Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday + Holiday week = EXTRA fun

Yesterday started like any other Monday with my complete lack of interest in getting out of bed at 6:00 only to start dragging other uninterested parties out of bed. Once I spotted my "to do" list on the kitchen counter though, I felt energized and up for the challenge (or at least that's what I kept telling myself). The Fozzie dog and I were second to arrive at the groomer at 8:30, where unfortunately he, rather than I, was to be treated to his spa delights including a blueberry facial. Knowing his majesty would not be completely adorable for several hours, I took a deep breath and got moving. I stopped off at a friend's house for some tea and toast paired with lively discussion as to the strategies involved for the progress we were both going to make during the day. By 10:00 we both hit the ground running.

I decided to finally return the "big" item I had purchased for my husband for Christmas. I did so because it was something he did not want, and this is not the time or place for me to try to rationalize why I purchased said item to begin with, knowing full well it was on the "no thank you" list. As I was about finished with this first stop on my full travel itinerary, the groomers called, presumably to tell me that the Foz missed me so much that I had to go have a facial with him afterall. Nope, he was done already. I made a series of frightened agitated noises that prompted the woman on the other end of the call to tell me he was fine and to come whenever I could (next week?).

I somewhat guiltily trudged on to Target for my fifth round of returns this season. The return for my husband there was an item he really did want, so much so in fact that he purchased it for himself two weeks ago. I was pretty pleased that I had to unwrap it to return it (let's face it, I was pretty pleased overall). As I came out of the store, after making sure to spend an amount at least equivalent to what I had returned, I realized that my keys were not in any obvious locations. I guess a small part of me was actually relieved to see them hanging from the ignition in the van. Sure, it would have been an even bigger relief if one of the doors had been unlocked, but at least I didn't have to retrace my wandering path through Target to find them.

I did not want to spare any precious time, so when the recording at AAA said there was high call volume, I started hoofing two parking lots over to Kohl's for my next adventure. The woman who eventually answered the phone said she could have the driver just pick me up at Kohl's and take me to my car, but this seemed to make my situation even more pathetic, and I had close to an hour to kill most likely.

My mission at Kohl's was to get a white shirt for my son's orchestra concert that evening. This was my attempt to ward off a third occasion of last minute panic as he was dressing for a concert. One year ago he had to wear a pair of my shoes, eight months ago he had to wear a pair of my pants, and I just didn't think I had a blouse or puffy shirt that was going to work out. There was nothing in his actual size in the young adult/old child department, so I had to enter the land of the folded up mens' dress shirts. I took some size advice from a woman with admittedly no decent knowledge of sizing, but in my frenzy I still saw her as more capable than I was. I called my husband for further consultation and he said there should've been a shorted sleeve length than what they had, but there WASN'T. As the cashier was trying to confirm how many bucks back my pile of receipts had truly earned me, my phone rang with a recording instructing me to proceed to my vehicle. I left hoping that my jogging and speed walking combination would get me to the car in five minutes.

I watched MacGuyver use some things he obviously had laying on the floor of his truck to get me into my van. I was fairly certain that I could've purchased similar items back in Target. I wonder why I didn't just go back in there to look for the shirt as well. I guess the twenty percent off coupon for Kohl's, as well as being so close to the next $10 cash back level, just made me delirious.

I arrived home feeling fairly happy with the progress I had made for the morning. Fozzie showed no interest in hearing my excuses for why he had to wait an extra two hours for me to rescue him from the salon, and I had no interest in his attitude, so we just waited for the kids to get home.

After explaining to my son the urgency involved with me knowing whether the new shirt fit, he tried to try it on. The sleeves were too long, as anticipated, but the neck was not big enough. Great. I grabbed the least wrinkled white dress shirt out of my husband's wardrobe and wrapped it around the man child. I justified the looseness of the garment by telling myself that it could hinder his viola bowing if the sleeves were too tight. I gathered the rest of his clothes for the evening for him to change into after dinner. With fifteen minutes to spare, he started getting dressed, and all of the extra bulk at the bottom of the shirt made his pants difficult to button. Luckily there was a belt available to help that situation.

My string thing complained to anyone who would listen about having to wear a bow tie. No mention was made of the tight pants or baggy shirt, and thank goodness his shoes still fit. (I can't imagine how big they were on him when I bought them almost a year ago.) The concert was wonderful!

Oh, my friend just called from Kohl's to tell me about the two size 18 shirts in the boys department...folded up in hanging packages...um, right where I was looking yesterday and could only find 5, 7 and 8...seriously? Well, I'm off to go there now to return the other shirt anyway!

Friday, December 3, 2010

No other explanation

I was continuing on my quest to decorate our home for the holidays today, when trouble tried to strike. I decided that I had enough festive china to give my hutch a merry makeover. We have a beautiful dining room set that belonged to my great-grandparents. When I was little I would go visit them at their house, and sometimes they would argue over which one of them loved me more (ok, irrelevant, but come on). Anyway, I decided I would just clear out most stuff and replace it with items from the festival of decor that had exploded all over the dining room table. As I reached back on the second shelf to grab a large platter, there was a slight wobble from the shelf. That was odd, but I had a platter to move. The next item I grabbed caused the entire shelf, and all of the crystal on it, to pitch forward far enough to send things sliding.

Crystal was hitting the ground at my feet and my brand new lead crystal anniversary gift vase (that was filled with about thirty small glass ornaments, of course) was headed for the edge. I quickly pushed the shelf back up, and realized the front right peg that was intended to keep that corner in place had gone by the wayside. I immediately realized what that little metal piece I had seen floating around months ago was. Physics alone had been keeping everything steady on that shelf for quite some time. I was trying to hold the shelf up while relocating the crystal that had not leapt to certain doom. Finally, I had an empty shelf that was resting peacefully on the three remaining brackets.

I started standing up crystal glasses on the lower shelf that had been hit, and was surprised that nothing was broken. Next, I crouched over to start picking up the mess I figured I would find on the ground. I picked up one champagne glass, one wine glass, one vase, and a box car from a small crystal train. There was no damage whatsoever. I had anticipated that I would have to rope off the area to spend days finding glass shards, but there was not a single chip to be seen.

After inspecting the hardware under the shelf, I vividly remembered seeing the piece in one drawer, in particular, resting in a bowl. I confidently strode over to that drawer, only to find that I had cleaned out the junk from there quite some time ago, and the bowl in question had new stuff in it. I sorted through eleven more drawers over the next hour with no luck. Finally, I broadened my search to include any piece of hardware that could possibly be used, MacGuyver style, to keep the shelf in place. When I found a decent candidate, I headed for the hutch, after stopping briefly to grab this really cool screwdriver that belonged to my late grandfather (at least I knew which of eleven drawers to find that in).

As I set to work securing the screw in place, my mind flashed to my late grandfather and his parents, and my visit just hours earlier to the cemetery to freshen up their plot. My immediate thought was "Hey! Are the three of them up there laughing over what's going here with their furniture and tools? Some thanks I get for going to visit!" Suddenly a new thought hit me as it became almost painfully obvious that they thanked me by making sure nothing broke by holding some things back from the slide and cushioning those that fell to the ground. This departure from conventional logic is new for me, but is the only explanation that makes sense...or at least is the only one that fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling so perfect for the holiday season. (Maybe whoever saved the vase loves me the most, in a very close race!)