“Save the Bows!” By Chris Zito

When it came time to open Christmas presents in our house Mom always had a special bag that she made everyone put the bows in after opening a gift. “Save the bows!” she would cry repeatedly. It sounded like some sort of strange protest.


“End Construction! No more buildings! End Construction! No more buildings!”

I didn’t live through the Great Depression but I grew up with parents who did. Folks who have been through that sort of shortage of everything have a tendency to hold onto what little they do have. I’ve heard stories of women cleaning plastic wrap and reusing it. It doesn’t have the same cling so you have to use a rubber band. It’s okay though because the same woman has saved every rubber band that’s entered her life since 1935.


Grandma’s repeated run-ins with the Zoning Commission always
ended with someone getting thwacked!

This fear of shortage could also explain why so many sweet old ladies are kleptomaniacs when it comes to packets of sugar and little jelly pods. Mom had a drawer full of those, along with straws, ketchup packets, and moist towelettes. Trust me, when see a couple of Grannies at a diner they’ll leave with any condiment that isn’t glued to the table.


Finally fed up, Stan, the Denny’s manager, had Vera arrested.

Mom’s “Save the bows!” routine went on for years until eventually all five of us kids pooled our resources, raised almost $4, and bought Mom a lifetime supply.

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito



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One Response

  1. How I remember the bows, I love it

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