Aisle 19, The Long-Lost Cookies, and My Dad

17 Mar

I never thought I’d get emotional in aisle 19. I’m not the type of chick that turns on the waterworks quite easily, but there I was … in the cookie aisle, having a moment.

It wasn’t because I’m an emotional eater or I was having Oreo withdrawals from Weight-Watchers-point calculations. No … I happen to come across something that sparked a childhood memory with my Dad. It happens from time to time, in random places, but I usually keep it together.

I hadn’t seen these in over twenty-five years, and I’m sure they were in aisle 19 all along, but I seldom run my cart down that aisle. And when I saw them, I remembered … I remembered … and all I could think about was my Dad and how much I missed him.

As I’ve mentioned before, we grew up in a tough inner-city neighborhood, but that didn’t necessarily mean we didn’t have a slice of something special. Every so often my Dad would drive out about thirty minutes on the freeway to take us to a place called Carnation.

We’d all pile in the brown supreme station wagon and venture off to this restaurant that specialized in making its own ice cream.  Oh. For the love of banana splits made with rocky road and marshmallow topping.

I couldn’t wait to finish my meal, because I knew dessert would be coming shortly. We would all get whatever we wanted, no limits. My sister usually got two scoops of chocolate chip, my mother strawberry, our cousins mint chip … me … I’d go for the banana split … and I’d never have to share. Usually we’d go to other restaurants or 31 Flavors and I’d always have to share my two scoop sundae with someone. But at Carnation … my dad made it a point to splurge. No sharing required, but if you wanted to … you could.

The only thing I absolutely did not share were these cookies that were neatly surrounding my awesome banana split. I’d get six … two for each scoop.

Light, crispy, and sweet. Awesome.

Just as I finished the last one, I’d always want more. But it never happened. Six and that was it. The waitresses weren’t much for extras, so I’d always come home longing for more.

Until one day …

After we had piled back into the station wagon, my Dad remembered that he had left his wallet in the booth. He left all of us there in the parking lot, with our seat belts on, the radio blaring something from the Spanish station KLOVE, and the windows rolled down because the air-conditioner was on the fritz. We were in the shade so it wasn’t too bad.

It took him a while to return. But when he did he smiled and we rushed back home. As we were trekking up the stairs to our apartment building my Dad told me he had forgotten something in the car. It was for my sister and I. He said it was in the front seat.

He tossed me the keys and I went to go get it. As I opened the car door, I saw a brown paper bag in the driver’s seat. I opened it up … it was a box of the sugar wafer creme-filled cookies. A box!

I turned to look at the stairs, my Dad stood there smiling.

He passed away about a year and a half ago and I miss him every day.

So when I saw the cookies on aisle 19 I just had to buy them. I fixed myself up a nice banana split with six cookies, the only thing missing was my dad, his cup of coffee, and our conversation.

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5 Responses to “Aisle 19, The Long-Lost Cookies, and My Dad”

  1. adinparadise March 18, 2012 at 6:06 AM #

    What a lovely story about your dear Dad. I miss mine too. Hugs to you. 😉

    • The Guat March 21, 2012 at 3:51 PM #

      Thanks for reading 🙂 Missing dads are tough…

  2. Thestrugglershandbook March 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM #

    Well, you got me again, right in the dad spot. He sounds like he was an awesome guy. I get the same feelings of reminiscence for my dad in the liquor aisle.

    • The Guat March 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM #

      Thanks for reading…liquor aisle ;)…all dads like the liquor aisle sometime in their life 🙂

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