Strawberry Shortcut

It was our daughter’s birthday and she needed to bring something in for her class to celebrate.  We decided on organic strawberries because guess what? We are THOSE parents and these kids need some reprieve from the steady “it’s someone’s birthday” diet of Munchkins and cheese sticks. It’s her effin’ birthday and we’re riding the organic fruit train today, OK kids? Deal with it.

I could tell my wife was stressed the night before, getting everything ready for the big day, so I offered to wash the strawberries. (I had heard somewhere that strawberries are like the dirtiest fruit around because of all the nooks and crannies, but until there’s a documentary about it, I need to go about my life as if nothing’s changed.) And I did—a nice, clean, good ol’ fashioned strawberry washin’. I was so caught up in my good husband-ing that I asked if I should cut the strawberries, too. My wife said not to, but I interpreted this as sympathy, like, “Awww, you don’t have to go that far—the washing alone proves what a good father and person you are.” But it was our daughter’s birthday and I wanted to go the extra mile. So I decided to cut the strawberries, obvs.

My wife walked by as I was cutting the strawberries and was like, “You’re not going to listen to me, huh?” and nodded her head in disappointment. This was a definite change in tone, at least based on my own perception of events. I was not dismayed, however, and continued to cut the strawberries. Once finished, I asked my wife where I should put the strawberries, and she said, “Back in the containers they came in,” only she said it in a way that made it seem like a trap. Like, “BACK in the containers they CAME IN” (hard eye roll). Knowing the containers had little holes in them, I thought maybe since the strawberries were now cut, they would go bad if I placed them back in those containers since they'd be exposed to the refrigerator’s elements. And then my wife’s disappointment in my efforts would be validated. No way Jose. Not to mention I couldn’t let Sprouts take all the credit for my hard work. These berries didn’t come pre-cut, you little ungrateful birthday leeches. DAD DID IT. So, I found a nice container and placed the strawberries in there for safekeeping.

The next day, school called my wife. She panicked, thinking that our oldest, who that morning was NOT supportive of the fact it was her sister’s birthday and not hers, had flipped out and was maybe strapped to a chair in the front office. Instead, they informed her that, while they appreciated the gesture of the birthday strawberries, they were unable to distribute them to the children because—this was put as diplomatically as possible—they couldn’t be certain whose hands cut them and whether or not they were exposed to peanuts/gluten/cocaine/et al. However, so the birthday would not be ruined, school staff ran out to the store and purchased organic strawberries to hand out. My wife breathed a hard sigh and informed them that her husband was responsible for the strawberries, and this seemed to suffice as an explanation. After this, my wife immediately called me. It went well!

So, in conclusion, not only were we the parents who brought organic strawberries to a birthday party, they weren’t even fit for consumption. The good news is we got to bring them home and consume them there. These are delicious and cut exquisitely! I thought in my head because I didn’t want to risk saying it out loud.