The first time I heard the expression “2 for 1” was at Charlie’s. Charlie’s was one of those old fashion New England dry goods stores often seen on postcards. It was dark, crowded and welcoming; mostly, it smelled of burlap sacks and tobacco. It had wide, unfinished barn flooring and walls of shelving filled with things like cans of Spam, condensed milk, and boxes of chowder crackers. Assembled kites hung from the ceiling and a little radio played muffled Red Sox games in the summer and Big Band music in the winter. When I was a kid, I’d ride my bike uptown to Charlie’s to get eggs, milk, or maybe some butter for my Mom. To thank me, Mom usually let me keep the change.
I loved visiting Charlie’s because it was like becoming a member of another big, happy family as Charlie lived upstairs with his wife and their 3 daughters. Here we’d discuss important things like gossip, the neighborhood, and more personal stuff. Was it true one of my brothers tried shooting an apple off our cousin’s head with a bow an arrow? Should Shields’ Field have a baseball diamond or a soccer field? Had I ridden Dale’s new colt? How many tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches could my Dad really eat? The best thing about Charlie’s, however, was the big glass case full of penny candy – Mary Jane’s, Tootsie Rolls, Swedish Fish, Bazooka Gum – you name it, Charlie had it. So as I headed out the door, I’d pick out a collection of candy and he’d drop each piece into a little brown paper bag silently tallying the total in his head. “So, whatd’ya got left, Caity Cait?” I’d add, subtract, then announce what remained unspent. “Well, that’ll get you 1 Swedish Fish, but today, it’s 2 for 1.” And he’d promptly toss 2 fish into the bag.
While I’ve seen an awful lot of 2 for 1 specials since my days at Charlie’s Penny Candy Store, OAP’s 2 for $20 Special is my favorite. Maybe that’s because I love meeting spouses/partners/friends and family members of patients who I’ve known for years and maybe, just maybe, it’s because the spirit of Charlie lives here at OAP. Granted, we give cough drops, tea, and earplugs instead of Swedish Fish, but we provide affordable acupuncture in comfy chairs with blankets and pillows. And, together, we’re all building community while becoming stronger, healthier, and calmer. So in the spirit of sharing and community, book an appointment at OAP with a friend, family member, or coworker and take advantage of our 2 for $20 special. If the buddy you bring is already a patient at OAP, both your treatments are discounted to $10. If your buddy is a new patient to us, we’ll wave his/her initial paperwork fee.