Thursday, October 27, 2011

hot chocolate

This afternoon I did something so crazy embarrassing at the office that I have been laughing pretty much straight for the last eight hours at my own expense.

Last week was my coworker's birthday. We'll call him "George." The two editors that own the business and manage us invited me to join the three of them for lunch. I had to work at my other place of employment that day, so sent my regrets, but assured George I would bring in some kind of desserty celebratory snack next time I was in. I asked about preferences and he said, "Anything involving chocolate would be great."

Cut to: This morning at the market where I was hastily picking up breakfast. While in line to pay, I remembered, "Oh RIGHT. George's birthday. I should bring chocolate." The check-out aisle at this tiny market is conveniently walled off by two towering shelves of chocolate that one can handily grab while in line. As there were people cued up behind me, I didn't really have time to browse. So I just scanned darkness percentages, quickly plucked one 75% dark chocolate bar, and then saw the word GINGER, in a display like this:

...and thought, "YUM. Fine." Made my purchases. Dashed to the office. Upon arrival, George was not at his desk so I plunked the two bars down in front of his keyboard and got straight to work.

The day was really hectic. George and the two partners were in a meeting for three hours. I was on an image-captioning tear. Mid-afternoon George rolls up, says, "Chocolate break?", and hands me a bar. I thanked him, pried off a chunk, and got back to business. Five minutes later I walked up and half-jokingly said, "Gimme more." He said, "Yeah, it's good, right? I also really look forward to the other bar you purchased."

"Oh me, too! I really like ging..."At which point he held up the other bar to my face, which, like a scene out of a Hitchcock film, suddenly came into all-too-sharp focus. My eyes were like saucers, and I think I went temporarily deaf from panic as I saw that below the word "Ginger" and the image of ginger that initially drew my impulse-buy paws in, was the word "SEXY" in capital letters. Plain. As. Day.

OMFG. I accidentally bought my co-worker sexy chocolate.

O.   M.   G.

Even worse? He thought it was INTENTIONAL. That it was A JOKE. That I was "being funny." So for the four hours prior, we had been in the same office, me thinking, "I gave George chocolate for his birthday. I'm nice. When is he gonna open it so I can eat some?" While George sat there saying nothing but, "Thanks for the chocolate" while thinking, "That Julia, what a card. Giving me sex chocolate right here in our open-office-plan office. Where all five occupants can see and hear every single thing."

"I thought you were being funny" felt generous. "I thought you were being mentally unwell" would have been the more fitting reaction.

To say I laughed is an understatement. I was doubled over with tears streaming down my face, in a full body sweat, breathless. Pretty much for the remaining three hours of work.

Dear Readers: Not only did the label say "SEXY" on the front, but, as George kindly went on to inform me, on the back there was a seductive paragraph essentially describing how in-the-mood this chocolate will make the consumer. I probably imagined half of what he said in my state of shock. I was beet red, convulsing, and finally made it back to my desk after choking out forty thousand "OMG obviously, I had NO IDEA what I bought" explanations though laugh-sobs. I sat at my computer hyperventilating, trying to talk down the crazy plane. I recovered just long enough to google "s-e-x-y  g-i-n-g-e-r  c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e." Research revealed that it also contained the good times ingredient Guarana. A new wave of horror hilarity washed over me. I basically gave George a bar of chocolatey Spanish Fly for his belated birthday gift.  NOOOOOoooooooo...

*wake up to laugh again*
*faint again*

"Sorry I missed your birthday lunch, George. (wink wink) Here's something totally slutty for a co-worker with whom I usually discuss sports and music."

(Cue:"Santa Baby")
(The only song I can think of to fit this fake scene.)

Somehow I made it through the rest of the day, accomplishing a little work, doubling over for a moment, then regaining composure once more. It was like my siblings and I trying not to laugh during VERY SERIOUS CHURCH all over again. At one point I actually covered my mouth and dashed to the bathroom to privately laugh-cry.

Here's the thing, while I am obviously still dying of embarrassment, I am also one thousand percent amused. I live for this kind of humiliating hi-jinx / frazzled accident. Once upon a time during a rushed lunch break in the park, my friend dug through her backpack for anything spoon-like so she could eat her container of hummus. She found a coffee scoop and thought, "Perfect." After devouring out every last bit of hummus from the tub, she took a closer look at the fine print on the scoop handle only to realize that it actually said "MIRACLE-GRO." NOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo.

(Check for pulse)
(Laugh for ten years)

But my gaffe was not: "Oh ha ha, silly me, I was by myself and used a poison plant food scoop instead of a spoon for lunch."

Mine was: "Oh ha ha, today I accidentally sexually harassed my work buddy."

That said, while I am mortified beyond belief, I am also totally delighted with this new nomination for "One of the Dumbest, Most Embarrassing Things I Have Ever Done."

George took it all in stride. I clearly have no game. Or manners. And I need reading glasses. And to relocate.

He sent me a follow up email informing me: "Apparently pink peppercorn is also "SEXY""

I just noticed the caption on the site says: "Dark chocolate to spice up those special moments."

Dying all over again.

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