They. Were. Exhausted!
So much so that I rushed them out of my house to get back to their house (yet another hour of driving) for some much-needed rest before work the next morning.
In the rush to get them out, I took the gift bag AC proffered and set it on the stove, her explanation of, "I didn't know what to get so I brought them all" barely registering with me (other than my lame, "oh, such a neat bag" exclamation, because I truly do think the bag is kind of cool, being from halfway 'round the planet and all).
AC sort of blinked at me, then we got on with the rush of packing Lonnie up and trekking everything out to the car and taking leave. Then I went back inside and after awhile opened up the bag and took stock of these treasures. And was frankly appalled at my behavior! Among the items in that bag were:
This double set of handmade ebony sandalwood chopsticks from Taiwan. Gorgeous!
And these engraved wooden cup & bowl sets from China. Beautiful!
So I'm looking at this bonanza of loot from Asia and I realize ... I took all the gifts AC had brought back!
All! The! Gifts!
For everyone! OMGoodness, how rude! How embarrassing!!
And AC was so exhausted when I did it that she was at a complete loss as to how to tell me they weren't all for my greedy guts, so she just left them with me. I was horrified at my behavior and the (unintended) insult. Just like me, trying to help out and coming off like a horse's ass.
So I e-mailed AC right away (told myself I didn't want to interrupt their homecoming and tiny bit of R&R before work, but really just because I was too embarrassed to talk to her right then):
I really wish I'd had the presence of mind to look in the gift bag before I let you leave, as there is no way on Earth you could possibly have meant all those beautiful items for me. I was just supposed to pick one, wasn't I? I am so embarrassed! My apologies.
Why didn't you say something ... you were exhausted from the billion-hour flight, weren't you? Anyway, I'm bringing the bag into work in the morning so you can have all the gifts for everyone else back. Also you can tell me the story behind them all, because they're gorgeous!
So what happens at work? AC sits in my office and laughs at me. Giggles, even. There were a couple guffaws, and a chortle or two. Apparently my e-mail was found amusing: the entire bag, it turns out, was for me. A bag of swag. A bag of international swag. All for me. Wow.
That is so cool.
I am still too flipping greedy, though.