My hometown neighborhood ice cream shop was the undisputed destination after any special event in our family. Such events generally highlighted one of us children participating in a concert, recital, or receiving a special recognition — events worth celebrating.
Our family had limited funds, so only the special kid got to order anything on the menu. The rest had to choose one scoop and one cone, regular or sugar.
We were all the special kid at some point, so we didn’t mind one scoop. Besides, we knew from hard-earned experience that the celebrated kid would order significantly more than he or she could eat before feeling nauseous, leaving half-melted remains to anyone with a straw and a strong stomach.
I remember sitting in the ice cream shop with a group of friends, wishing — as only a teenage girl can wish — that a certain boy were sitting next to me instead of across the room. I dared look in his direction, saw that he was looking in mine, our eyes met, and my heart truly flip-flopped for the first time. He became my first official boyfriend.
The world was unimaginably glorious … until that same boy decided that other pastures were perhaps greener.
I cried over losing my first true love and declared that I would never love another. This emotional resolve was made while eating ice cream at the neighborhood shop with my best friend.
The poor fellow must have had quite a blow when he discovered his mistake.
I missed my friends and family when I left for college, but the fact that my ice cream shop was several states away about did me in. I still celebrated events and cried over boys at ice cream parlors, but my favorite sundae was never on the menu, color schemes were all wrong, and none of those places could offer memories.
But because we have moved several times, a few years had passed since a visit to the ice cream shop until a recent job change moved us close to a franchise location.
Shortly after the move, my husband came home to find that my day had been challenging to say the least. OK, I was about to lose it. There, I said it.
This was not lost on my husband. After a few minutes of indecision — these situations can be touchy; one wrong word and he could be sleeping on the couch — he suggested that we go for a drive.
He drove, talked, joked, and then pulled into the ice cream shop parking lot, walked up to the counter and ordered me my all-time favorite sundae.
I met my husband’s eyes and my heart really, truly flip-flopped. While eating ice cream at the neighborhood shop with my best friend, I renewed the resolve I made years ago to never love another, meaning my husband.
But the sundae came in a very, very close second.
My son recently earned a rank advancement in Boy Scouts, an event worth celebrating. We took him to the neighborhood ice cream shop.
He got to order whatever he wanted.