Friday, June 1, 2007

How do I suck? Let me count the ways...(updated)

July 1st - Update
Believe it or not, I finally pulled it off. Two presents, wrapped. Cards, included and signed. Recipe card, filled out and snuck into the back of the book when no one was looking, as if it had been there all along. Even more amazing, wrapping jobs were not half-bad. Proof below.

1pm on Friday. I don't have the fever I had last night, but I'm still sick. I'd failed miserably in trying to take part of yesterday off work to rest; in fact it was just the opposite as I had to work at home late at night. The husband is away in Vegas and I have a bridal shower ahead of me tomorrow. And another on Sunday. Do I have gifts? No, of course not. But let's not forget who's talking, this is Poker Chick, superhero of the future. She can do it all.

It was all planned out. Leave work early. Go to the two stores I needed to get the gift I had already thought up. Go buy a couple of cards. Go to the bank for nanny dough. Go home, wrap the gifts, write in the cards, and add whatever recipe/poem/saying the invite instructed me to. Finish it all by 7pm. Bask in the glow and relaxation of having done it all.

It's 6pm. Still at work. Panic begins to settle in.

6:15. Finally out the door and I begin to relax. Feelings of confidence rush in. I can do this! A short walk to 61st and 3rd! Grab two panties and go (yes, I said "panties". Get over it). Pop over to 59th and Lex. Grab two more gifts and go. Hop on the subway at 59th and Lex right there. 2 stops, pop by bank on the way home, boom! - still home by 7! Go, Poker Chick, go! I wonder how I got this brilliant as I begin my journey.

6:30. About to pay for gifts and realize I need cards, which are right there. Bam! Confidence is in full force. This is working, baby!

6:40. Confidence wanes. I'd made it to 59th and Lex but now I'm realizing that I hadn't factored in "carry time": the weight of my bag plus laptop after 15 blocks of walking. Ow, my shoulder, ow. Thank goodness this is my last stop.

6:45. The first uh-oh. The nice cookie jar on-line (which was back-ordered, hence having to get it in person) is only available on-line. My plan is unraveled in an instant. What do I do? Ok, ok, time to calm down. They do have a cookie jar. It's not as nice as the one I wanted, but hey, it works. And both brides are registered here so I can get two gift receipts if they want to exchange it for something on their registry I couldn't afford. Sweet! I'm good to go. And it's the thought that counts anyway, right?

6:50. Do I want gift-wrap? Sure. Those of you who know Poker Chick well know her well-developed talent for horrible gift-wrap jobs. What can I do? It falls into the category of "arts & crafts"; i.e., female things I suck at. But I digress. Where were we? Oh yeah, gift wrap. Do I have 15 minutes to wait for it, they ask? Hell, no. Not even 5. I ask for boxes and gift receipts, give my credit card, and ask them to hurry. Please, hurry.

6:55pm. Fuck. I'm supposed to be home in 5 minutes. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I call home and negotiate with the nanny. She had to leave to pick something up at 54th street. But wait, I'm at 59th! I offer to pick it up for her in exchange for coming home late, and a deal is struck. Once again, I marvel at my brilliance for thinking under pressure.

6:56. Everything unravels. Panic returns. The saleslady is trying to hurry, but since she rang me up on one bill, she can only print one gift receipt. She has to void the transaction and do two separate charges. Meanwhile, the other saleslady is trying to help me get out of there quickly and is searching for boxes I can use to wrap the gifts in later at least. She brings two giant shopping bags for me, I get the receipts, put one in each bag, grab one bag in each hand, and begin the mad dash for 54th street.

7:05. Panic is now joined by despair and frustration. I immediately realize that not only does my shoulder hurt from my bag and computer, but I'm now carrying one giant heavy bag in each hand as well. I make it to 54th street, but need to stop and put the bags down every two blocks and rest. I'm sweating and my shoulder feels like it's about to fall off. I can't imagine how ridiculous this must look to people watching me. How did I think I could pull this off?

7:20. Grabbed the envelope, and now I can go home. But wait, I can barely walk, so I can't take the subway and walk home. No, I need a a cab. Fuck. I just realize I spent my last few dollars on lunch. I walk two more blocks to a bank. Somehow, I open the door to get in.

7:25. I made it! I'm almost home! Now I just need to get a cab. But I'm on 53rd and Park at 7:30 on a Friday. Fat chance of a cab here. I give it a few minutes and walk down to Lex. Nope, no cabs here either, and there's 3 other people waiting. True, they aren't carrying around 150 pounds of stuff but still, they were there first. I walk to 53rd and 3rd, where I stand a better chance of hailing a cab. I put the heavy bags down and look. Finally! I see a cab two blocks away! The lit up "4C27" is like a big shining beacon of light in my hour of need. I put my hand out. He signals he's coming to me with a head-nod (I have great eyesight). He heads over, and gets stuck at a red light. I can't move to him because of all my "baggage", but I'm trying. Some blonde bimbo jumps in right then and takes it. This is my breaking point. Crap. Here come the waterworks.

9:15. I'd made it home. Gave the nanny her envelope, paid her, put the mini to bed. Got out the cards to write in and got out the invites to see what poem or recipe or some other estrogen-filled "goodies" I needed to write and submit. I see the recipe one is tomorrow. Perfect. I have an awesome chocolate-cookie recipe. Fuck. What's this self-addressed, stamped envelope doing with the recipe card? Didn't I already RSVP? Yes, I did. So, what is this? Oh no! What I failed to do is realize the recipe needed to be sent in before the shower so it could be included in a giant gift that would be presented at the shower. I have no choice but to discreetly pass it to someone the day of, hope that no one notices, realize they will anyway, and endure the "oh, you're one of those" looks I almost always get at these things.

Double crap. This vent has cost me more. It's 10:30 and my dinner's gone cold. It's too late to eat now. I still haven't filled in the card. Now I'll be even later than planned tomorrow.

A traditional bridal shower "ribbon hat"

The worst part, you see, is that no one's going to see how good my intentions were. They'll just see a harried guest showing up late (babysitter), carrying a second-rate, cheap, last-minute gift with no recipe card.

Wow, do I suck. If there were an award for suckiest bridal shower guest, I would win it. I hope they have drinks at this thing. It's my last hope.

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