good and honest people in the world. I for one, and Amy definitely, are glad that there are.
Happy Birthday, Amy. I am not sending flowers and I hope this one is better that that one memorable one 19 years ago.