Or, "What My Mother Bought Me For Valentines Day"
Once upon a time...
Many years ago, I'm going to guess and say a good 5 years ago, my mother and I were driving home from dropping my sister off at her gymnastics lesson. We passed a house that was clearly packing up to move, and on the curb was a HUGE pile of all sorts of good things that didn't fit into the truck, or didn't coordinate in the new house, or something. Anyway, they were throwing out a lot of good stuff. Namely, a concrete lawn donkey, with little saddlebags for planting flowers in. I squealed in delight and commanded my mother to pull over.
"Why?" she asked. This came as a surprise, because my mother takes a great deal of pleasure in plucking antique knickknacks out of curb piles such as this.
"Because I want that donkey!" I yelled in dispair as we drove farther from the house. "Mom!!! TURN AROUND" and so, she did. I was right. There he was, in all of his concrete glory, Dominick Ee-Aww Ee-Aww. She slowed down in front of the house so I could get a better view. "Okay, now stop!" I said, pulling at the door handle.
But she wouldn't stop! She said I'd have to cross the traffic on Mill Rd. to get the donkey, and we had to go that way on the way back from picking my sister up, and I'd be on the right side of the road to just hop out and grab Dominick Ee-Aww Ee-Aww. I wasn't pleased with the idea, but there wasn't much I could do, being seated in the passengers seat and all.
And so, we spent the hour running errands, then picked up my sister, and headed back up Mill Rd. so that I could claim Dominick Ee-Aww Ee-Aww for my own. My stomach knotted as we got close. The pile of stuff on the curb was significantly smaller. My mom passed the house, but he was gone! My donkey had been STOLEN! I looked around frantically, hoping maybe someone had just moved him, but no. All that was left was a sad patch of bent, pressed down grass where Dominick Ee-Aww Ee-Aww had rested just an hour before.
I stormed back in the car, and declared that someone had stolen the donkey. My mother laughed. She's cruel like that.
"MOM!" I said, growing ever more irritated with her blase attitude about my donkey.
Her cheeks grew red as she ried to hold in her guffaws. "What would you like me to do?" she asked, her voice cracking. I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic.
"I want you to drive around the neighborhood so I can see if someone has MY donkey on THEIR front lawn!! That's what I want you to do!"
She sighed, and we started our adventure, slowly trolling up and down the adjacent neighborhood as I sat, half hanging out the window looking for Dominick Ee-Aww Ee-Aww. "Are you looking on your side?" I asked her. She didn't answer, but I think she was.
"So... What are you going to do if you see it on someone's front lawn? We can't steal it, Casey."
"I'm going to march up, ring the bell, and say "Excuse me, but you have my donkey on your lawn. I'd like him back, please." And then, if they give me a hard time, I'm going to call them TrashPickers and say that it was my house they took it from, and they have STOLEN PROPERTY."
She just shook her head and drove on.
We drove until it was too dark to see. Reluctantly, we went home. But for months and months, I looked out the window or Dominick Ee-Aww Ee-Aww as we were driving in town, but he was not to be found.
I brought the donkey up often to my mother, most recently this past christmas. Every year she demands a Christmas list from everyone. I headlined mine with "Concrete Donkey."
"Why do you want one of those?!" she asked. And so I recapped the tale, because she is infamous for her selective memory. I had to keep speaking louder and louder though, to out voice her laughter. After I finished, she said "I have no idea what your talking about."
Christmas came and went. No donkey. Le sigh.
Last Thursday my whole family rolled into town with Valentines Day presents. My dad came in carrying a giant red bag, and this is what was inside:
Long Live Dominick Ee-Aww Eee-Aww!!!!