Friday, February 22, 2008

a valentine gone awry...

... or why I really hate Valentine's Day.

I used to think that I hated Valentine's Day for ideological reasons - it's too commercial, why force people to treat their loved ones nicely once a year when they should do it every day, etc, etc - but I finally realized that it's much more personal. Valentine's Day doesn't like me either.

This really started 3 Valentine's Days ago (including this recently past one). I was living in Spain at the time, and Dr. BF, of course, was living in Canada - still PhD-Candidate-BF at that time. I decided to send him a card, since it would be extremely expensive to ship any kind of gift bigger than that. Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until the week before to do anything about it. I bite the bullet and paid extra for priority post, so that it would get to Canada in 5 or 6 days, rather than 3 or 4 weeks. However, 5 or 6 weeks went by and Dr. BF still hadn't mentioned getting anything. I finally asked "Did you get the card I sent you for Valentine's Day?" Nope. Nada. Finally, a few days later, he received the card. When we spoke that day he asked me "What does 'Correos de Columbia' mean?" There was a big sticker across the back of the envelope with 'Correos de Columbia' on it. For those of you not fluent in Spanish, it means "Post Office of Columbia". Somehow, my priority letter to CANADA got sent to COLUMBIA before anyone realized the mistake.

Flash forward one year. I'm living in Baltimore, Dr. BF (still PhD-Candidate-BF but much closer to completion...) in Canada. Feb 13, Baltimore gets some kind of freak snow storm overnight. Not in the Canadian sense of a freak snow storm, but enough snow that Hopkins cancels classes for the day. Dr. BF is informed that the trucks to deliver flowers will not go out for Valentine's Day. I did eventually get flowers, but it was several days later.

And finally, exhibit C. This year. Still in Baltimore, Dr. BF (now really Dr. BF) still in Canada. I decide to make a little knitted heart to send along with a card:

heart in heart

I love this heart. (For anyone interested, the original pattern can be found here... I didn't felt mine due to the materials used.) I made it with 50% alpaca, 50% silk. It's soft and cute and I made it for HIM, damnit. I packaged it all up and stuck it in the mailbox downstairs to be taken away by our post-person. Last week I asked and asked and asked and he still hadn't gotten it. I gave up asking this week, 1, because I didn't want to get annoyingly repetitive and 2, because there were other, more important things that needed discussion recently.

Finally, last night, he called and said "I got your Valentine". YAY! "But I don't get it." "Well, sweetie, I made it from Alpaca/Silk. It's nice and soft..." "No, what I'm looking at are 2 receipts from Circuit City, wrapped around some cardboard and a child's card that says 'Mawmaw, pawpaw, Love, Fatima'". This is when I commenced using the bad words. What the...?! So I got the info from Dr. BF as to whose receipts they were - which included full name, home address and phone number and at least a partial credit card #. He also lives in MD but not in Bmore City. I called Mr. Circuit City Receipts and explained the situation. Apparently this is not the first time that this has happened to Mr. CCR, and he has now missed the deadline to get his rebate from Circuit City. As for the child's card, he is not related to, nor does he know anyone named Fatima.

So, Dr. BF's card and heart are... well, anyone's guess as to where they are. Dr. BF has Mr. CCR's receipts and will bring them when he comes to visit next week and we will mail them back to CCR, in the hopes that he will actually receive them. And this poor kid will never see her Valentine's card arrive for her parents, because there was no envelope or address included for us to pass it on to.

What really bothers me is that a day or two after I sent this, I also sent out all of my tax information. Both to the Federal Government and to my dad in Canada so he could work out my Canadian taxes. Does this mean, now, that I have to worry that the Fed. Gov will not receive my forms?? I tried calling the "Inspector General's Office of the USPS" but they're only open Monday to Friday 11am-3pm. You can bet that I will be calling again today, just as soon as they open.


itgirl said...

You should also file a complaint with your local postmaster/postmistress. You usually have to do this by going to your local post office and asking to speak with the person, but I've generally fond him/her to be professional. They give you a complaint card to fill out and you can request a followup, etc.

Julia said...

i'm sorry that the post office sucks so much! i pretty much have lost all faith in the postal service and no longer mail bills--i do it all online. and if possible, i send all packages with fed ex because fed ex ground is actually cheaper than priority (within the u.s. at least). my DH does our taxes online as well, but there's a website where you can check if it's been received. i'll ask him about it. fingers crossed for you!

SewKnitMama said...

Wow, that's insane! Hope your tax info got safely where it needed to go, at least.

Doug said...

WTF is wrong with the postal service worldwide? I used to have faith in Canada Post, but completely lost it a few years ago when they consistently lost my mail. At my last place, officially designated apartment "upper," sometimes "upper" wouldn't deliver, and sometimes "#2" wouldn't deliver.

Just this week I had mail stolen because the mailperson was too lazy to put it in my mailbox. Left on the register, the mail was ripped open and a cheque stolen. I canceled it.

It's pretty sad when you have to insure a letter just to get a tracking number. A simple letter. It sucks.

That said, hopefully somebody out there is enjoying the Valentine's gift. I hear it can get pretty cold in Colombia.