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Unread December 10th, 2010, 06:33 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia area
Posts: 1,143
Arrow A Balloon for Mommy

Friendly’s has been a second home for 35 years. My ten-year-old son introduced me to Fribbles and fried clams during our “visitations” that went on until he was eighteen and off to college. At sixteen, he ran the grill at Friendly’s #3 in Westfield and for two summers at a second one near my home in Pennsylvania.

He’s forty this year but I still go to Friendly’s for salads and fried clams even though it’s without him.

I always have plenty of time to eavesdrop because Friendly’s has kept the wait between getting your table, placing your order, and getting your coffee.

Last night, there was a young couple across the aisle.

He was the type that women love… tall, about thirty, and wearing tattoos high on his neck, crew cut black hair, baggy camo pants, and sunglasses mounted on the back of his neck. He also had greenish eyes and a day’s fresh growth of beard, a generous smile, and an engaging manner with his date.

The girl and he talked with great animation about menu items, what to buy for Christmas, and how they would spend the rest of their evening. They even fidgeted in synchrony. They also discussed her homework and chores for their return home after dinner. The little doll was about eleven.

His tattoos and manner suggested “divorced dad and paternal visit.”

I was wrong.

She asked what they would send to Mommy up in the sky for Christmas.

Dad suggested a big balloon, one carrying a flower, and addressed to Mommy, one they would take out Christmas Eve and let it float upwards to heaven….
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