Friday, July 2, 2010

"All I Have Is A Fifty Dollar Bill!"

There is a cartoon I cut out of a magazine in 1992 and pasted into a scrapbook I made for Mom and Dad for their 50th wedding anniversary of a husband and a wife on separate sides of a dollar bill.  Both are tugging on the dollar like two teams in a tug-o-war.  It was such a fitting cartoon to describe moments with them.  They didn't really fight much about money (at least in the later years), but there was always a running conversation regarding whose money was going to be used for a purchase.  Dad would usually tell Mom to pay for something small and her comment would always be that she had too big a bill or she hadn't cashed a check yet or she didn't have enough cash was usually something.  Dad would always respond in argumentative fashion just to give her grief.  He didn't deny her money or try to control the spending, it just became their banter.  Dad always enjoyed it more than Mom did.  She often didn't recognize the humor in his approach.  Hmmm, sounds familiar.  Anyway, this banter happened often enough that when I saw the cartoon, it immediately seemed fitting for the scrapbook.

Jim and I were driving around his hometown of Springfield, Vermont yesterday when I found myself smiling and laughing as I remembered a time with Mom and Dad in the Walmart in Sanford.  Poor Mom, it was a total set-up.  The three of us headed to Walmart for a few purchases.  As was usual, we ended up with a few more purchases than planned.  There were only one or two cashiers at registers and the lines were long.  For whatever reason, the three of us had drawn the attention of the other people waiting in line ahead of us.  Mom remembered something she forgot and quickly headed back to grab it.  As soon as she was out of hearing distance, my dad turned to the other customers and said in exasperation, "Watch.  I'm going to tell her to pay for this stuff and she's going to tell me that all she has is a fifty dollar bill.  She does it to me all the time.  She never wants to pay for anything."  He went on and on in comical fashion "entertaining the troops" so to speak.  Soon, Mom returned and she asked Dad how he wanted to pay for the items.  "Why don't you pay for it, Theresa," he said.  IMMEDIATELY, Mom said vehemently, "Ernest, all I have is a fifty dollar bill!  I can't pay with that!"  Uproarious laughter ensued from both lines and my dad just turned to them and shrugged like, "See what I told you?"  Mom just looked confused.

The thing my dad neglected to inform the crowd of was the fact that he'd just given my mom that fifty dollar bill before they'd left the house.  Total set-up. 

Dad always enjoyed a little joke.  Mom was often confused.  Gotta love 'em both.