Lately, things have been going missing around The Hellhole. A couple of months ago, our housekeeper, The Sainted Miss Betty, came to Alan to ask where her dustpan was. Alan was mystified. We keep all the cleaning products in one of those caddies on a shelf, the dustpan rests beside it and the broom and mops stand just to the left - there's never anywhere else we put that sort of thing. When I got home from work that night, he asked me about the whereabouts of the dustpan. I gave him a look. Well, more of A Look
, because of everyone in this household, including the four-legged residents, I'd be about the last one to know where this so-called "dustpan" might be located. [Not that I never clean, but if there is crud or grit on the floor, I get it up with a Clorox wipe, not the broom and dustpan. Which my way disinfects so it's two for the price of one.]
The other missing items are two cookie sheets. I needed one for some cookie-baking but couldn't locate it. A vigorous search turned up nothing. We had some renovations done in the kitchen recently and moved some stuff around, but still, based on size, shape and other cabinet contents there are very few places these cookie sheets could be. We have ransacked the kitchen and can't find them anywhere. They were not even in some weird place in another room, like if we'd stowed them there while rearranging - just gone.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I think someone cased the joint, bypassed the security system and ignored all the jewelry, computers and electronics in order to purloin a 20-year-old blue plastic dustpan (see! I do SO know what it looked like!) and two old, well-seasoned cookie sheets, but those things are simply now absent. Moreover, they didn't turn up during a great purge of two rooms and the hauling of copious amounts of stuff to Goodwill. It's just plain weird.
But there is balance, there is yin and yang, and as the universe taketh away, the universe giveth.
Thanks to some spectacularly bad planning on my part, several shipments of Christmas gifts, including a rather expensive one for Alan, were set to arrive while we were out of town visiting his family. There have been news stories and media coverage about a plethora of package thefts from porches lately, so I foresaw a whole lot of headache in my future, but there was nothing to be done about it from 120 miles away. Much to my surprise, however, when we returned home we found our front porch full of intact boxes and parcels! We hauled everything in and began to open packages and take inventory.
All was well until Alan opened a rather large box, got a strange look on his face and said, "Honey? Why did you order all this Sons of Anarchy
swag?" - which he quite logically found curious because we've never watched that show and don't know anyone who is a fan. [Hey, it's probably great, we just don't watch it.] I had not, in fact, ordered a large box of Sons of Anarchy
swag. I took the box, examined it and found, curiouser and curiouser, that it had my name, address and phone number, all perfectly correct. I phoned the company.
At first the customer service guy tried to convince me to call FedEx, have them pick up the package and redeliver it to the intended recipient, but I eventually got him to understand that FedEx had done exactly what had been asked of them - the package was directed 100% correctly to me, I just hadn't ordered it. Nor had someone ordered it as a gift for us because as I wrote, we don't watch that show. Customer Service Guy was a bit at a loss and put me on hold a few times while he talked to others to try to figure out how to resolve matters. Eventually he told me to hang onto the package, he'd get with a supervisor and get back to me by phone or email.
No one ever got back to me and after at least ten days had passed, the aforementioned Goodwill purge was taking place. There was a discussion about what to do with the box of Sons of Anarchy stuff, abandoned in my care. We unpacked the box and found that a significant portion was taken up by this large, incredibly soft, fluffy throw. While looking at it, I noticed little Commander Vimes lying on the couch so I draped it over him, tucked him in and told him that it was his blankie.
He is so happy to have a blankie of his own! I never knew it mattered to him as there are blankies all over every puppy-available surface in this house (couches, love seats, bed, doggy baskets) but he is very pleased and proud. He pulls that one out of whatever pile, kneads it, scrunches it and tromps it around until he has it just right. He knows it belongs to him and is well pleased.