Last Friday night, we were supposed to go see the Harry Potter movie.  I am someone who has been a diehard HP fan since 2000, when I borrowed the first three books from my sister’s friend, and read them all in a long weekend.  I went to a release party at Barnes & Noble for Book 4, pre-ordered all the others, and have seen every other movie in theatres. 

But I didn’t want to go to the movies Friday night.  I was in a dour mood, brooding over a student I’d seen that day at school. She, who doesn’t volunteer many ideas in class, and generally keeps to herself all day, opened up to me Friday afternoon during our session.  She confessed to me about how she’d been picked on at her old school, bullied by exclusion, and how she avoided someone at this school who used to go to her old school.  Though I felt I’d done right by her by listening and letting her know she could always come to me, I couldn’t get her out of my head, and my melancholy threatened to befoul the entire weekend. 

As our peanut butter reserve was running low, I began thinking of a different activity to get us out of the house that didn’t involve Entertainment.  There’s a new peanut butter restaurant not so far away, and they grind the PB fresh in front of you.  The spread is so good, Mr. Apron (not a big PB fan) confessed some of it “fell into” his mouth soon after I brought it home.  And scarcely 5 days later, the jar was almost empty.  The PB store was dangerously close to my favorite Anthropologie store, so I thought a combined trip would cheer me up. 

Too bad they closed at 8pm.  It was 7:48pm, and we had no chance of making it.  The website said the downtown store was open till 9pm, so we rushed downtown, scored a dream parking spot, and were greeted by bolted doors barring our entry to the well-lit interior yumminess.  No signs on the door proclaiming the true hours, so, dejectedly, we went into Barnes & Noble to read strange magazines. 

Because things always seem better in the morning, the next day I had my unrequited Anthro trip, and we scored a fresh jar of PB, too.  While perusing the sale rack, I spotted a beautiful brown skirt, appliquéd in myriad earth tones with a birdie on the front, and a ruffle on the hip.  “Oh, buddy, look at this one!” I called.  “Cute!” he said, encouragingly, “see if they have it in your size.”  Of course they didn’t.  Only 2’s and 4’s.  But I moved on, half-heartedly scanning for anything else to catch my eye.  It was pretty slim pickings that day, even on the regular price racks.  Aside from being impress by the bed-frame made of pipe, a ladder, and hung with a canopy of antique doilies, we were pretty non-plussed. 

Yesterday as I came home late, after a long meeting, Mr. Apron greeted me excitedly.  Seems my final Hanukkah package had at last arrived in the mail.  He made me open it that night, even thought it was my “big one” and it would be, as I often put it, “blowing your wad” to open it before the grand finale last night of Hanukkah.  I pulled out of a non-descript cardboard box some non-descript brown tissue paper.  Inside that was the skirt, in my size, that we had seen at Anthro last weekend. 

“But when did you go?” I demanded.  “When did you have time?  They didn’t have it in my size!” I protested.

He had gone to the store some weeks earlier, on a day off, and found the skirt.  It was not in my size then, as now, but he’d inquired if it could be ordered from another store.  The sales lady had called 8 different stores before finding it in my size, in Massachusetts.  As I was flipping through the racks last Saturday, Mr. Apron knew I’d never find it in my size, but he also knew it was trucking along the roads, merrily chugging towards our door. 

It is great fun to have a spouse who is not only a scheming, conniving, devious, generous man, but also a fantastic secret-keeping gift-giving actor.

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