Thursday, August 28, 2008

Etiquette Schmetiquette

It’s back to normal at the Stewart home. We’re still trying to relax after the most successful Birthannukah ever. Currently, we’re playing WordScraper with each other on Facebook and playing with the cats between turns. The cats have claimed the Wii Fit balance board as their own—their own little Birthannukah surprise for us. It is calm and exactly what we need right now as we gear up for new house countdown. There were a total of three super surprises during Birthannukah—it was hectic, edge of the seat kind of stuff. I surprised Mr. Husband one last time on the actual birthday (Monday) when we attended his surprise birthday lunch at work. How the man I married could actually think that I wouldn’t plan a birthday lunch—me, the planner of company birthday lunches—is a surprise for myself. I would never overlook the most important co-worker ever. Never.

I remember the first time I observed Mr. Husband in action was at a work birthday lunch. Three years ago in September 2005, I’d planned a big birthday lunch for Jeremie at Standard Bistro in Mt. Laurel. This particular birthday lunch was a white-table-cloth-kind-of-thing that was unusual for our group. The white-table-cloth-kind-of-place we went to that day serves a reasonably priced lunch while making us feel special in that white-table-cloth-kind-of-way. That particular day, Mr. Husband was the new guy at the company, and he attended the birthday lunch that specifically required an RSVP with a fellow co-worker who had not RSVP’d for either of them. For shame! The shock! I was angry with the co-worker and spoke sternly to him when he arrived with the at-the-time unknown Mr. Husband in tow. Mr. Husband stood like a tall tree behind the other co-worker as I railed into the co-worker about his lack of courtesy and manners. I actually explained the importance of etiquette; I was very specific in my rage. Mr. Husband, the new guy, stood silently behind the co-worker—not moving—just watching. I expected to see the new guy shocked at what could only be described as a bitchy, but thoroughly defined, tirade. Instead of seeing surprise, fear, or disapproval, I saw a man enamored and filled with respect for the fiery girl explaining birthday lunch RSVP etiquette. A truly absurd moment. Etiquette can be so very important to me. He understood. We played eye tag throughout the rest of that birthday lunch. We didn't speak again until the company holiday party in December. The rest is history.

To this day, even though he doesn’t need to, Mr. Husband always RSVPs to every birthday lunch. Even though I know his every move and it’s not really necessary. Good man.

On Monday, Mr. Husband was celebrated with a surprise birthday lunch at Don Pepe’s. I’d planned the birthday lunch for a week and a half—letting the programmers know of my intention ahead of time. Careful planning. There is not much fanfare involved in the office birthday lunch. It’s tell everyone where to go and when, and then it’s sit and wait followed by smile, eat, and be happy. We have a close office environment where a majority of the folks who work together also mingle together socially. Almost all of Mr. Husband’s team at work are also Wii Miis in our Wii world. That’s geek for friendship.

Around 9:00 that morning, I called to tell Mr. Husband that I’d forgotten our lunches on the kitchen counter. I told him I was stressed out at work and needed to get out of the office at lunch. Not exactly a lie, but for a girl who enjoys work stress and problem solving—it is a stretch. It was gloomy on Monday as Tropical Depression Fay dropped depressing rain all over our Birmingham. A perfect day for tacos and fajitas.

While walking up to Don Pepe’s, Mr. Husband looked down the sidewalk to see Casey and Will walking toward Don Pepe’s from the other direction. He said, “Oh, there’s Casey and Will. I guess they’re going to Don Pepe’s, too.” He didn’t put it together. How cute is that? Seriously. Surprise number three, on his actual birthday, and lunch at work. He doesn’t put it together. Casey and Will, the Architects at work, keep walking toward us. I look at Mr. Husband all grinny-grin-grin, and he goes, “Ooh! Did you?! Did you plan a lunch for me?” Yes, Mr. Husband, I did. Of course I did. I think of you with every move and with any bite during Birthannukah. The games are begun. But before they end—birthday work lunch!

On Tuesday, Mr. Husband surprised me for lunch. He came to my cube early, all hopping around and eager for his leftovers. Or so I thought. He was awfully skippy about run-of-the-mill leftovers, so I was surprised to find that when I walked into the lunch room, he had a dozen red roses waiting for me. The Birhannukah closing ceremony. May the world be filled with roses and may all couples take a week each year to celebrate the other one over and over and over. It’s totally worth it.

1 comment:

Jeff Stewart said...

It is totally worth it. What a week it was!

Everybody needs something to look forward to. Everybody needs someone to share it with. I love you! -- MH