Sunday, December 23, 2012

ACCM - Dec 23 – Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories

My husband and I met in October 1974 so I hadn't known him long at Christmas time, but we were in love.  I was teaching in Big Spring, Texas and planning to go home to Abilene during the holidays.  However there was a terrible flu epidemic and Daddy called to tell me Mother had it.  He then hesitantly told me that the doctor said she wouldn't have to be hospitalized if Daddy was there with her and advised that I not come home until she was better.
 
I was stunned and had no idea what I would do for Christmas that year.  Where to go?  What to do?  When I told Joe, he said he wanted me to go home with him and that he would call his parents.  He used my phone to call and I was in the room to hear his side of the conversation.  He asked if it would be okay for me to go with him for Christmas and proceeded to explain about Mother having the flu and that I had no where else to go.  I was humiliated because he made me feel like a charity case.  I still laugh no remembering it. 

When we got to his parents' house, his dad greeted us at the front door saying, "It looks like Mutt and Jeff walking up the sidewalk."  I pointed at Joe and responded, "He's the Mutt!" which made him laugh and broke the ice.  Joe's mother and sister weren't at home so I hung my clothes in the guest room closet and we left to do some shopping.  When Christmas gifts were opened, I remember there were a couple of gifts for me.  One was a bottle of perfume from his family, but I can't remember what Joe gave me or I gave him.  I can remember the small oval of framed dried flowers on a black background we chose for his mother.

I also remember how welcoming my future in-laws were and that they did not make me feel like a charity case.  They told me Joe had never brought anyone home before, so they knew I was pretty special.  I only felt like a charity case when Joe called them because he was nervous and kept repeating that my mother had the flu and I had no where to go for Christmas.  Had I been asking my parents' permission to bring him home under similar circumstances, I would have been more comfortable doing so. 

Years later Joe's sister told me she and her mother couldn't stand the suspense so while Joe and I were gone shopping, they looked at my clothes in the closet and were surprised by how small I was since Joe is so tall.  They wondered if he would be giving me a ring for Christmas, but that didn't happen until Valentine's Day.

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