This is going to be one of those sentimental blog posts. There is no marketing lesson involved, so if you'd rather skip it, no offense taken.
Those of you who follow this blog know that I have written a couple of times about my brother, Guy Merenda, who died of lymphoma 14 years ago, at age 41. His daughter, my niece, Madeline Merenda, was six years old at the time. Guy adored her, and called her by a silly pet name, "Mickey Moo."
Here is just one of my memories of the two of them. I was visiting Guy and staying with him in his Boston area home. One day, we got up around the same time and went downstairs to the kitchen. There we were confronted by this picture: Madeline was playing with something on the floor. On the table was a bowl full of melted vanilla ice cream. Madeline had a large chocolate ring around her mouth. Guy shared his theory with her. "Here's what I figure happened, Madeline," he said. "I think you took one of those Klondike bars our of the freezer, ate all the chocolate, and left the ice cream to melt." Madeline regarded him gravely, and with all the sincerity possible on her little chocolate-smeared face, said "Nooooooooooooooooo."
Guy and I cracked up, of course. Just one of those charming moments you might see on a show like "Everybody Loves Raymond" or "Ozzie and Harriet" for that matter.
Now my niece is 20 years old, a college student, an aspiring actress, and beautiful as can be. (Evidence provided in the photo above.) She is coming to Florida to intern with SmartMarketing this summer, and we recently became "friends" on Facebook, which has given me the opportunity to embarrass her this way.
But tucked away among the photos on her Facebook page was a photo that made me cry. It was of a tattoo (her only one, thank goodness) that she carries on her foot.