Gift of the Magi

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I'm sure many of you remember O. Henry's Gift of the Magi. I have a similar story, sort of.

Three weeks before Valentine's Day 2014, Terri and I went shopping in Ballston Spa. We stopped at Stone Soup Antiques and the Front Street Home Design Center. Front Street has a complete set of Saratoga Travers Day Posters by Greg Montgomery. I noticed a poster on the floor, Travers 1999, signed by many of the jockeys that raced on that Travers Day. Jerry Bailey, Jose Santos, Edgar Prado, Pat Day, John Velazquez and many more. Something also caught Terri's eye, a hand made, heart shaped necklace. She tried it on and liked it, but, for some reason, didn't buy it.

A week later, after lunch with some former GE folks, I went to Ballston Spa to buy the heart necklace. Over the years I've learned to be alert for gift ideas. I figured that since Terri liked that necklace, it would make a great Valentine gift. After lunch, I returned to Front Street and the necklace was still there. I bought it. The shopkeeper recognized me from my recent visit with Terri.

The next morning, at home, Terri received a call from Front Street. It turns out that she and a girlfriend had lunch the previous day in Ballston Spa. The same day I was buying the necklace. After lunch, they stopped in Front Street to browse. Terri decided she wanted the necklace after all. But, it was gone. The shopkeeper told her that a young woman had just bought it. She told Terri she would check with the artist to see if she had more necklaces. On the phone call, the shopkeeper told Terri that there were no more necklaces. I was relieved and appreciated that the shopkeeper had recognized Terri and kept my secret.

On Valentine's Day I surprised Terri with the necklace. She loved it, of course. I told her my story. She gave me car wash tickets.

Last week, two weeks after Valentine's Day, Terri surprised me with a gift. Yes, it was the autographed 1999 Travers Poster. Minutes later, after I bought the necklace, Terri bought the poster that I had admired. She stored it at her girlfriend's house, to keep until Valentine's Day. Because her girlfriend had a family death just before Valentine's Day, Terri couldn't retrieve the gift until now.

Now she has her necklace (hair) and I have my poster (watch).