Maria woke from a deep sleep with her daughter Jill shaking her and yelling, “Mommy! Mommy! There’s a box hanging from the ceiling. What is it?”

She stumbled out of bed saying, “What are you talking about?” as she followed her daughter downstairs to the living room.

Sure enough, suspended from the ceiling was a mysterious-looking box. It was about eighteen inches square and wrapped in shiny tin foil. It looked like something from outer space!

“Don’t . . . touch . . . the . . . box . . . !” They looked around at the sound of Dad’s booming voice as he repeated, “Don’t touch the box please.” By now Jill’s two sisters had also come down to the living room and Dad just looked at each of them, smiled, and said “Don’t touch the box.”

Maria walked over to him with a quizzical look on her face and whispered, “Fred, what’s going on? What’s this box?” He just looked her in the eye and said, “Under no circumstances is anyone to touch that box.”

One day passed, then another, then another until the box had been hanging from the ceiling in the living room for four days. Maria and the girls were going crazy wondering what was in it and, more importantly, who was it for? Deductive reasoning proved that no one’s birthday was coming, it certainly wasn’t Valentine’s Day or a wedding anniversary. Christmas was six months away. What could it be?

The excitement grew until finally, on the morning of the fifth day, Dad said, “I have an announcement to make . . . tonight someone in this room will open the box.”

That evening with everyone gathered in the living room, Dad reached over, took the box in his hand and carefully cut the four wires which were holding it in suspension. He handed it to Jill, asking her to unwrap the tin foil from the box. When she had completed that, he took the box from her and handed it to his next oldest daughter, Rachel, and asked her to remove the box which was taped around another package.

The suspense continuing to build, Rachel unveiled a cylindrical object that Dad took from her and handed to his oldest daughter, Becky, asking her to open it. Inside she revealed a small gift-wrapped package with a red velvet ribbon.

Fred picked up the box and handed it to Maria saying, “Happy Anniversary Sweetheart”.

“What are you talking about Fred?” she said, “This isn’t our anniversary. Our anniversary isn’t for three months!”

Fred walked over and put his arms around her, saying, “Actually dear, this IS our anniversary. Ten years ago today you walked into the little store where I was working. That’s when I first saw you and that’s when I first fell in love with you.”

Grinning from ear to ear in surprise and pleasure, Maria opened the box to find a beautiful pair of star sapphire earrings.


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Last updated February 5, 2017