Did ya ever receive something in your mailbox that caused you to pause and scratch the top of your head? Well, I sure did. I was going through a stack of mail a couple of months back when I came across something a tad peculiar. Actually, it was late March and the envelope was addressed to my husband … from the Houston Ballet. My first thought was, of course, it had to be junk mail … or was it? Now I know my husband pretty well. He’s the kind of guy that would purchase tickets to an Astros game, but most certainly NOT a ballet. It’s just not his first … or even his dead last … choice of entertainment. But wait. The subject envelope DID have an official U. S. postage stamp affixed to the upper corner. As Nancy Drew might say, the plot thickened like split pea soup on a slow simmer. Oh, and did I mention that it was a rather small envelope? It also had a little window hinting at the envelope’s contents. Yep, it looked strangely like … well … ballet tickets. "Dear, you got those ballet tickets you ordered in the mail today. I put the envelope on your side of the dresser,” I mentioned to Rick when he got home from work that evening. "Ballet tickets? I didn’t order any ballet tickets,” he shot back with a most puzzled look. It suddenly struck me like a lightning bolt to the middle of the forehead. There was only one other explanation. It had to be Ricky who was behind the mystery. That’s what we get for granting the boy “junior” status the day he was born … occasional confusion. "But it couldn’t be Ricky. Do you remember when he went on that school field trip in the fourth grade to see ‘The Nutcracker?’” my husband said. "Yeah, they should ban fourth-grade boys from that one. Most dudes that young are just not ready to see guys in tights,” I shot back remembering how he and his buddies got busted for cutting up. As Ricky was still far away at college, I waited till evening to catch him on the Internet. It was via instant messaging that he spilled the beans all over my computer screen. His girlfriend, Margi, had mentioned in passing over Spring Break how she would love to attend a ballet or an opera some day. Once back at school, the lad hatched a plot for a late May birthday surprise. "Mom, you gotta keep this a secret. I know you think this is pretty funny, but I don’t want this to appear in a column till AFTER her birthday,” Ricky wrote, his serious tone dripping off the screen. Geez, this could be tough. There is an occasional week that I gotta dig the hole a little deep for inspiration. I pleaded for mercy. "What about if I called Margi’s mom and asked her to hide the newspaper when it came out?” I instant messaged knowing precisely what his response would be. Can’t fault a mom for trying. OK, so I managed to keep the secret for two whole months. It was difficult, but if Margi heard about the birthday surprise beforehand, she didn’t learn it from me. I heard Ricky even made sure not to tell any of Margi’s girlfriends about the ballet tickets. No use tempting a girl with such valuable information. Only Ricky’s parents and roommates at college knew about the surprise. By the way, the ballet ban has been officially lifted. The two went just the other night to see the ballet “Animal Magnetism” performed downtown and had a great time. They couldn’t tell me much about the ballet’s storyline. Great costumes and lots of dancing is my guess. You probably had to be there. Both did give it their best review … two thumbs up. I do understand that a couple speaking French sat behind them with their little boy, which made for some drama. Yeah, the lad flew a paper airplane that wound up in Ricky’s lap. This further proves our theory that some little boys should be banned from ballets. Oh, and some lady lost her balance and tripped on the stairs. My guess is high heels and steep steps are not compatible with ballets either. Geez, I could sympathize with her. When Rick and I were dating, back before microwaves were born, I tripped on the steps in Hofheinz Pavilion on the way to our seats to see the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar.” How is it we remember things like that? Geez, I can hardly wait to see what surprises the mailman brings next to the Frantz mailbox. I love a good mystery. Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past decade. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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