"No, we're paying separate." The brave eight year old brother said in barely a whisper.
Oh the excitement on their faces as they were leaving! "Look at mine!", "No! Look at mine!!", as if the flowers could possibly look any different. I was grinning from ear to ear when they walked out the door and so was the cashier. The people behind me? Their faces were solid stone. How could they not find this sweet? When did their lives become so passe that four beautiful children couldn't light up their afternoon with a grin along their battery operated fluorescent flowers?
It made me think of all the times I was dropped off at Woolworth's with my two older sisters and brother to go Christmas shopping for my parents. I bought my mom 2 hamsters one year. In my excitement to finally have pets in my home which my mother couldn't possibly refuse, I hadn't noticed that one was blind and partially deaf (an ear was missing) and the other looked rabid. My older siblings where a little more conservative; nail files, polish remover, nose hair clippers, under arm deodorant, shower caps, etc., and of course, we topped off our shopping adventure with triple decker ice cream cones.
Now that I recall, I think I had the same Tootsie Roll savings can. I wonder how many faces we lit up on our shopping afternoons - 4 little golden haired, blue eyed monsters or did we annoy our share of people too? Oh well, whatever the case may be, I'm sure we were never prepared for taxes either.