A lady I work with was going on the other day about how she had lapsed into full Martha Stewart mode in preparation for the upcoming holiday. Joe and I were grateful as she neared the end of the story about how she had hand made festive napkin rings from old bread wrappers and corn starch (or some such thing). When we were jerked back from the edge of a coma by her assertion that she had told her new hubby not to say anything to his family about this. She did not want them to make a fuss about all the little homey touches when they arrived on Thursday.

I explained that she had now put her husband in a difficult position, and she looked at me like I had sprouted an ear of corn from my left ear. So I elaborated. The translated message she had delivered was that hubby’s family had damn well better notice all the effort she had put in, but that she had better not get wind of the fact that he had tipped them off. Suddenly, his life just got a little more complicated. As she was denying the truth of my statement, I noted aloud that being a guy was not as easy as it looked. Joe nodded.

The following day, Joe had the good sense to be on vacation. This left me alone in the office area with the aspiring domestic diva. I was busy and focused on work when from behind me she blurts out, “Isn’t anyone going to notice?” I scanned the lab quickly and dammit it was still just me. I turned and did the panicked guy scan. Her hair looked the same, no obvious new protruding jewelry in sight, I got nothin’. So I poised my sword to fall on it and said, “I’m sorry?”

“The area! I cleaned it all up.” And sure enough, where yesterday the tables had been littered with stray notes and candy wrappers, today they were all gone. Except for a centerpiece candy bowl. I confessed that I hadn’t noticed, but told her how nice it all looked. Meanwhile I was scanning through my mental video library trying to recall if Dr. X had a centerpiece on his lab table.

Her husband is sooooo dead tomorrow.

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