a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Odds and ends

Life is full of paperwork and red tape. You must apply and be accepted to go to college. Don't forget to apply for scholarships, federal aid, housing and all the rest. Fall in love? You'll need to get a marriage certificate and sometimes pre-marital counselling is offered. Heck, before we got Chokydar we were submitted to a puli-background check of sorts to make certain we would be suitable puli owners, so it strikes me as slightly odd now and then that you can enter into one of the most life altering and meaningful commitments--creating a human life--with no applications, screenings, or even so much as a questionnaire.

Sometimes I find myself thinking there should have been a manual issued before conception, warning of all the prerequisites necessary for parenthood. In this imaginary manual I imagine there would be a section mentioning that previous experience as a body builder is beneficial for mothers. From the actual carrying of the child 9+ months in the womb to, well, EVERY DAY SINCE, there has been a pretty tremendous burden placed on my body that I frankly wasn't quite prepared for. I consider myself a fairly active person, but as this child grows, I'm suddenly finding myself doing a lot of (what seems to my back) heavy lifting. Today I made a trip to the commissary to get a larger than usual load of groceries, lugged a large box of Christmas presents to be mailed to Justin and checked the mail to find two BIG boxes (more on this in a bit), all with babe in tow. Thank goodness I ran into a good friend at the mail room who helped me carry the boxes to the car. When I got home, it took me four trips back and forth (up and down icy steps no less) to get everything inside (not counting Evie). I was literally suffering from muscle fatigue as I collapsed in my chair and cursed the fact that my husband isn't and won't be here for MONTHS to give me a much needed back rub.


As I mentioned before, I took a box of gifts to be mailed downrange to Justin for Christmas. The mail can take forever to get there and so I was trying my best to get it off early. I hope a month is enough in advance...Anyway, you have to fill out a customs form for everything you send, and for this particular box my customs form listed 4 books and 4 DVDs. So the mail clerk is looking everything over and stops when reviewing the customs form.

Clerk: "What kind of DVDs?"

Me: "Ummm....the kind you watch?" Seriously, what kind of question is that?

Clerk: "No no, like what kind?"

Me: Racking my brain..."Well, there's a John Wayne movie..."

Clerk: "Ok, we'll say action."

Me: "Ah! Okay, genre."

Clerk: "We have to make sure it's not porn."

Me: "............."

This is when I stop and am confronted with several thoughts:

1. Do I, young wife and mother of infant, look like the kind of person who mails porn to my deployed husband?

2. If I were that kind of person, how likely would I be to admit that said porn was in the box.

3. If I were that person, and furthermore admitted to mailing porn, would they then make me take the porn out of the box right then and there??

I regain the ability to speak.

Me: ".....Yeah, unless it's some kind of freaky John Wayne porn, I think we're safe."

Clerk: "I didn't really need to hear that."


For my last anecdote of the evening, back to the previously mentioned two BIG boxes I picked up at the mail room today. Looking them over it was clear they were from Pottery Barn. I had ordered two of the same item, modular linen tiles as seen below.

Lugging the boxes inside I couldn't help but be confused. One box was about the size I would expect to house a "modular linen tile." The other box was significantly bigger and definitely heavier. I opened the smaller box first and found, yes, one "modular linen tile" and the packing slip stating that the other "modular linen tile" was shipped separately. Eying the other box I couldn't help but worry that I'd starting ordering things online during my sleep. I opened the second box and found another "modular linen tile." And another. And ANOTHER. And ANOTHER. AND ANOTHER. I kid you not. I ordered two. They sent SIX.

I checked back over the packing statement. Definitely two. I checked my credit card statement. I paid for two. Super. Maybe the funniest part to me was reading a line from the little customer service blurb on the packing statement:

"...We carefully inspect your order prior to shipment..."

Somebody dropped the ball on this one.

I just got off the phone with the customer service people at Pottery Barn. When I initially explained the situation the woman said, "Ah ok. Sorry for the mix up. I'll dispatch a pick up to retrieve the extra items."

"Ummm...that might be a bit of a challenge...I live in Germany."

"....Hold please."

About a minute later she came back on the line and said that given the circumstances of living abroad and that it was their fault, I would not be charged for the extra "modular linen tiles" and could keep them.

Merry early Christmas to me!!!


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