He already has so many bicycles I can’t keep track of them. What’s one more?
That’s what I thought last summer, when Brent showed me an ad for a custom, retro-style Bianchi road bike. His newest bike is also a Bianchi, the first he’s ever owned of that make.
This one looked spiffy and nostalgic with its narrow steel tubing, just like what we used to ride in the 1970s, only in Bianchi’s prestigious Celeste Green color rather than Schwinn Red or whatever we had.
I encouraged him to order one. “It can be for your birthday,” I said. There was no way to surprise him with it because I’d have to take multiple height and arm length measurements. I couldn’t think of a plausible cover story to explain that, not that it wasn’t fun to try.
So I helped measure him, and he placed the order. The bike would be manufactured in Italy and shipped from a store in Ireland.
Meanwhile, our peach tree had an “off” season. It produced only a few scruffy peaches, for which we arm-wrestled the bugs and birds. And lost.
Some time later, we got word that the bike would be delayed, not shipping until after Brent’s birthday. Well, dang. I want to give the guy something on his actual birthday.
Next day’s email contained an ad from Harry & David. We order pears from them almost every year. Best pears ever. In a flash of brilliance, I ordered a box of peaches, to make up for the ones our slacker tree didn’t produce, scheduling delivery for the week before his birthday.
As summer ended, I got another email from Harry & David. Something about weather and harvest and basically, the peaches won’t get there until two weeks after Brent’s birthday, sorry about that.
Whaddaya gonna do? It’s fruit; you can’t control when it ripens.
Even at that, the fruit arrived before the bike did. We opened the box and sliced up the first luscious-looking peach.
Maybe we’re spoiled by our own super sweet peach tree, but this one just tasted flat.
Disappointed at letting him down yet again, I put down my peach slice and looked at Brent. “At least you’ll be getting your bike soon.”
“Yeah, and I know what I’m going to name it,” he said.
“Riiiiiight,” I said. “Happy birthday.”
This year I’m gonna play it safe and give him a shirt or baseball tickets or something.
Thanks for reading!