Monday April 25th is Margarita’s birthday. Husbands who are not rich or gifted rarely know what kind of present to buy or how best to celebrate this annual event. We don’t learn from previous experiences. We are men!
So as the days fly by and I am without idea one, I feel a sense of panic. You gentlemen in the U.S. can identify. Now place yourself in an environment where the lady has not had the joyous experience of a birthday celebration as we know it. I’ve learned that she can be overcome by the simplest of gifts. A new shirt for $3 is like an ermine coat. A couple of plastic hair clips for a dollar is like a diamond tiara. You get the idea?
But I was brought up in a different culture and I’d feel like a super cheap skate if I gave her some flea market clothing and gum-ball machine jewelry. There are few quality gifts one can buy in El Salvador where people just don’t have money for quality or luxury.
God is merciful and answers prayers. Last Saturday we were at a house service at the home of Hermano Santiago, his wife Hermana Rosita, and his daughter Hermana Gilma. While touring the residence and property (which I hadn’t visited in quite some time), we saw they had chickens and ducks. I enjoyed watching the fowl as they pecked , cackled, and quacked. I reminded Margarita that we had talked about raising some chicks as long as she offed the ones we were going to eat, and since Duke is back at the Casa Blanca house, we had no excuse for not fencing off an area for them. That’s when she surprised me with a birthday gift request. She wants a duck.
“You want one for a pet,” I asked?
She replied, “No, I want duck for birthday dinner.”
Gilma seemed happy and offered to sell me a duck prior to Margarita’s birthday, which is a Monday. It seemed that Sunday would be a good day for duck and I agreed. Margarita would have to pick it out and do the dirty work as well as cook it. I asked if she had a pot big enough for a duck and she eagerly responded with a ‘yes’.
Now I know you women will scowl and say, “What kind of gift is that? The woman will have to pick a duck, get it home, kill the creature, pluck and clean it, cook it, give you a drumstick and giblets that you like, and then it’s gone.”
To that I say, “YES!” Isn’t that marvelous. Everyone will be happy. And after the meal is finished, and I’m resting in my recliner, I’ll be thanking God for solving my dilemma and looking forward to her next birthday with a smile on my face.
It’s different here. Quack, quack!