Anyway, the way I really wanted to start this post was with two questions that I think the title evokes in a normal human's (i.e., a Western Pennsylvanian's) mind: 1) what kind of asshole gets married in December; and 2) what kind of asshole gets married in Philadelphia?
Well, the December thing is all the Sciencette's fault. Despite being allergic to the cold, she likes December because that's when her birthday is and that's when x-mas is. She tends to like snow too, but we generally don't get December snow around these parts. Regardless, I tried to talk her out of it to spread around some of the special days, but she wasn't having any of it. I had to sit down with my wallet the other day and explain to him that sorta like a woman's period, he should be prepared to hemorrhage money each December for an anniversary, birthday, and x-mas. Maybe I should design some sort of wallet tampon...
As for Philly...look, we had to do it. Sure, I wanted to get married in Pittsburgh just like everyone else on Earth, but it wasn't going to be feasible to have to drive 5-6 hours every time we needed to meet with a florist or whatever (the 'burgh's Illuminati also sat me down to voice their concerns about both me and The Biophysicist (aka, Captain Steve) diluting the Pittsburgh gene pool by marrying out-of-staters, but I was finally able to convince them that a little genetic variability is a good thing). Plus, we didn't get hitched in downtown Philly while dodging bullets and crazy drivers; we were married on the outskirts of the city on the Delaware River in the Glen Foerd Mansion (which has a painting of a guy that looks disturbingly similar to my Uncle Ed).
Now, with all of that out of the way, it's time to get to the main course.
Chapter 1 - Secret Surprise
(for the full effect, please read this here instead of on Facebook)
The week before Thanksgiving, the Sciencette and I were in Pittsburgh for the wedding of The Biophysicist and The Phagette (I don't know any common wedding etiquette, so if the woman is supposed to be mentioned first or something, I have no clue; please excuse my stupidity). When we checked in at the hotel, the receptionist gave me the key cards for our room, a come-hither stare, and a bag full of goodies made and provided by the soon-to-be married couple. We both really liked the gift bag idea, and The Sciencette turned to me with excitement in her eyes and a smile on her face to ask if we should make them for our impending nuptials.
I immediately told her that was the stupidest idea I'd ever heard.
Now before you condemn me for being a heartless son of a bitch, let me tell you two things. First, don't insinuate that my mom is a bitch; I'll kick your ass. And second, I had a plan.
See, usually my brain works slightly slower than old people drive, but for some reason (probably the Qdoba I had for lunch, uh YEAH!) I was running at full capacity that day. I shot down The Sciencette's idea because I was pretty sure that I could pull it off myself and surprise her with it. She was going to be gone in DC for essentially the whole week following Thanksgiving, so that would give me plenty of time to buy stuff, put it in bags, and then bask in her love and adulation. Plus, I think we originally planned to make gift bags and forgot, so this would at least give me something to do while The Sciencette was gone.
As with everything though, there was a problem - me. You might find this hard to believe, but I'm not as stealthy as a jungle cat. I'm more like a garbage truck going down a bumpy road; I'm smooth like chunky peanut butter. What I'm getting at here is that while it was probably a good idea, I didn't know enough details about my own wedding to pull this off nor a crafty way to obtain such information. Thankfully, The Sciencette was distracted by a Fall full of weddings (many of which she was in) and her impending trip, so she didn't connect the dots when I had to ask her three times how many rooms we had booked at the hotel (~40 but I kept forgetting), and she was nonplussed by the 48 Old Milwaukee pounders that I bought.
Anyway, I ordered a bunch of stuff in bulk from Amazon and elsewhere, played the mother-in-law card (she's got a membership to a Sam's Club-type place), and send the Sciencette on her way. Between MommaVK and myself, we filled blue bags covered in white snowflakes with an Old Mil pounder, two Jack Links beef sticks, Ghirardelli chocolate squares, Advil 2-packs, two bottles of water, mints, granola bars, candy, and ketchup packets. I'm probably forgetting some stuff (and I was tempted to throw in some condoms), but you get the picture.
(New picture courtesy of Dr. Snail, 1-4-10)
The stuff from MommaVK wouldn't make it to NJ until after The Sciencette got home from DC, but I decided to set the bags up on the table and fill them with whatever I had at hand. When the day finally arrive and The Sciencette did get home, she called me out to her car to grab her suitcase and then went into the house. I watched through the door to see her expression when she saw the bags, and...
NOTHING! She just stared at them like she was retarded or something.
Well, it turns out that she wasn't a re'tard; she was just shell shocked because I actually contributed something to the wedding planning other than money and apathy. Much like when I proposed to her, she went from zero to crying in 2.3 seconds when she realized what was going on.
In hindsight, it seems to me that the bags were a success. The missus liked them, and our wedding guests either enjoyed them too or were at least amused that someone was ridiculous enough to include a tall boy of beer and beef jerky in a gift bag. I guess I've raised the manly bar for myself though; I'm going to have to put cheeseburgers or something in the next gift bags I make.
Stay tuned for Chapter 2 only at http://dryeti.blogspot.com (kill you Facebook)!