I was procrastinating again. . .which was not unusual for me. . .I could have written the book on procrastination. . . except I just could never get around to it. Mother’s Day was Sunday and this was Friday, so I had only a little time left to get my act together and get downtown to get my Mom a present.
I was planning to meet my friends, Currie, Carpenter and Short after school; downtown at the soda fountain at Rexall’s Drugstore. That’s where we would have a round of cherry cokes before we headed off to the carnival that had blown into town for the weekend. I figured between cherry cokes, I’d slip over next door to Belk’s, pick up a gift for Mom and then we would be off to the carnival. I had saved up about $10 dollars and, being the early 1960’s, that was more than enough to cover Mother’s Day with plenty left over for cotton candy, bumper cars, the Round-Up and maybe even a candy apple for the ride home.
I was starting to realize, at age twelve, that buying a gift for your Mom gets harder as you get older. Dads were another story. For their appointed days, “hammer time” had a decidedly different connotation before that rapper guy stole it. It meant a quick pop into the hardware store for Dad’s present. . .no muss, no fuss.
Age twelve is just about the crossing-over point for when buying Mom a spatula, wrapping it in tissue paper and sticking a bow on it no longer passes for “cute.” Becoming twelve was the age when males forever leave the safe haven of “isn’t he adorable” and enter the eternal dark forest of having to decipher - and potentially misread - what women expect of them.