Yesterday the court reporter that we chose to do the depositions in my ITC case sent my team a box of chocolate-covered strawberries as a thank-you gift. The lead partner on the case sent around an email at 1 pm saying that the strawberries were in the kitchen. Not wanting to seem like a piggy child, I forced myself to sit in my chair for a full 15 minutes before running to the kitchen to get mine. I was the first to arrive and open the box.
These were no ordinary chocolate-covered strawberries. They were giant strawberries covered in milk chocolate, drizzled in white chocolate, and sprinkled with nuts or dark chocolate chips. There were six in the box. There are 5 people on my ITC team: a secretary, a paralegal, a partner that does stuff, a partner that does nothing, and me. Now, I am not a mathematician, but I was able to conclude that everyone gets one strawberry, and there would be one left over.
So I took two.
They were amazing and I loved every bite, but then I sat at my desk for the next three hours feeling really bad about taking two strawberries. I had just as much right to a second as anyone else, right? And I got there first. Was this wrong? What would be the proper etiquette? I really wanted two.
The secretary stopped by my office for some unrelated thing (by which I mean a work matter unrelated to strawberries) and asked whether I got a strawberry and how they were. I said I did and lovely. She then responded that she wasn’t going to take a strawberry because they were not gluten free. Normally I would launch into a tirade about how she is a total idiot for being “gluten free,” because there is nothing wrong with gluten unless you have celiac disease which she does not. But I did not launch into this tirade because her inability to identify bullshit on the internet meant that there was another strawberry out there.
I forced myself to sit at my desk until 4:30 pm before going to claim the secretary’s strawberry. When I went to open the box, only two were gone. My two from 1 pm. How is this possible? Am I seriously the only one who considers the chocolate strawberries to be the most significant event of the day? As I was eating my third strawberry, the partner that does stuff walked into the kitchen and saw me. And my deer in the headlights face.
“Oh good, people are eating the strawberries!” he says, “I don’t eat fruit because I’m low carb dieting.” WHAT? Normally I would launch into a tirade about the sheer stupidity of any diet that forbids fruit, and how people don’t understand that is not the way ketosis even works. But I did not launch into this tirade because his fundamental lack of understanding of molecular biology meant that there was yet another strawberry for me. So I snuck it back to my desk and ate it in secret shameful glorious gluttony.
Then comes 6 pm. Even a 5 person ITC team doesn’t work past 6 pm at my firm. The staff is gone, the partners are gone, and 4 strawberries are gone. Are you kidding me? NO ONE BUT ME ate the chocolate strawberries? Now everyone is gone. These are leftovers. So I ate them. I ate all 6 jumbo chocolate covered chocolate chip nut strawberries that were a gift for my whole team.
So I feel like a big fat jerk. But should I? Regardless, to assuage my guilt, I will have chocolate covered strawberries at poker, and I will let other people eat them. I won’t eat any. Unless there is no quorum. In which case I will eat them all and feel really bad about it but that won’t stop me.
So RSVP if you want to come to [——–] and play poker at around 8pm. I need RSVP’s so I know how many strawberries to make.