Purple Candy Story Time
The Grapes of Ruth
She kept grapes on the table, although she didn"t like the fruit. It had been Wally"s favorite; she"d gotten used to keeping a big bowl of them on the table back when he was alive. Then the kids expected it, and then the grandkids. She never imagined it would change her life. She"d reached for a batch when her hand brushed his. It was almost clich", she thought later" meeting someone at the grocers, grabbing the same item. "Sorry. You take that one." She"d looked up, smiling her apology.
He returned the smile. His eyes were the darkest blue" almost purple themselves."Nice to meet a fellow grape-lover," he said, extending his hand.
She laughed."I"m buying them for grandkids. I can"t seem to keep enough of them." She shook his hand and noticed his hesitation at releasing hers. He nodded."Grandkids. God"s reward for not drowning our offspring when they become teenagers." The smile never left his eyes."I"m Al. What say we blow this Popsicle stand and get a coffee. I"ll even spring for one of those new, fancy ones with all those flavors." Ruth blushed."I can"t," she said, glancing away from his face."I don"t even know you."
"Sensible," Al replied."Wouldn"t hire a stranger without references, so why go to coffee with one? So, references. Friends, family, Lion"s Club members, church members. Take your pick." He immediately called to the man stocking the produce."Tommy, I need a reference so I can take his sensible lady to coffee. She"s worried about going with a stranger." Tommy smiled."No one stranger than you, Boss."
"I"m the Boyd in"Boyd Grocer". If coffee elsewhere sounds like too much, how about the break room? We brew a mean cup back there. No mocha lot-of-garbage, but darned good, anyway."
Every month, on the anniversary of that day, Al bought Ruth grape flavored candy, or at least purple candy. Grape rock candy, purple gummi bears, huckleberry salt water taffy. With each gift he"d wink."Thank God for fruits."
"Did this work on your first wife?" Ruth asked.
Al tipped his head."Didn"t need it to. Had all my hair back then."
He presented the ring to her in grape Jell-o, tied to the spoon with a silk ribbon. It was then she confessed that she didn"t like grapes.
But she did wear purple to the wedding.
-by Debora Dyess