Packages with wee little gifts inside have been arriving in our vestibule with frequency lately bearing blankets and books and bears (stuffed) and bathtubs and Boppies. But the arrival last week of one such gift box from Amazon.com confounded us. Inside lay Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle — a baby gift from our friend the Cuban Reporter, according to the packing slip inside. This was certainly a non-traditional route for a baby gift, I thought. (This was actually not my first thought. My first thought was, “If this is his creative way of telling us he got our baby a beagle I’m going to kill him.”) Quickly realizing that he’s known me long enough to know that I would come at him like a spider monkey if he showed up at our house holding a beagle puppy with a bow around its neck, I chalked it up to him acknowledging that we are sort of poncy when it comes to our taste in reading material and figured this was really no stranger than us reading her Norman Mailer.
So I emailed him to let him know his gift had arrived (no, Mother, this will not replace the handwritten thank you card) and the following exchange ensued.
On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 6:34 PM, <Bird> wrote:
Got your present, thanks! Is that one of your favorites? You know I’ve never read it, sad to say. Now I can read it to her…
On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 8:07 PM, <Cuban Reporter> wrote:
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. I didn’t get your kid a book!
On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 9:55 PM, <Bird> wrote:
Okey doke, well that’s sort of a relief then. Because we got a paperback copy of Charles Darwin’s “Voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle” from you today. And I thought that was sort of funny. You might want to call Amazon.
On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 1:06 PM, <Cuban Reporter> wrote:
I can’t stop laughing at the image of you opening the box, seeing a crazy Darwin book and thinking “Uhhhhh………….” Yet somehow, given your amazing capabilities of forced formalities, you managed to thank me in a way that made it sound like you weren’t thinking “What the…” the whole time. Very impressive. Very very impressive.
As it turns out, he had ordered the book for himself at the same time he’d ordered our present and somehow wires crossed and the book came to us as well. Last night we opened a large, newly arrived Amazon box and found inside the entire set of homemade baby food freezer storage containers we’d registered for, courtesy of the Reporter. So all’s well that ends well. Although after tasting my homemade pureed peas, the baby will likely prefer to be curling up in her crib with a copy of Darwin’s book. Or an actual beagle.