Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Yes, they come in five-pound bags

When we were planning our wedding, The Husband and I discussed whether or not we would have favors. As a rule, I am generally opposed to favors. This is because I am a big crank with a cold dead heart.

We were leaning towards having no favors at all when I said, “The best favor I ever got was two Lindt chocolate truffles because you didn’t have to take it home. You got to eat it!” And then, lightning struck. “I know!” I shouted. “We should give out M&Ms, but we should give The Doktah all orange ones!”

What followed was an elaborate set up wherein we had to figure out how we could ensure that The Doktah would get the box of all-orange M&Ms. We decided to buy some white ring boxes from a jeweler and use them as place cards. We would write people’s names and table numbers on the lids and fill the boxes with M&Ms. The next step, then, was to figure out how many pounds of M&Ms we had to buy. We didn’t want to overbuy and be stuck with tons of extra candy. Delicious, delicious candy that I would be unable to stop myself from eating.

In what, to me, is a perfectly logical way to go about this, The Husband and I bought a normal, candy-counter sized bag of M&Ms. We noted the net weight of the candy, and then counted how many M&Ms there were in the bag. From this, we determined the weight of one M&M. Next, we filled one of the ring boxes with a reasonable amount of M&Ms and counted how many it took. One simple conversion later, and we were able to determine the weight of M&Ms we needed in order to fill all the ring boxes1.

We did these calculations at my parents’ kitchen table, and they and my sister thought it was the funniest thing they ever saw. “I can’t believe you are doing it that way!” they said, laughing at us. “Well, that’s what happens when you let engineers do things,” they mocked.

“Well, how would you do it?” I asked them.

They told me, but here’s the thing. I can’t remember what they said. Because, to me, the way we did it was perfectly reasonable, and I really can’t think of any other way to do it. When I tell this story to my other engineering friends, they are all on my side. The Doktah, for example, said, “But how else would you figure out how many M&Ms you need?”

So, Internet, how would you have figured it out?

1We figured out that we’d need somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds of M&Ms, so The Husband bought three 5-pound bags. Naturally, he left these in New Jersey when he came home for the wedding, and we had to buy three more 5-pound bags. That meant we were stuck with fifteen pounds of M&Ms when we got back from our honeymoon. I sent one bag into The Husband’s work and single-handedly ate my way through a second bag in an embarrassingly short amount of time. (It’s just that each small handful of M&Ms is so small! And doesn’t even make a dent in the five pounds! It looks like I haven’t eaten any!) We threw the third bag away, and I am no longer allowed to have M&Ms in the house.

1 comment:

Maggie said...

I'm with your family on this one, but I don't have a better solution. I would have just bought the candy, filled the boxes (cute idea, by the way!) and planned on eating the rest, which, I might add, is what you did ANYWAY. My mom insisted on traditional Italian favors at our wedding which meant everyone left them there. My mom was so disappointed until we took them to our Chinese reception 2 weeks later and the Chinese ladies snapped them up in seconds. Whew!