In Which I Discuss A Ghastly Tote Bag As Well As My Habitual Idiocy

This bag makes me want to watch television.
This makes me want to watch television.

As best I can tell, the above logo was designed by sin itself. I got the bag for free with a book order or something. Even this fashion-deficient reading teacher finds it objectionable.

You might then imagine my dismay that the wife has been using it with increasing frequency. Ever the dutiful husband, I sought recommendations for a proper replacement. When my mother-in-law caught wind, she insisted on taking me to her favorite shop.

I was in little position to refuse, as she was helping me with my 20-month-old twins* on Mommy’s First Away Weekend. Moreover, Mother-In-Law was eager to take me to said shop as the proprietress was the mother of twins herself.

While Mother-In-Law set about selecting a proper bag, I chatted with the proprietress (if by chatting you mean trying to respond coherently while preventing my children from vandalizing her inventory). When Mother-In-Law finally selected the proper bag and brought it to the register, the proprietress held it up and said:

“Peter, this is a gift.”

Gift inside!
Gift inside!

I was very touched. But not altogether surprised: becoming a father has been revelatory in illuminating to me the warmth of strangers. When I take the ladies out, for example, people often smile and offer kind words. I do not recall this happening beforehand.

“My goodness!” I said. “How kind of you!”

“This is a gift,” she said. “What I mean is, would you like me to wrap it?”

Such, then, is the fog through which I stumble daily.


*I was going to write a predictable “What’s up with that?” routine. E.g. “I mean, I don’t go around saying I’m X months old…” But then I paused to do the calculation. Hell’s bells, it turns out I’m four hundred ninety-seven months old today!