Occasionally you try to do something nice for someone and it seems like everything goes wrong. That happened to me recently. Most of you who read this blog know Patricia Wood’s new book “Lottery” is coming out next month and everyone is very excited – not only about the book but also for Pat. I found out about her through Miss Snark (I miss her!) and have been reading Pat’s blog for several months now – vicariously enjoying her journey. Through reading her blog I learned of her fondness for dragonflies.
Not long ago, I went to Big Lots and they had dragonfly pillows. Because Pat mentioned dragonflies bring luck, success and good fortune I bought one for myself because I figured I need all the luck, success and good fortune I can get. I posted a picture of the pillow on my blog and Pat commented on it, so I sent her the following e-mail:
I love the dragonfly pillow too. It's really pretty. If you want one I can run over to Big Lots and see if they have any more. They had them in the nice beige like the one I bought and they had them in a medium teal with black dragonflies. They measure 19" square and are very soft and cushy.
Let me know if you want one and if you know anyone else who might want one.
She e-mailed back:
ooh ooh!!! teal & black???? (beige is a runner up!!!) I'd LOVEone!!!! I bet Holly would adore one and I will see her here and onMaui on the 21st of August!!!It would be way WAY cool.Thanks for being so supportive.This is SUCH an incredible ride but can be hairy!
So, I ran off to Big Lots and sent her back this e-mail and picture:
SCORE! They had 8 left - 2 beige and 6 teal, so I bought them all - just in case!
Pat e-mailed back:
OMG!!!!!!How VERY COOL!!!please please please Can I buy two teal from you when I see you in Seattle??????and / Or or or can I pay you to send them to me now?????My REAL address (deleted because it’s none of your business.)
So I emailed back and said I would send them and they were my gift to her and she e-mailed back:
I am SOOOOO excited!!! I will blog about it!!!!!THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU
To which I replied:
No need to do that. I don't want people to think I'm really nice!
To which she replied:
ha ha ha h ahah ahahah
At which point I realized she probably thinks I’m some kind of weirdo and perhaps she shouldn’t be corresponding with me. Anyway, I packed up the pillows and ran to the local post office (on a Sunday mind you) and used the automated box sending machine. It took about 3 tries to make it work. The first time I got half way through and discovered I needed a special form, so the machine kicked me out until I had the special form. Then I got almost all the way through and I pressed a wrong button and it kicked me out again. The third time I finally got the postage to print and put the box in the slot then I ran home and sent Pat the following e-mail:
The package is in the mail. It's in an Amazon.com box and scheduled for delivery by 3:00 pm Tuesday. I waived the signature requirement so you don't have to be there to get it. Love the xxxxxx post office and all the automated stuff.
This all happened on a Sunday. On Tuesday, I went on-line to track the package and it said the package was undeliverable as addressed and was being returned to me. PANIC! I sent Pat an e-mail explaining this ending with:
They say it's going to be returned to me and it's too late to track it on my end. Don't know if you can do anything about it. The return address is (deleted because it’s none of your business.)
Pat e-mailed me back:
OMG!!!!!!A massive brain fart on my end!!!!I cannot believe it.The correct address is (deleted because it’s none of your business.)I gave you half of my mail service address and half of my REAL address.HOW STUPID IS THAT!!!!!!!!!Please chalk it up to what is happening to me -I am NOT ususally this much of a ditz!!!!
Then she sent me another e-mail with another city and zip.
At this point it was too late for me to call my local post office because they were closed. She called hers and they said it had to be done on my end. I called the 800 number for the US post office and they said I had to call the Seattle office, but they closed at 7:30 Pacific time and it was now 7:49. So I sent Pat the following e-mail:
You won't believe it. The 800 number customer service ends at 10:30 Eastern time - 7:30 my time. I just missed them. I'm going to call as soon as I get up in the morning and see if I can get them to change the city and zip without returning it to me. UGH!
What is so weird is that they Have it at the correct city and zip-xxxxx, Hawaii 96xxx It's a small town - I can't think why theydidn't deliver it.Boy now I'll REALLY owe you!!!Just to make surethe address is: (deleted because it’s none of your business.)I think it was finding out I have another live radio interview....
I cant believe I screwed up my own address like three times!!!
Anyway, we sent a few more e-mails back and forth that night. The next morning I got up at 6 am (my usual time) but instead of jumping in the shower I immediately called the post office. Here’s the e-mail I sent to Pat:
This morning at 6 am I called the 800 number only to learn I needed to call the local office here in Seattle. Of course they didn't open until 8, so the minute I arrived at work I called and left a message. They were very nice when they called back and said they would see what they could do, but also gave me the number to the facility at Sea-Tac airport. So, I called them and left a message (I've learned you can't talk to anyone at the post office without first leaving a message). They called back and were also very helpful but couldn't tell if the pillows are on their way back to Seattle or still in Honolulu. So they gave me the number for Honolulu. I called them and left a very detailed message but they haven't called me back yet.
Bottom line: either the pillows will be delivered to you soon, or they will be returned to me. Either way, I promise you'll eventually get them.
It's a good thing I'm a fairly patient person!
At that point things were getting busy at work, so I just put it on the back burner.
Later I received the following e-mail from Pat:
This is too weird!!! The box was delivered YESTERDAY - It was at the harbor office the whole time!!!The local postman probably just said I know it goes to xxxx andsent it out!!!!!!!!!In fact it was there while I was talking to the harbor master but it was at the bottom of the stairs and neither of us looked!!!!!!!I LOVE THEM!!!! Holly will have to PRY one out of my hands physically...
Now I personally think she had the box the whole time but she decided to have it x-rayed before she opened it to make sure some crazed stalker fan wasn’t sending weird stuff through the mail. But I’m afraid my crazed stalker days only existed in the mind of some strange Hawaiian author who’s obviously been inhaling too much happy gas for the last few months just because she’s about to become famous.
I shall attend her signings in Seattle and Everett, but there will be no stalking.
And next time – FED-EX!