This morning I had coffee with a lovely young woman of my acquaintance. B wanted my advice about Looking Fabulous All the Time and Keeping a Spotless Household* and I was delighted to help her out. Quite frankly, any excuse to get out of the house is exciting for me. And besides, she paid for my coffee and offered me a lift into the city to attend a meeting so I totally came out ahead.
After we finished our coffee, I stepped into her car and spotted a Tiffany & Co gift bag on the floor.
"Yes, it's for you," she said, and gestured to me to take the bag.
I was horrified. "For me? Oh my god I was only joking!"
I felt terrible. Absolutely terrible. Now B would feel compelled to give me the stunningly tasteful necklace, or, even more awkwardly, the silver spoon. I suppose I could wear the necklace, even if it had been intended for her best friend. But what would I do if it turned out to be a spoon? Use it in my sugar bowl?
I realised I was shaking my head.
"No, it's really for you," B said. "To thank you for your time. Don't worry - it's only small!"
I was touched. "I'm touched!" I said. (Which is logical, given that I was touched.) "Can I open it?"
So, excitedly, I opened the box.
It was a pen. A beautiful, aqua, Tiffany & Co pen. I love pens. I love pens sooooo much. I loved it.
"I love it!" I cried, and the pen jumped out of my hand and disappeared down the side of the car seat.
Oh yes it did. It was gone.
We tried everything to get it out. I tried, she tried, I tried again... It was hopeless. My beautiful pen, held lovingly in my palm for 3.5 seconds, was gone.
B and I drove mournfully into the city, both of us trying desperately to forget the fact that I had a) ruined the moment of gift-giving, and b) lost the actual gift.
We arrived and she parked the car.
"Perhaps I'll take the car to the mechanic and he can have a go at getting it out?" B asked. Visions of the car being completely dismantled floated before my eyes. No. That was ridiculous. (But as a last resort...)
"I'll try again!" I announced courageously. I grabbed my tweezers from my bag (because I never, ever leave home without tweezers), practically lay horizontal on the road, stretched my tweezer-gripping hand out under the seat...... struggled blindly for a few minutes.... and PRESTO! I extracted the pen with the precision of a surgeon and the dexterity of a really good pole dancer.
It was the most triumphant moment of my life. Well, one of them.
So I have my pen and the relationship has been salvaged. And now I'm off to do some fancy pants doodling.
So so so so SO much better than a lame old spoon.....
*this may not have been the real reasons she sought my advice