The day after we took the photographs for our Christmas card this year, I came across an amazing deal online that was about to expire. Not wanting to miss this opportunity to save money, I created the photo collage for the card and went ahead with the order before showing the finished image to my husband. I knew he cared about the card but trusted that he’d approve of how I’d designed it and that I’d wanted to take advantage of the limited-time promotion, and I hoped he wouldn’t be upset that I hadn’t showed him a proof before committing. I know I certainly would want to sign off on our family card before it hit the press, but the savings opportunity was too good to pass up, so I threw a chef’s kiss to karma and placed the order in a hurry to make it to school pickup on time.
Later that evening, I checked my email to find a notification that the order had been processed, along with a thumbnail depiction of the front of the card. I took a screenshot, cropped it, and sent the picture to Brian so he could have a look at what was on the way. At the time, we were both home but in separate rooms and out of the other’s sight, so there was no way I could have known that he had his phone on hand, but he opened the message upon receipt only a few seconds later and immediately responded. He sent another message about thirty seconds after that one, but by then it was too late; that moment when the blood both bolts to the brain and plummets to the stomach happened instantaneously, and with fingers ionized by adrenaline, I’d already opened the photo to see the disaster for myself. At that point, his second text broke through, transmogrifying horror to relief spiked with spite. The most practical of jokes can only be played when a person knows another so thoroughly as to place a barb directly on the bullseye of her Achilles Heel.
Here is the evidence of such savagery (my text is in blue):
Anyone know where I can get enough coal to fill one man’s stocking?