Anne R. Gibbons

Mistaken Identity

Five feet four, 110 pounds, twenty-two years old. Light brown hair cascades from crown to waist. Decked out in seersucker shorts with matching halter top and oh-so-stylish platform sandals high enough to be treacherous.

Daddy and I have been to lunch at the local diner. He used to live in the neighborhood and is enjoying a stroll around memory lane. We stop in at the corner store so Daddy can buy cigarettes.

The clerk has a pack on the counter by the time he gets there. “Hello, Bob. I haven’t seen you in quite a spell.” The lady nods at me and smiles. “Is this your new wife?”

I didn’t know then and don’t know now whether to be proud of Daddy or embarrassed for him.

Anne R. Gibbons grew up in the Deep South in an atypical southern family—they did not drink iced tea. Neither sweet nor unsweet. Adults drank coffee, children drank milk. Anne now lives in Vero Beach, Fla., with her husband, Bill Fitts, and their two cats, Amos and Luna. She still doesn’t drink iced tea.