May 12, 2009
The Baby Shower
One of my husband's coworkers is going out on maternity leave at the end of this week and my husband is in charge of the woman's baby shower, which means that I'm in charge of the woman's baby shower. Last week, he tossed me an envelope filled with money collected from his coworkers and gave me some very specific instructions: "Buy as much as you can with this...but don't buy junk."
I scoffed at my husband's suggestion that I take pleasure in buying cheap and useless things, especially for other people. Besides, one person's trash is another person's treasure. If my husband really cared so much about the presents, I figured, then he would buy them himself.
Over the past several days, I have busied myself buying up the contents of the clearance bins at TJ Maxx and Ross. Anything with a red sticker and a fragment of its original packaging still intact went into my shopping cart.
"What is this?" asked my husband when I returned home, pointing to one of my purchases.
"Unsure," I replied, "But it was $3.00."
That's when my husband asked to see ALL of the gifts that I had purchased for the shower.
I pointed to a stack of wrapped presents in the corner. "I'm not rewrapping them," I told him. Either you're going to have to do it, or you're just going to have to trust me.
My husband bit his nails nervously. "What kind of cake did you make?" he asked finally.
I pointed to the top of the refrigerator where my masterpiece was waiting.
"The top didn't come out of the pan," I explained, "But it still tastes good. After I frost it, no one will know the difference."
After looking at my cake and my presents, my husband said he had some errands to do and would be back in awhile.
Had I known the standards for corporate America were different than for academia, I would have coated the cake pan with cooking spray before I baked it.