Thursday, January 2, 2014

In which the green glass pear drama just doesn't quit

I told you about the birthday present that Doris sent me - a green glass pear.

First, full disclosure: Primo is partly responsible. He was at Sly and Doris' when Doris was looking at presents and he just got tired of saying "no" to everything. Doris found the pear and pointed out that Primo and I have a pear tree in our back yard and wouldn't a green glass pear be cute and he surrendered and said yes.

I have advised him that he should never ever again agree to any present that is purely decorative. I went so far as to say if Doris likes it, I probably will not, partly because I don't want to like anything she would like but mostly because we truly do not share the same taste.

Not to say that I am Miss Fancy to whom everyone turns for taste advice - I have been known to go out in public in gym clothes without bathing when I am not going to the gym -  but nobody who looks at any part of my house (except Primo's office, which is its own thing) would ever think, "I can tell this is someone who would love trinkets, curios, and tchotchkes."

Anyhow. I took the pear to the post office, told my tale of woe to the postal clerk, who told me to be nice to my mother in law but when I explained that she and my husband's dad had threatened to boycott the wedding two weeks before the wedding, he became more sympathetic. He was wearing a cross around his neck - when I noticed that, I explained further that one of the reasons she and Sly had not wanted me to marry Primo was because I was one of those stupid people who believe in God.

A word on atheists - I have several atheist friends. Belief or lack of belief has never been an issue in our friendship. I do not tell my atheist friends that I am worried for their eternal souls and they do not tell me that I am stupid for believing in God. I don't know if they think that - if they do, they are polite enough not to say it out loud.

And I am polite enough not to say that I don't want them to burn in hell (which of course I do not want to happen - I wouldn't even want that for Sly and Doris), mostly because that would be tacky but also because I do not know what happens when we die and I have enough to worry about with my own soul, much less the souls of others. However, let it be said that if there is a God and an afterlife, I do hope that my friends and I are all together in the Good Place and nobody goes to hell unless they are really, really bad and I am talking about Hitler level bad. (If Sly and Doris are there, perhaps they could stay on one side of heaven and I could be on the other.)

But I don't know. It's not something we talk about. Except I do sometimes talk about it with Jessica, my high school biology lab partner who is an atheist UU minister, just because I am so fascinated that an atheist would choose a career path in religion.

So for Sly and Doris to be that contemptuous of believers is a bit off putting. As soon as I explained that part to the postal worker, he was completely on my side.

Where was I?

Oh. I returned the glass pear. I had to call the store to find out if they had gotten it because they didn't mail me anything to inform me.

Yay. They had gotten it, unshattered - a shame, actually, as I would have gotten a payment from the PO - and now I had a credit at the shop.

Primo and I looked at the website, desperate to find a way to use the credit. Did we want a $59 towel? No we did not. We did not want anything else on the site - wait. Back up. Is that a pillow? A pillow made in the USA? On sale for $59?

Primo needed a new pillow.

We are not ones to spend $59 on a pillow, but we needed a way to launder this cash and turn it into something useful.

And it was made in the USA. Always nice to support our friends and neighbors.

I ordered the pillow.

It arrived.

We opened it.

The tag said, "Made in Sri Lanka."

Sri Lanka <> USA.

To complicate matters, Primo didn't like it.

Back to the store, along with the repeated plea not to notify the purchaser of the original order, ie, Doris.

Again, no mail or email notification that the store had gotten the return. Instead, I got a phone call.

A phone call.

Who notifies customers of a return by phone?

I had to explain to the customer service agent that no, I could not write down the return number because I was in the chair at the dentist* and it was not exactly convenient.

Now I have another credit at a store I do not like. I have suggested to Primo that he choose a Christmas present for Doris from the store, as she seems to like this sort of thing.

* Where the dental assistant had told me she was going to "higher" my chair. Which she did.