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Craig Smith never imagined he'd see the day when he would be happy about his wife, Penny, dragging him along on a shopping trip, but it happened. He just didn't know he would wind up being glad at the time. She was looking for a new bed to replace the old one in the spare bedroom of their new house and insisted he come along. Grumbling to himself, he did so, thinking, a bed is a bed is a bed and what does she need me for? She'll get what she wants anyway, and besides, we won't be sleeping on it; our guests will. Beside his dislike of shopping, he was also missing the start of the Oklahoma and Texas matchup, all over a stupid bed they wouldn't even be using themselves. It wasn't fair, he thought for the dozenth time since leaving home, but he very carefully didn't allow Penny to see his chagrin. He loved his wife and liked to keep her happy.
The furniture store was one she picked from the telephone book, among only three others in the small little city of Wellman, Oklahoma where they had recently moved, him to take over the Medical Laboratory at the City hospital and she to work at the same hospital as head nurse of the Male ward. Craig followed his wife inside. They were met by a chubby little salesman who bubbled over with so much good will and happiness it almost moved Craig to smile at him. Instead he glanced pointedly at his watch.
"I know, I know, you're missing the big game, aren't you sir? Well, let me help you and we'll get you back home in a hurry!"
"We're looking for a bed," Penny told him.
"Of course, of course. A bed! Just what any happy couple needs! Andfortunately for you, we just got a new shipment in. Come right along and I'll just bet we find what you want right away!"
Craig certainly hoped so but he doubted the man's words. Penny took forever to pick out furniture. He caught a glimpse of a television set in a room they passed and slowed his steps, hoping to catch the score. Penny grabbed his hand and hurried him along. He sighed and let her have her way.
"Right here, right here!" the cheerful salesman said as he led them into an expansive display room with dozens of beds, small, medium, large and of various and designs and prices. Craig groaned mentally at the wide selection, knowing Penny would look at every one of them.
The salesman spread his hands out in a gesture of good will, inviting their perusal of his beds, smiling all the time.
An hour later they were still there and the little salesman's smile had all but disappeared. What was left of it was pasted on his face like a bad drawing by an inept artist and Penny was making signs of getting ready to leave and explore the other stores in town.
In desperation, the chubby salesman plucked a brochure from his desk and opened it at random. "Wait, ma'am! This just came in. Maybe you can find something here we can order for you."
It was only politeness on Penny's part that made her even glance at the brochure. She looked at it, started to turn away, then looked again. Her eyes glazed and for the first time in their mutual shopping career, Penny managed to surprise Craig. She lifted her hand and pointed a finger at a bed displayed on the center page of the opened brochure. "We'll take this one. When can you have it delivered?"
He was astounded. Never, in more than twenty five years of marriage and innumerable shopping trips had Penny ever bought anything without seeing it first, much less a major item like a bed.