Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Christmas Cards Should Not Be An Odyssey

You know what else shouldn't be an odyssey? Spelling that damnable word. I swear on all that is holy that I will never learn it. My first attempt today, for example, was so far off that spell check couldn't fix it. But that is off point. Where were we? Right, the Christmas cards.

My normal tendency towards organization has been put on steroids this year by two things. One: Morrigan wanted a bunch of anime and manga gear that I was sure I would have to mail order from Japan or China, meaning I needed to get rolling early. Two: while things are getting better (see the recent hikes,) I'm not off the injured/reserve list yet and have lots of time on my hands. Thus when our friends at Portrait Innovations sent me an early bird coupon, it was go time.

Then it all went downhill....

Nov. 2nd: I made an appointment, the easy part. Then I realized the kids would need some sort of gear. E was covered. We have some hand-me-down green cords with Rudolph heads embroidered on them. Perfect. On to the girls. But speaking of odysseys, I remembered last year, and was loath to go through that process again. Seeing as we never got around to getting pictures done last year, why couldn't we could just use those dresses! Practical and economical. Genius I tell you.

Other than the fact that they had grown. Rats.

But, in the surprise of the century, we quickly found a dress, of which both girls approved, at Gap Kids.

We placed an online order directly. They were on sale (yeah!) but in order to ensure their timely delivery, I did have to cough up $7 for shipping (the horror.) Seriously, I NEVER pay for shipping. But we needed them before the 10th so I violated my own unwritten rule.

Nov. 7th: The dresses arrive and Morrigan's is far too short. I used the size guides online which assured me that a xl would fit a child up to 60 inches tall. Which was, by the letter of the law, true. What they didn't add was that her ass would also be hanging out. 

After a somewhat harassing phone call to our friends at the Gap, a new dress, size xxl, was on its way via two day delivery. We missed the cutoff for that day but no worries, it would leave Friday and arrive Saturday, a full day early.

Nov. 8th: Except it won't. When the shipping confirmation arrived, I was given a delivery date of Monday, one day too late. Gap apparently does not pay for Saturday delivery, that puppy was coming Monday. A fact that no number of calls to either FedEx or the Gap could remedy. 


Nov. 9th: I reschedule my appointment in defeat for the following Sunday. 

Nov. 11th: The larger dress is delivered and all asses are now covered.

Nov. 17th: Who knew the mall started being completely insane two weeks before Thanksgiving? My purpose in going early was to avoid all these mutton heads. Instead, it was me, the kids, and the mutton heads parking 20 rows away from our destination. 

Not that our on time arrival was very important. The place was crawling with people and appeared to be at least a half hour behind. But we made the best of it, mocking other patrons in the spirit of the holidays. (It couldn't be helped.)

When at last it was our turn, things went fairly smoothly. The kids all behaved and smiled. When they were done, I shipped them off to the bookstore while I selected the picture that would be in The Card.

Nov. 17th, only later: I picked up the cards. When I took a closer look at home, I saw this:

What is up with the carpet??!?

[If you don't see it or think it doesn't matter, you are wrong.] My harried calls to the manager were met with offers like, "Why don't you come in for a re-shoot? Maybe tomorrow at 7:40am?" This woman clearly never had to get three kids ready for such an endeavor. Not to mention we had school. Much crankiness on my part got assurances that she would look at it and get back with me.

I was all prepared to return the whole order in a huff but luckily, we were saved through the miracle of Photoshop, which enabled additional cheap carpet to be added seamlessly. 

Nov. 18th: We acquired the new, Photoshopped cards. Which I promptly addressed yesterday. Now I just need to find something else to do.

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