Sunday, December 30, 2012

Paris , Perfume & Papaw


Last Sunday I had been running some errands for myself and my grandparents . It was a cold and dreary day and I'd originally hoped to spend it warm and indoors . When I brought my grandparents groceries to them Papaw answered the door very quietly . I thought perhaps my Mamaw was asleep in the other room and he didn't want to wake her . I was wrong . He had a top secret task for me . We usually exchange Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve so you can imagine my surprise when Papaw handed me a post-it with a perfume name scribbled on it and some money attached to it . Since it was already Sunday afternoon and the perfume was Chanel No.5 I was a tad concerned I wouldn't be able to complete the task . I live in a bit of a small town.  The kind with speciality businesses that are closed on Sunday . So, after checking everywhere I could in my town I hit the road for the next town....and then the one after that . Finally I just gave up on small pharmacies, etc. and went to the Mall . Papaw had said that if I couldn't find the perfume he'd requested to feel free and get something else just as nice . He had no intentions of me driving to a neighboring city to complete my task . I didn't tell him either . :-)

I don't know why, but for some reason I couldn't settle for the next best perfume . I didn't want to disappoint him or have him feel like he had disappointed his girl . Not that she was expecting anything from him given his recent illness . Men, this is how they gift shop . I can remember being very small and my Papaw taking me into town to do his Christmas shopping for my Mamaw . It was almost always a day or two before we exchanged gifts . I suppose some things just never change .
I've decided it's cute .

That Sunday evening the stores look like they had been pillaged . I was so grateful for the few bottles of Chanel left in the case . I proudly requested the one bottle I was after , paid and headed back home . The entire time spent on this task I just had a gut feeling I needed to get what Papaw had requested . Not because he'd be upset with me if I didn't, but just for a reason unknown . I even called to ask my Mom did Mamaw even like Chanel No. 5 ?! Mom replied with "it doesn't matter" . I was curious as to why it wouldn't matter, but was so glad to get back to the warmth of my home I didn't give it much more thought . I wrapped Papaws gift for his girl and placed it under my tree .
Monday evening on Christmas Eve , after eating, laughing and chatting the bottle of Chanel was one of the last gifts left .  I motioned to Papaw in a top secret way that it was what he had asked for . He then motioned for me to hand it to Mamaw . I did and let her know who it was from . Since Papaw's been out of the hospital he simply hasn't felt up to much so Mamaw was very surprised to hear that there was a gift from him to her under the tree . She immediately asked my mother and me which of us helped him accomplish this task . Both of us shook our heads and pointed to Papaw , "It was all him ". Once Mamaw opened her gift and saw the packaging for Chanel she looked at Papaw in approval . Job well done . Then a conversation began as if it had been apart of the entire evening . It was as if I hadn't been paying attention or something . It wasn't that I hadn't been paying attention it was that I hadn't been around for this story's origin .  Apparently back in the day when Papaw served in the United States Navy he was stationed in Paris for a brief moment . That year he brought back to his girl , Mamaw,  a bottle of Chanel No. 5 . Mom remembered this from her child hood , hence the "it doesn't matter " response I'd received while on my hunt .  I'm unsure I've felt prouder of a task completed .
I have a ornament that hangs on my tree of the Eiffel Tower that now holds new meaning . I have always dreamed of a visit to Paris , but now knowing that Papaw spent a minute there it has new motivation with it . Remind me to tell you the story of Papaw spending nearly $1,000.00 on pinball and BLT's once on one of his leaves from the Navy  . That'll be another story for another time .

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas !