It was over the phone, but I knew he was smiling.
“Are you going to be home today?” he asked. I could tell that he was also nervous. It was the tone of his voice.
Am I going to be home today? I held back a delicate scream. I rolled my eyes. Not at him. At myself. I have no life outside of blogging, or “working from home," as I like to call it now. Yes, working from home for a big fat paycheck of zero dollars.
“Aren’t I home everyday?!?!” is what was hissing in my head, but what came out of my mouth and into the phone was sweet.
“Yes, I’ll be home. Why?”
“Uh.” He paused for an almost imperceptible nanosecond, but it was long enough that I noticed. Then the words came out a little too quickly for them to be natural. He had practiced. “I think I accidentally had my new contact lenses delivered there instead of the office, so can you make sure to be home?”
It made me smile. He is a terrible liar, which is a good thing, I guess. Once he tried to lie about a girl (from before we even met, but still, a girl). He gave up, flustered, and came clean. And I didn’t even have to say a thing.
He was trying hard, and yet I almost wanted to play a game. I knew what was up. I wanted to tell him that suddenly, for the first time in months, I have decided to not blog all day. I would actually get up to take a shower for the first time in a week, meet the Girls for lunch and go shopping for the rest of the day. That would screw up his plan and make him squirm. I wondered how he would get himself out of it.
If it were anyone else, they’d see right through to the horrible homebody I will always be. But he is very very trusting. I didn’t do it.
“Sure. I can wait for your contacts.” I hung up and looked forward to the delivery of his contact lenses a.k.a. my birthday present.
I mean really now, on the actual day of my birthday did he honestly expect me to believe that a delivery would be his contact lenses?
I couldn’t even imagine what it would be. I had already gotten flowers that morning. A book? A CD? I only have books and CDs on my secret wishlist. But the curiosity got lost as I turned my attention, as usual, to my statcounter.
Dammit! Why so low?!?! I went back to writing.
It was late in the afternoon when the knock on the door startled me from the progressively forward hunch that had my face not more than six inches from the laptop screen. Had I been any other, normal person, there would have been that risk of my forgetting to wait. I might have stepped out to grab coffee with a friend. Maybe gone shopping to get a new outfit for myself. Maybe run three miles as part of my new fitness routine.
I am Sarah. Even if I forget to not leave the house, I’ll never leave the house.
But the doorbell was reminder that yes, I was waiting. I jumped up from my seat and ran to the door with what I am sure was an impish grin on my face. Birthday present.
If they were contact lenses, they were the biggest, heaviest contact lenses on the planet, or else he was confident that his eyesight would never change and had ordered a full lifetime supply of lenses for himself. And his Mom. And Dad. And his whole damn extended family scattered throughout the US. The box was so big, bulky and heavy, that Brown said I probably wouldn’t be able to lift it.
I bent over to pick up the box. Brown was right. It didn’t budge, even under my She-Ra brute strength.
After I very politely thanked Brown for bringing the box inside and shut the door quietly behind him, I stared for a moment at the enormous box in the middle of the living room floor. Just a moment. Packages don't stay unopened for long - even if they're not addressed to me.
Then I attacked the box the way most of us do, too impatient and excited to go to the fully-loaded-by-Dad Craftsman toolbox in the closet to get the utility knife, risking a $15 manicure by picking at the edge of the tape on the side of the box, but unable to lift the tape's edge from the cardboard, grabbing any remotely sharp-ish object in sight (car keys!) and poking at the tape unsuccessfully, finally getting the box open after repeated, progressively more aggressive stabs at the tape with a Uniball Micro with the cap off.
I will spare the steamy details of what happened next. Let's just say that meeting in person is very different from reading a profile and seeing a picture online. It is easy to be impressed online, to be swayed by what some marketing department has done to a description, to be attracted to a photo that has been re-touched, but live and in-the-pink-and-stainless-steel-flesh, you will know. You will know if it's just "nice to meet you in person, don't call us, we'll call you," or if you feel "it."
It was electric.
And that's all I'll say about that.
Thank you, J. I love...it. ;)
** a year ago today, amuse cafe needed a muse (and never got one) **