For obvious reasons I did a lot of my Christmas shopping on line to avoid crowds, and to purchase the unusual things that can only be found there — because my children like unusual things.

I started off by ordering one of those solve a mystery packages for Trisha, which came straight away. Then Jodie’s husband informed me that Jodie would have liked that gift. Well I couldn’t order two of the same so I had to snoop around a bit and found another company that had a Christmas murder mystery which was perfect for her except that it was a subscription — a subscription that could be canceled anytime so I ordered it. A week later I received an email from “Suzie,” who welcomed me to the mystery club and hoped I’d enjoy it. I wrote back that it wasn’t for me, it was a gift for my daughter and that I would be canceling right after, but that my daughter might like it enough to start subscribing.

Suzie sent back a quick email saying that the mysteries are by subscription only and she has canceled my order. I swear a moose could have walked through my gaping mouth. I’m such an idiot. It took a few more days to find one that did solo gifts, but the clock was ticking.

For my son I had to reach way down into my trust pocket. Two-Blind-Brothers was doing a promotion where you bought a certain priced package, sight unseen, and trusted them to send something nice. The profits went to aiding the blind, because they are legally blind and started a fabric company together – because they can feel fabrics.

I hesitated at first because there was nowhere on the form to say if you were male or female and I didn’t want them sending a frilly blouse and fluffy slippers. Eventually it occurred to me to order it in my son’s name and send it directly to his house, but now it was nearly December.

My mother-in-law had been eye-balling some things in a catalog so I snuck home and ordered her gift. Then I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

Four days before Christmas there was sweat on my brow as I contacted four different companies as to the whereabouts of my gifts. Two-Blind-Brothers promised me that Jeremy’s gift would be there by a nail-biting Christmas Eve, and that’s exactly when it showed up. The gift cards I sent them showed up the day after Christmas.

My mother-in-law’s gift had an arrival date of Jan. 1 so rather than show up empty handed, I baked her a pie. The gift came early — three days after Christmas.

Jodie’s solve a mystery package is still out there, traveling the country. It’s a mystery in itself as to when it will arrive. But the company understood and sent a mini mystery via email, and Jodie downloaded that.

I never let any of it get to me though. I understood that between Christmas and Covid the mail delivery had to be a nightmare for all involved. However, it hasn’t just been gifts that are behind. My TV Guide came so late it was useless, and my charge card came four days before it was due.

The Hubby’s charge card came with a late fee added because our check didn’t get delivered to them in time even though I mailed it early. This is when my hackles went up. I called. I jumped through many hoops just trying to get a representative while the computerized talking ‘person’ was hell bent on trying to solve my problem for me — as if its job depended on it.

I finally got somebody and I knew I was going to lose it as soon as he said ‘And who am I talking to?” I’ve been down this road too many times where my name isn’t on the account and I almost lowered my voice and said “Arthur” but lying is so difficult for me. I’d rather blast them with the truth.

I tried everything. I said I was his wife, and secretary, that he pays me to deal with this stuff, that if you look at the check you’ll see that I’m the one who signed it, that I wasn’t asking for personal information, I just wanted to remove the late fee.

That jackass wasn’t budging. I even dialed the Hubby’s phone while we were arguing so the two men could talk it out but the Hubby didn’t have his phone on him! Knowing that my husband would have to do this all over again, and how much he hates doing it, and how mad he’ll be because I’m incompetent just made me all the madder. I nearly threw the phone into the fireplace.

So how was your Christmas?

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