I got a surprise phone call the morning of my birthday. A local flower shop had a delivery for me and wanted to make sure I’d be home. Are you kidding? Not only was I home, but I straightened the front room, brushed my teeth, and re-adjusted my ponytail for the occasion!
As the wife of a romantically challenged engineer, I was flabbergasted. I never expected Kory to send me flowers, especially after I went a little overboard doing my own birthday shopping earlier in the week. I figured he must have realized that I was having a wee spot of trouble with the big 3-0 and decided to give me a boost by proclaiming his steadfast but rarely demonstrative affection.
The doorbell rang. The bouquet was beautiful. The card was . . . mystifying. “Happy Birthday from Unpronounceable Name at Maxim Corporation.” At first, the only thing I recognized was the company my husband works for, but as I pondered the foreign-looking name, I vaguely remembered Kory mentioning a CEO from another country.
And then I got it. Mr. Unpronounceable Name’s admin. assistant makes sure the employees’ spouses are recognized and affirmed by the company on their birthday. A lovely gesture, but also a letdown for obvious reasons. I was disappointed that the flowers weren’t from Kory.
Here’s my take on the sitch. This company knows they employ a large number of socially inept head cases who regularly fail to comprehend culturally ordained expressions of appreciation. Why not do their engineers a favor, and—since they were going to send flowers to the wife anyway—put the husband/employee’s name on the card? Think of the happiness Maxim could generate simply by notifying the clueless engineer that his wife’s birthday approaches and giving him the option of including a personal message with the flowers the company will send.
I mentioned my views to Kory when I called to tell him that his CEO sent me flowers, and being a fan of optimization, he thought I had a point. Of course, he was still in the doghouse. I recognize that it was not his fault that I got all excited about the flowers he didn’t send, but what can I say? I am a woman.
Things went from bad to worse for poor Kory. Chunky and I went to Sams to pick up fixin’s for my birthday dinner party. When we went through the check-out, Chunky happily informed the cashier that it was Mommy’s birthday. Nice Mr. Sams Check-Out Guy then grilled me about my birthday plans and became indignant on my behalf when he discovered that I, not Kory, would be cooking my birthday meal.
I went home and emailed Kory about Sams Guy’s opinion of him. For the record, I didn’t mind cooking the meal, especially since we were going out the next night—and I told Sams Guy that.
Kory has a history of landing himself in hot water with me through no deliberate action of his own, so he took his disgrace calmly. Little did I know that this time would be different. Instead of accepting his unearned schlub reputation, Kory was determined to prove Unpronounceable Name and Sams Guy wrong. He showed up that evening with an armful of flowers, four cards, tiramisu, and new ink cartridges for my printer. I’m pretty sure the gesture was meant to sustain me for another ten years of marriage, but I was thrilled nonetheless. Until I opened the cards and realized why engineers should be excused from societal traditions like buying greeting cards. I got two sympathy cards, one princess card with a 0 added after every mention of a 3rd birthday, and card with a disgruntled baby’s picture bearing the words, “I hear you’ve got a big one coming.” Yeah. Okay, it was pretty funny. And I even got a crown with the princess card, so I can’t complain.
All in all, my birthday was pretty memorable. Well, at least everything that happened before the pomegranate margaritas.
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