Around lunchtime I went with one of my friends to a doctor's appointment in Atoka. I went along just in case he had to get a shot, or something, and couldn't drive himself back.
Atoka was one of the places that I lived before my parents divorced, so I was pretty excited to see it again.
After his appointment, we drove around, and I saw one of the houses we lived in.
I didn't really recognize it much, since I was pretty young when we lived there.
As we were driving away, I remembered something my mom told me, and when I remembered it, I laughed so hard I couldn't talk.
When I was about 5, close to the time of my 6th birthday, my dad was working away, and my mom stayed home with me and my brother.
It was almost my birthday, and my dad had sent my mom $500 for groceries, random stuff, and also so I could get this bicycle that I wanted.
It wasn't just any bicycle. It was a Strawberry Shortcake bicycle.
In those days, I had a hard-on for all things Strawberry Shortcake. I had every doll, accessory, ensemble, sheet set, and baby carriage ever made. All I 'needed' was this bike to round out my collection.
My mom and dad promised me this particular bike, and we went to the toy store every week to have a look at it.
On the day of my birthday, my mom had the check my dad had sent her, so our first stop was the bank. Check cashed, wallet loaded with money, Mom decided our first stop would be the grocery store. We had a few mundane things to buy, and as she paid for our groceries and was arranging the items in our car, somehow, someway, someone stole her wallet. With better than $400, and the money for my bike.
Mom told me that she was immediately sick to her stomach. She searched frantically through the bags of groceries, the parking lot, everywhere, for her wallet.
She even went back into the store to see if she had left it there.
At this point, she was almost hysterical. She spoke with the manager of the store, who notified the police.
Mom made a report, and afterwards, we drove home.
Mom told me that she was more upset about my birthday, and not being able to purchase the bike, than the thought of having the money stolen.
Later that day, she came to me, and asked me if I would maybe like to have a doll instead. Nope.
She told me "Sal, let's go see what you have in your crayola bank, and we'll buy you a doll or something. We'll wait to get your bike until your dad comes home. That way, you can show him!"
We walked into my room, hand in hand, and Mom said that she thought there would probably be enough money saved in my bank to buy me a doll, or something else I wanted until my dad could send more money.
I walked over to my crayola bank, opened it up, and started pulling money out.
Now, my parents were both big on me saving money. My dad used to let me have all the change out of his pockets, along with the occasional dollar or fiver.
As we opened up the bank, my mom's face got very still, very pale, and she started to cry.
I nonchalantly started pulling money out of it. Change? A little. Mostly $20's, $10's, and a lot of $5's. Even one of my dad's paychecks.
Apparently, I was quite the industrious little banker.
Mom told me later, that there was more money in that bank than she had lost in her wallet.
And I got my bike. :)
That memory was pretty sweet, a little saccharine, so I thought I'd also include this video, which to me is hilarious.