Title: Three Expensive Eggs
Date: 1/5/2002
Posted: 1/5/2002


We don't often enough take the time to consider the cost of things.  And by cost I'm not referring so much to dollars and cents as much as the things that are lost or exchanged as a consequence of our actions.

On my way home from work the other day I stopped by the store to pick up some things to make Kelly dinner.  It had been awhile since I contributed to the cooking effort on the home front.  This is due in large part because of my schedule at work and school.  Most evenings find me walking through the door already full from a quick pick-up dinner or too tired to stand in the kitchen to make a meal.  5:00 am comes calling very early it always seems so the last thing I want to do is stand around the kitchen the few moments I have on a weeknight to be home.  But this night I got off work early and didn't have a class.  So I was going to cook dinner.

Kelly is a school teacher...well that is not putting it in clear enough terms.  Kelly is a Special Education Teacher who works with emotional distributed and autistic children.  For anyone unfamiliar with this line of work it requires degrees of talent, patience, stamina, and caring that me and my fellow corporate toilers can manage to get through the day without.  I could not do what she does, no question.  This is a contributing factor to the topic because I sometime lose sight of how hard she works.

On this particular day I walked in the door about 5:30, bagged groceries in hand.  Kelly was already home and as I unpacked the groceries I told her I was going to make her dinner which she acknowledged as being a thoughtful and welcomed thing.  Problem is she gets hungry early.  She is usually done with lunch by 11:20am on an average school day so by 5:30 she is already getting hungry.  But 5:30 was too early for me to start making dinner.  I wasn't raised in one of those eat dinner at 6 o'clock sharp kind of families so I have always shot for a mealtime of 7:30.   

After almost an hour of patient waiting for me to start dinner Kelly began her campaign of "make dinner now me hungry" activity which consists largely of hanging around my desk while I am at the computer and saying things like "Are you gonna start dinner soon" and "Honey, I am so hungry, are you almost finished".  To this I usually reply with a stock in a minute which translates into "I will do it sometime between now and the next time the Sox win the Series."  This results in her pouting off to the kitchen muttering about making oatmeal or some other inappropriate meal that would be made for the sole purpose of making me feel guilty.  That is usually when I give in.  But not this time.

I don't know if it was left over stress from work where I have to deal with a assortment of random personalities each convinced that the future of the IT marketplace depends on the efforts of IBM and, more specifically, them, or if it was something else.  But that day I just got mad and stormed into the kitchen.

I don't recall the exact dialogue but I remember saying some hurtful things to Kelly.  If translated into nice terms it would probably have been something to the effect of  "If I go ahead and begin making dinner will that be sufficient enough effort to get you to cease your speaking?"  But it was not that nice at all.  In the process of this I got even angrier and before I was done there was a broken bowl in the bottom of the sink with three eggs sliding through the cracked ceramic and down the drain, wasted.

Almost immediately I was struck by what an ass I had been.  All she wanted was dinner.  All she wanted was another meal- one that I had surprised her by saying I was cooking- before she hit 8 hours since her last meal.  And in response to this logical request I got angry and broke a bowl in the sink and wasted some eggs that are worth 8 cents a piece.

People take out their frustrations and aggravations on the ones they love all the time.  It's not right but it happens.  As I think back to Kelly just wanting some French Toast I am ashamed I didn't just make the fucking toast.  She's really great and I am damn lucky to have a woman like her in my life.  

I have since assessed that the cost of those eggs were high.  In fact they were the most expensive eggs I had ever bought and that includes the ones from the Fairmont Hotel off 5th avenue in New York.  These were way more expensive because they cost more than $15.95.  The cost was that look on Kelly's face when she saw that it was more important for me to break bowls and eggs then it was to have a nice meal with her.  She forgave me an hour later but I am never going to have that moment back.  I will never be able to use that opportunity to make her see why she loves me rather than question why.  I have had and will have other opportunities, but that one is lost.