Snakes and Pills

008 - kid of reason

The only reason Mary and Jack got married was for the gifts. They had been entirely happy living together for years, but one day they got the idea that, if they got married, their friends would have to buy them stuff.

Mary and Jack weren't starving, nor were they materialistic. Jack was the heir to a carpet and rug company, and Mary got by as a photojournalist for one of the biggest magazines in the nation. Indeed, they lived comfortably, yet they got married for the presents.

Presents, wedding presents especially, can tell a lot about the person giving them, how the giver perceives the givee, and what the relationship between the two parties is. This is why Mary and Jack got married. Sociologists at heart, perhaps, or perhaps they were just two really bored people who wondered what their friends would give them.

To be honest though, Mary and Jack couldn't care less about the gifts that many of their friends would give them. Sure, Henry would probably give them cash, Angie would give some tacky traditional, cheap gift purchased at Walmart. Most of their friends were predictable. For these predictable friends, it was not worthwhile for Mary and Jack to throw this faux-wedding just to find out what they would give.

Instead what inspired them to get hitched was the potential gift of one individual. Mr. Shabbly is what they called him, his first name was Rick, but no one called him Rick. Mr. Shabbly was an enigmatic person. He wasn't distant, he wasn't coarse, nor mean, in fact nearly everyone who knew him had to agree that they liked him.

But Mr. Shabbly was enigmatic. Where his mind would go the next instant was impossible to determine from the outside. In fact, it was over a lunch with Mr. Shabbly that Mary and Jack concocted their scheme to get married for the gifts. What would such a man get them?

They knew that it would be something grand, even though they knew that they could never guess what it was. So they decided to just get married, invite him, and find out once and for all. It may seem like a lot of work just to answer a random question spawned at a bistro around noon, but they didn't think so, it was worth it, and it wasn't that much of a hassle anyways.

Mr. Shabbly's gift lay in a perfectly square box on the gift table. It was none too big, but not too small either. The box was covered in a fabulous reflective silver paper, and the wrap, the trim, it was all flawless. When Mary and Jack finally got to opening gifts, they didn't go for Mr. Shabbly's first, even though it was all they cared about. In fact, they deliberately put it off until last, even though there was nothing to indicate that it could or would act as a grand finale of sorts. Yet it was last.

And when Mary and Jack opened the box, it was perfect. Exactly what they expected, wanted and needed, and yet something they could never have known.


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