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48-year-old gift from ex finally opened
Alex Antoneshyn, CTV Edmonton
Published Thursday, December 6, 2018 10:59PM MST
Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2018 6:46PM MST
The saga of an unopened present between two exes has finally ended.
Thursday night, in front of a crowd in St. Albert, Alta., Adrian Pearce watched the opening of a gift an ex-girlfriend gave him almost 50 years ago.
On stage, he handed Vicki Allen the small present wrapped in faded navy paper.
Previously, Pearce told CTV News he stuck the present under his family’s 1970 Christmas tree after Allen broke up with him—and it became a tradition after that. In 2017, he began looking for Allen.
A year later, she peeled away the giftwrap to reveal a book: “Love Is” by New Zealand cartoonist Kim Grove.
As the crowd cheered, the former couple hugged and kissed. At one point, Allen grabbed the book back from Pearce, saying, “Did I write in it? Oh, I hope I didn’t write in it. Please, don’t let me have written in it… I didn’t write in it!”
Neither had known what to expect.
“My wife thought it might be an Archie comic from the 1970s. I thought it could be like a wallet or—Victoria worked at Canadian Tire at the time, making $1.25 an hour, so I knew it wasn’t going to be something too, too elaborate,” Pearce explained.
“I’d go to a bookstore,” Allen said of her teen self. “I should have realized. But my reading material should have been a little more eclectic than that, I mean, seriously. ‘Trout Fishing in America’ would have been a good choice, you know?”
The two dated in 1970, when Pearce was just a 17-year-old who still went by his middle name, Mike.
A few years after Allen “dumped” Pearce, the two reconnected, but never felt the same chemistry. However, both said they’re happy with how things turned out.
“We’re in a fantastic place where all you can feel is love—why would I have any regrets?” Pearce asked.
Calling their high-school relationship an introduction to love, Allen said, “I have no regrets. I do like Mike and I adore his wife, and I have four fabulous children.”
Although Allen called Pearce "totally nuts" for keeping the present for so long, he said he plans to frame both the gift and its wrapping paper to commemorate the experience.
And before the night ended, Pearce reciprocated.
“This is the gift I probably would have given you 47 years ago,” he said, handing his old flame a present. She didn't wait 47 years to open it: Inside was a cigarette case, because they were both smokers in 1970, Pearce added.
The gift-opening doubled as a book launch for “The 47 Year Old Present,” and proceeds from the event’s tickets were be donated to the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton.