Saturday night, Wendy and I (fine, and Henry too) went to a going-away party for our friend and former co-worker Amber aka AG1, the Original Amber of the Law Firm. Aside from the horrible service at Bubba’s Gourmet Burgers (owned by one of the long-time local radio personalities here and I have HALF A MIND -shut up – to call his dumb radio show and tell him that his restaurant sucks; he was actually there that night too and I was not even the slightest bit excited to see him), it was really nice to see Amber for what might be the last time in a while since she is moving to ALABAMA.
The last time I checked, ALABAMA AND PENNSYLVANIA ARE NOT THAT CLOSE TO EACH OTHER!
I started to tear up immediately when I saw Amber because I am a weak human being even though I’m all, “ROAR ROAR ROAR I HATE PEOPLE.” It’s called a defense mechanism, OK!? But then Amber pointed out that she and her husband are only going to be 4 hours away from DOLLYWOOD so now the plan is to MEET THEM IN PIGEON FORGE AND HAVE ALL OF THE FUN. I told her husband this when we were leaving.
“We’re going to Dollywood!” I cried, and then I realized he thought I meant just me and Henry so then I explained that WE ARE ALL GOING TO DOLLYWOOD and he was like, “Wow…”
He was excited, I think.
Anyway, I thought it was funny that Amber referenced the two memories I wrote about in my card to her before she even opened the card, so I guess they really were solid memories! Usually I am the only one who latches on to a moment and then the other party is like, “I sort of remember that?” and it is crushing. CRUSHING. One of those memories was the time we had a Chinese Auction in the department in 2015 and you know what, I like this memory so much that I am going to reshare it here and not just because I’m looking for a cop-out because designing and marketing new Valentine cards has me mentally drained except that’s 90% why.
So here you go, a blast from the blogging past, from my archives to your eyeballs.
See also: Waffle Whining
In order to raise some extra money for the food drive that the Law Firm is currently embroiled in, our department had a Chinese Auction yesterday. I don’t normally pay attention to these things because most of the items donated always seem to be things I wouldn’t ever use, like spatulas and laundry baskets. (These are standard Chinese Auction things, right? I honestly never look!)
I can tell you for sure that I didn’t bother to participate the last time this happened because I was still in my old position here and pouting literally every day. I remember hearing sounds of mirth and camaraderie coming from my work friends on the Other Side as they admired all of the wares and bought tickets, which made me slump in my chair and cross my arms over my chest. It was Dark Days back then, friends.
And honestly, I probably still wouldn’t have given a shit this time around either, except that I accidentally noticed it.
The best prize in all of the land.
A waffle maker.
I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A WAFFLE MAKER! Henry is always “eh” about it when it comes up because he knows that I’ll be having him make some lavender fig chia seed monstrosity stuffed with some out of season exotic fruit that needs to be special ordered from a treetop garden in Tasmania.
And not that it comes up a lot, but I do read some bohemian lifestyle blogs for some reason even though I am neither Bohemian nor lifestyle, and they sometimes post photos of post-night, ante meridiem recipes (also known as: breakfast) for their fancy waffle maker sisterwives to say things like “amaze” and “so much yum” to on Instagram. Waffles are the shit. Waffles over pancakes any day. (Only because pancakes often make me sick, though.)
Our new admin person, Carrie, was the point person for the Chinese auction, so after digging out a crumbled dollar bill from my jacket pocket, I strutted to her desk and proudly thrust it at her in exchange for a ticket. Glenn, having heard my cries of waffle ecstasy, bought FIVE TICKETS and said he was going to put them all in the waffle maker raffle bag! AND THEN APPROXIMATELY EVERY OTHER PERSON IN THE DEPARTMENT DID THE SAME.
AND THEN GLENN BOUGHT FIVE MORE TICKETS!
This waffle maker was a hot commodity. I felt a little relief knowing that there were two of them being auctioned off, at least. Two winners. MAYBE I WOULD BE ONE.
But then something terrible happened. Amber AG1 declared that she too wanted to win the waffle maker. This could ruin our friendship, I thought to myself nervously.
And then LOU bought some tickets from Carrie and I overheard him tell her that he wanted the waffle maker and I got so enraged. He’s already my least favorite analyst! (Don’t worry, he knows. I told him.)
“They’re both broken,” I shouted, trying to deter him. He just laughed and walked away with his Cheater Tickets and I was 100% wringing my hands at this point. Literally everyone wanted the waffle maker. Who even knows what else was over there! WAFFLE MAKER.
Glenn spent the rest of the day taunting me mercilessly. He said if he won, he was going to sell it, just not to me. Meanwhile, Amber was way more upbeat about her desire to win and was over at her desk practically singing “I want the waffle maker” to the tune of New Kids On the Block. This was in stark contrast to how I was expressing myself, which was by moping, whining, and panicking about my odds all day.
I just knew I was going to lose. I never win these things!
Stop pouting, I told myself. Maybe out loud, even. The drawing hadn’t even started yet and I already had myself losing. I went outside for a walk to cool off a little, and I called Henry.
“Never mind,” I said with a big sigh as soon as he said hello.
“Never mind what?” he asked tentatively.
“Just forget it,” I sighed Eeyore-ishly.
“WHAT DID YOU DO?” he asked.
“IfIwonawafflemakerwouldyouuseit?” I blurted out in an auctioneer’s cadence.
“I mean, I guess,” Henry slowly answered, waiting for the other shoe to fall. And then I started gushing about the day’s events, and how I remembered that I actually brought my wallet that day and I had FIVE MORE DOLLARS to buy more tickets, and then Wendy felt so much pity for me that she put a ticket in the waffle maker bag too, even though she has a scar on her arm from a hotel waffle iron and basically never wants to look at one again, and then I begged Gayle to put in a ticket for me, too, and she originally said no but then I was like GAAAAAAYLE!!! and so she did it and OMG I’M GOING TO LOSE AREN’T I?!
Henry didn’t have much to say about this. Apparently, when I call him at work, he’s actually working, and doesn’t have “time” to care about my “problems.”
Back in the office, Carrie sent out an email saying that the first drawing was going to happen at 2:30. Glenn was all Glennish about this because he leaves at 2:30 everyday. I could barely hear his bitching overtop of my own pitiful wails of, “I WANT THAT WAFFLE MAKER SO BAD! I’M GOING TO PEE MY PANTS! OMG MY STOMACH HURTS.”
“Oh Jesus Christ, if I win the waffle maker, you can have it,” Glenn mumbled, slapping his tickets on my desk on his way out.
“SERIOUSLY?!” I cried.
“Yeah. I don’t want to have to hear about it if you lose,” he grumbled. I wonder what he put his other tickets in for. Probably this old army lunch box thing that someone donated.
At 2:31, Sue came over with two bags and had Carrie and Allison pick a ticket out of each one.
One of them was for the first waffle maker.
I was bouncing from foot to foot in anticipation, clutching all of my tickets in my hands. (The winning number for each item was emailed to the whole department, so no one but me bothered to actually go over and watch this happen.)
Allison drew in her breath and turned away from me a little.
“What?” I asked nervously.
Then Carrie looked at the ticket that Allison drew and she made a strangulated noise as well.
“WHAT? IS IT MINE?!” I yelled, knowing that it probably wasn’t because they didn’t know what numbers I had. So it must have been someone who wrote their name on the back. OH GOD PLEASE BE GLENN! I prayed. And then I felt gross for rooting for Glenn.
“It’s Amber,” Carrie said quietly.
DON’T BE A SORE LOSER, ERIN. GO SIT DOWN AND BE A GROWN-UP, ERIN. THERE IS STILL ANOTHER WAFFLE MAKER, ERIN.
Amber was so happy that she won, and I wanted to be happy for her too! I really did! When she walked past me to claim her prize, she stopped cheering and said, “Aw, but I feel bad!”
“IT’S FINE,” I tried to say in a happy, supportive tone but it came out through gritted teeth because OMG WHY AM I SUCH A BRAT. “I never win anything anyway, so I’m used to it,” I added just in case I hadn’t already come off as an industrial-sized, leaking douchebag.
WHY AM I SUCH A CRYBABY. There were no less than 87 moments that day when I floated outside of my body and looked down upon myself, frowning in disappointment. I guess, at least I’m aware?
A few minutes later, I went to get something off the printer and ran into Carrie, who was making copies. “Hey,” she said. “If you don’t win the other one, I’ll bring one in for you. I have one in my kitchen that I never use, and I swear you can have it. It’s not as fancy as this one, but it’s still good.”
And at this moment, I realized that I needed to stop thinking of Carrie as “Barb’s Replacement” because she is an awesome lady in her own right and has seamlessly fit right into our department in less than two weeks. CARRIE, YOU CAN STAY.
Seriously, that was a really touching moment. Until you remember that this was all over A WAFFLE MAKER.
I mean, waffles are the motherfucking jam, but are they worth this much drama? Probably not. But I was already up to my neck in it. Now I had to see this through. I shouldn’t have let myself drift off into all of the daydreams about opening a waffle stand in my front yard, mass-producing edible Frisbees (Waffbees? Frisfles?), costing Henry an arm and a leg in upscale waffle ingredients and a camera upgrade because you can’t eat fancy waffles without photographing it on a stained pallet surrounded by baby’s breath and monogrammed-stamped baby forks.
I was really getting ahead of myself. Goddammit.
Throughout the afternoon, more drawings took place, but there was so much time in between each one that it felt like when you’re taking a test in school and all you can hear is the methodic, amplified ticking of the clock.
Wendy ended up winning the weird army lunch box thing, and I have no idea why she even put in any tickets for that. It was probably just her against Glenn. And then Patrick basically won everything else because he’s a baller and bought like an entire spool of tickets.
Todd came back from lunch before the final waffle maker was won, and he asked me with faux-interest if anyone had won them yet.
It was hard to push the words out around my big, pouty bottom lip, but I somehow mustered the strength to tell him that Amber had won the first one.
“All that was missing was the trumpets,” I said melodramatically, and Todd started laughing. And then he said something along the lines of, “There, there. You still have one more chance.”
Right before the end of the day, Sue walked over to Amber’s desk with the waffle maker ticket bag and told her since she won the first one, she had to draw the ticket for the second.
“Oh no, Erin’s fate is in my hands!” she said, and I was so nervous that I got up and walked around. I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO KNOW, YOU GUYS.
Sue gave the drawn ticket to Carrie, who in turn sent out the email to the department. I figured it was going to be Patrick, since he had a billion tickets in each bag.
And then I heard, “OMG I WON THE SECOND ONE TOO!”
My first reaction was: WAH!
My second reaction was: OMG CAN I HAVE IT!!!???
“Can I give it to Erin?” Amber asked Carrie, who shrugged and said she didn’t give a basic fuck.
“SERIOUSLY?!?!?!” I screamed as Amber passed it off to me like the goddamn Olympic torch.
“Yeah, I don’t need two!” she laughed. “Now we can both have one!”
AND THAT IS HOW WE WERE ABLE TO LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
Allison was just like, “Wow. What a relief.” I keep forgetting that she is still relatively new. We must look like a gang of fucking imbeciles to her.
“Wait. There’s something I have to do,” I said, and I walked over to Lou’s office with my waffle maker. “I just wanted you to see what I looked like holding the waffle maker,” I gloated, and he kind of hung his head a little and told me I’m mean.
SORE LOSER AND SORE WINNER. That’s me.
But don’t feel too bad for Lou, because the last drawing of the day was for the biggest prize of all: a hug from Ethan, who absolutely hates hugs. And Lou won! He seemed happier with that than he would have been with a waffle maker. Me? I preferred the waffle maker because I, too, hate hugs.
Here’s a picture of my reflection while waiting for the elevator, with my WAFFLE MAKER IN MY ARMS! Amber, you are the best! We should have a waffle party!
When I got into the car after work, Henry did one of his patented mirthless-laughs and shook his head. “Great,” he mumbled.
I quickly relayed the day’s events to him and he said, “Were you a sore loser? Why am I asking. I know you were.”
Later that night, Henry, upon realizing that he had never even heard of the brand, googled the company’s name and discovered that it doesn’t even exist outside of eBay.
Buy It Now: $6.95.
I bought $6 worth of tickets, and I probably would have had to also pay for shipping, so all in all it’s still a deal if you ask me.
“It’s probably going to burn down the house,” Henry mumbled.
I’m going to use the FUCK out of this thing. And by that, I mean that I’m going to search the FUCK out of the Internet for waffle recipes to send to Henry.
In case you were wondering how the winning hug played out, here’s a video! A group of us gathered around noon and formed a big circle around Lou and Ethan, so it was like they were inside of a hug while hugging. It was fucking precious.
Apologies to all of my co-workers who probably have a waffle aversion after all of this. It escalated pretty quickly.
I can only imagine how disgruntled this waffle ordeal would have made the other Amber if this happened before she went on maternity leave. I can practically hear her saying, “Oh for God’s sake!”