My Unforgettable Character

Every family has its favorite stories and inside jokes, as well as the one member who is the funniest and naughty person of all.  My father used to play the role of protagonist of great moments of my family, and some of them have even been remaining in my mind for years and years.  I have told it to my children, nieces and nephews since ever. The kids always have reacted with a laugh in their faces and can recognize themselves with grandpa, even though some of them could never know him personally.  Family stories create a sense of unity and belonging, also it’s a mean of teaching the values of a family and preserving the memory of the members that already left us alive.

This is one of my favorite stories.  Some years ago my dad was shopping at the supermarket with his sister.  Being a bit older, they were walking casually through the supermarket aisles while checking the prices of goods, commenting on the products quality and wandering distracted by various sections of the supermarket.  They continued with their shopping for a while and finally headed to my father’s favorite place: the produce section.

My dad really loved the wonderful colors and the different smells of vegetables and fruits.  Frequently he used to hold and smell them, and put them back in the stand.  However, there were times he could not resist the temptation of just holding a sweet ripe grape on his hand and popping it in his mouth. When my mother was with him, she always scolded him for his childish behavior.  But on this day my mother was not there, so my father was not concerned about anything by being just in the companion of his sister.

They walked along the produce aisles looking at the huge selection of vegetables on the stands.  His sister dragged the shopping cart along, checking her shopping list while my father took the vegetables and put them inside a plastic bag.  He also chose some fruits and then he turned around and faced the stand of cherries and grapes.  He grabbed a bunch of grapes and plucked one to try it out.  Just as he was about to put the grape in his mouth, the supermarket background music stopped and one voice announced on the speaker: “Attention, attention, Mr. Pacitti, your presence is being requested immediately at the customer desk.”

My father got paled.  His face became white, then red and then white again.  His heart beat faster and sweat began dripping down his face.  He was trembling and looked at his sister like he was asking for help.  His sister didn’t know if the situation was funny or pitiful and wondered how the supermarket staff could know her brother’s name among all other customers.  Were they monitoring him all this time? Would they give him such a hard time just because he was going to eat a grape?  She smiled at him in solidarity and offered to accompany him to the customers service counter.  They abandoned their carts filled with groceries and walked without saying a word all the way to the counter.  As soon as they got there, an employee and the manager were already waiting for them.

The smiling manager greeted my father before he could say anything. “Mr. Pacitti, I presume! I have the pleasure to inform you that your wallet was found in our supermarket entrance by one of our employees.”  My father touched his pocket and just then realized it was empty! His somber face became kind and friendly as usual.

He thanked the manager and then they finished their shopping as quickly as possible and went back home with a new amusing story to tell. Through the years I have shared and remembered family stories like this one because they are a simple way of conveying the family teachings to next generations.  Furthermore, I think it is a way to keep a person’s memory alive, loved and unforgettable.

HBP, Febr. 18, 2013

Licença Creative Commons
This work by Helena Beatriz Pacitti is licensed under a Creative Commons Atribuição-Uso não-comercial-Vedada a criação de obras derivadas 3.0 Unported License

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