AW Blog Chain — December — “Backdated”

This month’s theme is:

Home for the Holidays (not associated with the real Holiday).

This one is broad: write about a holiday memory. It can be fiction or non-fiction, and the choice of holiday is yours (fictional holidays are okay too).

I was preceded in the chain by LilGreenBookworm and will be followed by Cath.  A complete list of the bloggers concludes my post.

*************

I thought I’d try a little fiction.  The picture of Santa I shamelessly stole from Absolute Write because it made me laugh.

Backdated

I wanted to give my man the gift of time for Christmas, a do-over supply, but I didn’t know where or how to procure it.

Betting the master of gift-giving himself would know, I wrote him a letter:

“Dear Santa,

This past year, my husband has been exceptionally good to me and the kids, and I’d like to give him the ultimate gift of more time.  His thoughtfulness and ability to say just the right thing during difficult moments have made me truly thankful he’s in my life.  No gift is too special for him.  I hope you can help steer me in the right direction.

Yours truly, Susan.”

Sadly he responded with this:

“Dear Susan,

Thank you for your letter.  We are working diligently to address everyone’s wishes and will respond personally as soon as we are able.  Requests are fulfilled in the order in which they are received, but as always we guarantee delivery by Christmas. If you can’t wait, might we suggest a foot massager?

Sincerely, Santa”

Santa sent form letters?  A foot massager?  No, no, that would never do and, ironically, I didn’t have time to wait on him despite his guarantee.  Disappointed, I turned to Apple figuring if anyone could package time in a commercially viable manner, those guys would be the ones to do it.

I emailed them several times, but they never wrote back.

Why was my request such a tall order?  Surely someone could create a means to cram a little extra time into my husband’s day.

While watching television, I had a new idea.

I jumped in my car and sped to Staples.  I searched up and down the aisles for what I sought until finally an employee came to my aid.  He was an older man with a shaggy white beard, and wore a red tartan flannel shirt under his Staples vest.

“Can I help you find something, Miss?”

“The Easy button.  Where is it?” I scanned the racks on either side of me.

The old man chuckled.  “Why, you’re looking at it.  I’m the Easy button. All you need to do is push me.”  He laughed again.

Great. That was all I needed for Christmas.  A pervert.

“Okay then. I…uh…I don’t think–”

The old man held his palms up in apology.  “Calm down.  I’m only kidding.  Bad joke.”  One hand shaped itself into a single index finger that he pointed at me.  “If you’ll come this way, please, I’ll take you to what you need.”  He turned and started walking away.

Glancing around,  I saw several other customers and employees milling about, so it wasn’t like he could spring some dangerous crazy on me and go unnoticed.  I skipped my first few steps to catch up.

He led me to the rubber stamps and receipt books section.  “I believe this is what you were looking for isn’t it?”  A gnarled finger pointed to an adjustable date stamp, its box ratty and torn.  “A backdater.”  Two arctic caterpillars that passed for eyebrows arched as he gazed at me.

My mouth hung open for a second as I puzzled how a date stamp was the Easy button.  “How does it….  Do I push it?”

The old man clasped his hands around his belly and chuckled.  “After you change the date you do.”

What in the world was he talking about?  “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.”  I picked up the box. It had obviously been used and returned.  Tape secured its top and bottom.  The picture of the stamp on the exterior had faded, giving it an antique look.  “This is the Easy button?”

The employee chuckled again and took the box from my hands.  He whipped out a pocketknife he used to slice open the top flap and remove the contents.  It looked like a regular date stamp that offices used.  “You don’t need the Easy button, Miss, you need an easy way to give the gift of time.  Am I right?”

I gasped.  “Yes! That’s right. But how did you–”

“Know what you needed?” He cocked his head toward me, a mischievous glint in his eyes.

“Uh…well, yes.”

The old man grinned.  “I told you.  I’m the Easy button. But never mind that. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

I looked at the stamp.  I looked at the old man, whose vest I then noticed bore a tag proclaiming his name to be “Kris Easy”, then back at the stamp. “Could you tell me how it works?”

Mr. Easy patiently explained that to capture additional time, all a person needed to do was change the date to a past date. I glanced at the stamp and marveled that it reflected the current date.

I turned the dials back one day.  “So I’d be backdating my life to yesterday if I stamped this somewhere?”  I held it up to show him, squeezing the mechanism in my fingers to flip the rubber date from its self-inking pad into its stamping position.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you!” Kris exclaimed reaching for the stamp.

Before he could touch it, all the colors around me swirled and blurred in a dizzying array for a split second.

“May I help you find something, Miss?” Kris asked.  His tartan flannel shirt had changed from red to green.

Eyes wide, I consulted my wristwatch.  I had entered the store on Tuesday, December 20th, but my watch showed 12-19.  “What day is today?”

“Monday the nineteenth.” Kris pursed his lips and cast his eyes down to the object in my hands.  “Oh, I see.  You used the backdater.”

“How much for it?” I asked.

“How much would be too much?”

“Fifty bucks?”

“Then I’ll sell it to you for forty-nine,” he said, a huge grin on his face.

***

One day later…

“Dear Santa,

I know it’s not polite to return gifts, but I had to return the backdater you helped me purchase for my husband yesterday.  While testing it out before wrapping it, revisiting what I thought were joyous occasions in our marriage, I discovered he already had one and had been rewinding time to manipulate events to his advantage. Since then we’ve both been rewinding and rehashing time for what feels like decades to us.  We’re both miserable.  I returned the backdater I bought with your assistance at Staples (I know you were Kris Easy, by the way, your disguise wasn’t all that effective), well within their return policy window.  We learned the hard way that time indeed does heal all wounds, but if it never passes, those wounds never heal.

Yours truly, Susan

P.S.  A foot massager would be lovely.  Thank you.”

The End.
A Picture of an Staples, Inc. easy button

The complete December chain of bloggers follows:

orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month’s post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
pyrosama – http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
AbielleRose – http://stainedglassinthenight.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
writingismypassion – http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Domoviye – http://lets-get-happy.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Areteus – http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Alynza – http://www.alynzasmith.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
SuzanneSeese – http://www.viewofsue.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
robeiae – http://thepondsofhappenstance.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
MamaStrong – http://inamamasworld.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
kimberlycreates – http://www.kimberlycreates.com/ (link to this month’s post)
darnzen – http://writelydone.com/blogs/darnzen (link to this month’s post)
LilGreenBookworm – http://themayhemofwritingsahm-style.blogspot.com/ (link to this month’s post)
AuburnAssassin -YOU ARE HERE
Cath – http://blog.cathsmith.com/ (link to this month’s post)
Diana Rajchel – http://blog.dianarajchel.com/ (link to this month’s post)
SinisterCola – http://acgatesblog.wordpress.com/ (link to this month’s post)

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