It started with the stamps.
Last Friday, like a good and dedicated employee, I went into work. There were some appointments I had set up for the early part of the day. On the way home I popped into a Dominick’s grocery store to pick up a few items needed for the weekend. I remembered that all my holiday cards had arrived after Christmas and I was to send them out that weekend.
The bozo working the cashier station had a frenetic energy about him and clearly was new to the job. He had to bug an associate with various questions while I was waiting in line. At my turn I asked to add some stamp books to the order. Of course he didn’t know how to ring it up, how many stamps were in a book, or that he was supposed to actually put the stamps in my bag. I made it home before I realized he had forgotten to give me the stamp booklets.
No matter – I would pick them up on Monday when I went back to work. Yesterday I learned that all the Dominicks had closed permanently on Sunday. The day after I bought my stamps. The day before I was going to show up and get my paid-for stamps. Apparently Dominick’s stores were underperforming and the parent company, Safeway, pulled the plug. I had spent a tidy sum on invisible stamps. I’m going to try to call the credit card company and see if I can get a partial refund on my order. That will be a fun call, explaining that 77% of the charges were legitimate.
For over three hours yesterday I addressed and stuffed dozens of holiday cards. Earlier this month I tweeted out that once again I would be giving away cards to readers and I received a shitload of requests. Apparently there are a lot of lonely people reading this blog. Kidding.
I spend a lot of time designing the card each year, and I had come up with two gags stuffed into each envelope. Well, for just under a hundred of you, your cards are somewhere floating around in the Chicago dump.
I was at work when a sharp pain hit my stomach. It was 9:34am.
The message was clear – I had thrown the cards away in the dumpster of my condo complex.
Leaving for work this morning I grabbed two garbage bags to take with me downstairs. In addition, I had all of the holiday cards stuffed in one of the old-school brown-paper grocery bags. I also had a dog strapped to my back in a backpack. Somehow by the time I made it downstairs (four flights) I had forgotten that the bag in my left hand was for keepsies and the garbage bags in my right hand was for throw-awaysies. All went into the bin.
Now, don’t feel too bad for yourselves. Feel bad for me. Here’s why.
Not only did I have all the holiday cards in that grocery bag, but also my fourth quarter company taxes with forms (including an annual report and checks for the government). I have absolutely no idea what forms were included or the amounts paid. Next are all the thank-yous for gifts received, including one to my girlfriend’s parents. Last are three winning scratch-off tickets worth $34. I don’t play the lottery, but for a goof I bought some for Beth and I as stocking stuffers. I’m pretty sure there was at least one other important item in the bag, but damned if I remember.
Bottom line – nobody’s getting a card from me this year. I apologize. I even had put the extra cards in the bag just in case somebody came to mind that I had forgotten. My mom and dad, sister, and grandmother are not getting their card either. It’s all in the trash. The best I can do is show you what you would have received.
The first is the card itself.
But that’s not all – not by a damned sight! I also included a holiday letter, outlining the family’s accomplishments, moods, and disappointments of the year.
Not my family, of course. Some letter I found online.
I had printed one for each person, folded and stuffed it into each envelope along with the card. I was most excited about this joke. Even though my friends and family would instantly understand the gag, I assumed that many readers would be confused since they might not be aware I wasn’t raised a Lambson.
I’m not sure what else to say – I’m as disappointed as you. I’ll know you’ll eventually heal and this memory will only slightly affect you ability to enjoy future holidays, but I’ll still feel a little responsible.
Oh, and apparently asparagus is good for hangovers, in case you’re wondering what to do on January first. Just steam up a batch between dry heaves.