Shame, shame on Williams Sonoma this day. My birthday has been spoiled and I will be forced to buy something else in celebration of surviving 40 years on this earth. I should probably back up. . . . (for 99% of my friends, you can stop reading now, I’m being a brat–to make a long story short, the rest of you actually like that I make a short story long–it saves you the trouble of buying real books, so you can keep reading)…
So, I buy my own presents. It is a NOT so unwritten rule that my husband and I adopted after a 2001 incident that shall heretofore be referred to as “Candlegate.” Sometimes, I pretend that he has some say in the process—for example, I will shop for lingerie or shoes and email him a link to my online shopping cart so that he can pay for the items and “buy” them for me. Usually, though, I just buy what I want for my birthday, Christmas, Michaelmas, Wednesday, whatever, and, when I get it, I pretend that he has surprised me with the most wonderful thing. “Oh, my goodness, Kevin, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE!!! I love it!!!” And I reward him with all of the coddling and pleasantries that are appropriate for the situation. It is a system that works for us. He hates shopping and I am a picky bitch, so our marital bliss is supported by these small, strange compromises that we have incorporated into our lives. Also, he is forced to visit weird roadside attractions with me and pretend that he is interested in the history of the circus freak, or whatever. . . but that is a different very long story. . .
This year, I bought myself a food processor. If you have known me for any amount of time, you know that the best way to make me feel loved is to sit in my kitchen, drink my booze and eat my food. There is no explaining it, it just is. And I have cooked, baked, and cocktailed my way through my entire adult life without a food processor. I grate cheese by hand (gasp), I knead dough on a board (the horror) and I slice my scalloped potatoes on a mandolin or with a knife (stop now, just STOP). I have wanted a food processor for some time, but my compulsive dislike for any appliances on kitchen counters and the fact that I kept finding more interesting things to spend the money on (read: boots) prevented my acquisition up to this point. Somehow, I got it in my head that I was going to have a food processor for my birthday this year. Since it is a pretty big year, I knew that Kevin wouldn’t balk at the expenditure (he really never does, bless his pea pickin’ lil’heart) and I set out to find the best one.
I researched food processors for WEEKS. I read the Consumer Reports test results, compared them to articles in online and print cooking magazines, read the Amazon reviews, spoke to the women in the Williams Sonoma, and decided that the $300 basic Cuisinart was the best way to spend my money. I really liked the $600 one, but it was just a shinier, slightly larger version of the $300 one in a better color, so I eliminated it pretty quickly—I mean, New England winters might require a whole new boot wardrobe, who knows? And I don’t want to have wasted $300 that I could have allocated differently.
I am a commission girl, having earned either commissions or tips at every job I’ve ever held, so, when given the opportunity, I will go TO a store and allow a salesperson to sell me my big ticket items and such was the story with the food processor. I drove to the mall, ate a hot pretzel, and went to the Williams Sonoma (eating a hot pretzel is a reflex for me. I NEVER pass a hot pretzel stand. You know what I’m talking about—with cheese). To my chagrin, the West Hartford Williams Sonoma does not stock any Cuisinart save the $600 Porsche version, so it had to be ordered online in the store. When logged into the store system, however, it was discovered that the $600 version had recently been upgraded (they subtracted a button) and that I could order last year’s model of the Porsche for the same $300 that I had budgeted for the Toyota Camry of food processors. . . YES!! So I bought it. I may have danced in the store, I may have hugged the salesgirl, I may have whooped and bought a garlic peeler in celebration. . . I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide if all or any of those things happened (all).
Fast forward to yesterday afternoon. Kevin walked in the door carrying a box that OBVIOUSLY contained a Cuisinart food processor. How do I know that it contains one? It is THE BOX that the processor comes in. No wrapping. No hoopla. I panicked—did he not KNOW that I had already bought myself a gift? Is he buying me gifts now? Are Dogs and Cats living together? But no, even worse. Williams Sonoma shipped my processor in a marked box and he was merely bringing it in from its shameful perch on my adorable Federal Style front porch.
I know. I researched it. I budgeted for it. I shopped for it. I picked it out. I knew it was coming in the mail. I know all of these things in my heart. But, I wanted it to come in a Williams Sonoma box! I wanted to PRETEND that it was a surprise! I wanted to wonder and conjecture that maybe there had been a mix up in the warehouse and I was going to open a box with new Reidel wine glasses and that I could be filled with righteous indignation and rant and storm and make a phone call. I WANTED it to be a PRESENT. And it isn’t. It is just a box, labeled with the contents, sitting on my kitchen table. Shame on you Williams Sonoma. Shame. Birthday ruined. Oh, wait—did an email just pop up with the Sorel Boots I wanted on sale????