Friday, December 11, 2009
Husband and I recently went to a fundraising dinner at the town’s civic center. The dinner is an annual tradition in town, popular with all the locals, and I was intrigued enough to insist that we attend this year. I looked up the details online, and I read that there would be a collection of canned goods for the needy for the holidays. So I grabbed a can of green beans and a container of French’s onions from the pantry before we left. (I guess I inadvertently chose a “green-bean casserole” theme to my giving.) As we were approaching the building, I noticed that everyone else was arriving empty-handed. I saw a few people looking in my direction, probably wondering, “Who brings their own food to a catered dinner?” I knew all the awkwardness would end when I found the collection drop box inside. (But then again, I wouldn’t be writing this story, if it was just that easy.) There was no collection box to be found. I searched around the lobby, feeling more self-conscious about my armload, which had turned me quickly from “charitable giver” to “crazy lady.” Finally, I looked at Husband with desperation and said, “Where should I put these?” He then pointed to any empty table near the wall. “Just leave them here,” he said. I dropped them as fast as I could, like they were contaminated waste. I wondered during the dinner whether I misread the article, or if they forgot to bring the collection box. Later, on our way out of the dinner, we spotted my lone canned goods on the empty table. Husband just smiled and said, “that is just so you.” I wasn’t sure if he meant the trying to give part or the awkwardness. Probably the awkwardness.