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December 10, 2012 / Andee Frizzell

Let This be a Lesson

bbabyMy friend Sophie was the first of our posse to get pregnant. Her older sister had planned the baby shower on a  Sunday at noon. There were four of us who were still single at the time and we had reserved all Sunday mornings for walks of shame and hangovers.

The morning of the shower, precisely twenty minutes prior to, I picked up Laura and we headed to BabiesRUs near her place. Both of us had been out the night before at a Fireman’s Ball and we reeked of it. The huge black lenses of our rehab sunglasses inadequately blocked out the piercing light of day and we were in desperate need of a ‘sort it out’ morning after cocktail.

I walked up to the first pastel clothed staff person that was unfortunate enough to come into my sight. The perky smile turned instantly into a grimace at the smell of my breath and she fought vigilantly to keep herself from plugging her nose. I told her we were looking for a baby shower gift and gave her the registration code.

I was tossing squeak toys at Laura, who had fallen asleep in a rocking chair just inside the front door, when the attendant returned with a Diaper Genie. Neither of us had ever seen a diaper genie and we were curious as to its function. I stopped listening after the sentence that started with dirty diaper was uttered.

I was told gift wrapping was not a mandatory service even though the reasons I stated it should be were very valid.  A sympathetic saleslady, who could clearly see our incompetence, handed me a half used roll of discarded Christmas wrapping paper and some brown masking tape. I’ll add here it was August.

As I drove through downtown at break neck speed because we were already nearly an hour late; Laura tried desperately to wrap the towering diaper genie. All the while giving me a detailed recap of what would later become known as the cat tongue story.

When we finally arrived at Sophie’s, the diaper genie looked like it had been used as a football in the Super Bowl. We quickly scratched our names on the complimentary congratulations card and were in the midst of fighting over the last breath mint when the other two singles, Michelle and Winnie brought Winnie’s Cutlass to a screeching halt beside my truck.

“Grab the gifts from the trunk. I’ve got to find parking for this beast.” Commanded Winnie, whose voice had gone raspy from yelling, “show me your hose”, to every fireman at the party last night.

She popped her cavernous trunk. Laura and I reached in to retrieve the gifts when I saw the most beautifully wrapped present I have ever seen. It was from our friend Guinevere, who wasn’t able to attend because she was being knighted for her charitable works or something.

Guinevere is a Stepford wife. She is always immaculately dressed and has impeccable manners. She is gorgeous and is a wizard in the kitchen. Why she hangs out with us is truly a mystery.

I looked at Laura and with a knowing silent conspiratorial nod and we switch the cards. Now Guinevere was giving the man handled diaper genie and we were giving a bassinet filled with colourful blankets, clothes, diapers, all wrapped in shiny cellophane topped with a yellow satin bow; something straight out of the Martha Stuart Catalog.

We put the gifts in the living room and headed directly to the bar, I mean buffet. In between my second glass of wine and my third plate of saltines and cheese, the baby shower wrangler, herded us into the parlour for the opening of the gifts.

First up was Guinevere’s, AKA, mine and Laura’s. Sophie eyed the card suspiciously but thanked us graciously.
Winnie and Michelle looked on disbelievingly.

“I hauled that fucking thing down three flights of stairs and had to clean out a hoarders supply of shit from my trunk to make it fit. Why didn’t I think of swapping the cards?” Winnie was ruing having morals.

“You snooze, you lose.” Just one of life’s little lessons.


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