Friday, October 18, 2019

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her

Yesterday, I was reminded of kind of a funny/weird family story. It goes back to when my kids were really young.

Friends of mine know that I am a bargain hunter.Years ago when my kids were small, my family stopped at a McDonald's for lunch. While buying a few Happy Meals, I noticed a promotion by McDonald's: fill out a form with a child's name, address, date of birth, etc., and McDonald's would send the child a certificate for a free Happy Meal on his/her birthday. Sounds kind of sweet to a bargain hunter, right? The only problem was that none of my kids had a birthday coming up in the immediate future. So what did I do? I filled out a form for a make believe daughter, whom I named Emily, and assigned her a birthday in about a month so that a certificate for a free Happy Meal would come before any of the real birthdays of my kids. Anytime there was a promotion similar to this, I resurrected my third daughter, Emily. Mind you, this was all back some time ago -- like around 20 years ago.

It was amazing how giving this information on a few innocent looking cards sent to businesses reverberated. Pretty soon, Emily received more mail than any of my real kids. Some of the mailings were a real hoot, such as her invitation to join something like "Outstanding Junior High School Students in America." Her invitation was purportedly based upon a "personal recommendation from her school's administrators" and was based upon her academic achievement and involvement in school activities. Well, I was sure a proud papa!

Over the years, the number of pieces of mail for Emily decreased to almost nothing. However, once every blue moon, we would get something for Emily.

After I finished my work day yesterday, I came home and stopped at the mailbox. I was surprised to see that my wife and I must have raised Emily right as she received a mailing from the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Tennessee. Apparently, Emily had contributed one or more times. That's my girl!

Does anyone else have a similar story, or am I the only cheap ass around?

Simon and Garfunkel's "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her"