January 4, 2010

First You Cry, Then You Laugh, Then You Cry Some More

... At least that's what you do when you're a Dillingham. Near this day, in the evening 5 years ago MaryBeth, Katharine and I left a funeral home and drove to a crowded Coldstone Creamery. (Emma, I'm sorry you missed out on this one. Boo for untimely births! You were with us in spirit :).

If I remember correctly we ordered the largest sundae on the menu containing the most chocolate, along with three spoons. Although we were surrounded by a throng of lighthearted high school and college-aged students we felt alone while we ate, remembered Lily, cried, laughed, cried some more, and then laughed some more.

Randy and I cried last night as we read Mary’s latest blog entry, and then re-read Lily’s eulogy. If you feel like having a good cry, I invite you take a look at both. And then if you feel like it, in true Dillingham fashion, dry your eyes while trying to find some humor in this:

The other day I placed an order on www.justflowers.com (aka the place from which I will never, ever order flowers again) to have them deliver a bouquet to MaryBeth and Rick to let them know we were thinking of them. After I placed the order I got nervous and called their customer service to make sure the date for delivery was clear. “It has to be there on Sunday,” I told the lady on the other end. She told me that Sunday was not possible, as florist shops in Podunk Sierra Vista, AZ are not open on Sunday. However she guaranteed the flowers would be delivered on Saturday. Whatever—it’s a day early , but now I can say I kept the Sabbath Day Holy.

Well, I learned today—Monday—that the flowers were never delivered. Meanwhile, the card I used had been charged. Grrrr. I called the place and very politely told the woman on the other end that I had been charged for a bouquet of “Guaranteed to Arrive on Saturday” flowers that were never delivered. I was placed on hold. After listening to Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe” twice—sandwiched between two and a half of Norah Jones’ “Don’t Know Why,” the woman came back and apologized that the florist had misplaced the order and would like to make it up to me by delivering the flowers first thing Tuesday morning with a complimentary box of chocolates.

I was dumbfounded. Here’s how the conversation went from there:

Me: You guys screwed up a flower delivery for the 5 year anniversary of my sister’s two-year-old daughter’s death, and you want to make it right with a box of chocolates? No. I want a refund.

Lady: We can also include a letter of apology with the delivery and give you a $5 credit on your account to use towards your next order with us.

Me: You’re serious? Okay, I don’t mean to be rude, but frankly, I will NEVER order flowers from you guys again. I want a refund.

Lady: I’m sorry to hear that. I can offer you a $5 cash refund and have the flowers and chocolate delivered tomorrow.

(Have you ever seen the movie Tommy Boy? Remember when Chris Farley and David Spade need to get on a plane back to Sandusky or wherever and that spacey flight attendant is oblivious to the fact that her lame attempts to help are completely ridiculous? “Hi. I’m earth. Have we met?” Oh my gosh! )

Me: If you refund me half the cost, I’ll go for it.

Lady: The most I can give you back is $10.

(Here’s where my cheapskatiness and unhealthy relationship with food starts to steer me to the dark side. I seriously had to think about this.)

Me: So you’ll credit my card $10 and guarantee the flowers and box of chocolates be delivered first thing in the morning with a letter of apology?

Lady: Yes.

(Short pause)

Lady: Ma’am?

Me: I’m thinking.

Lady: Take your time.

(I was seriously torn—stick to my principles, make the lady refund the full amount and mail Mary and Rick a gift card to Best Buy; or sell out-- take the $10 (cereal’s on sale at Safeway this week) and get free chocolate (who doesn’t appreciate free chocolate?)

Me: (a few seconds later) Okay. I’ll do it.

Okay, I gotta go. Safeway closes at 10.

Harpers, sorry it's late, but I hope you enjoy your flowers and chocolate. We love you Rick, MaryBeth, Aren, Lily and Tanya!


MaryBeth said...

Oh my holy moly, I cannot stop laughing...and crying...about this. I've read and reread this post a gajillion times and it gets funnier every time!

Oh, and chocolate was definitely the way to go...but I'm not sharing it with the family. It's mine. And yours if you can fly out here before I finish it.

Juli said...

You don't know me. I just happened upon your blog.
But had a similiar situation happen to me.
I sent flowers to a friend who's grandpa had just passed away. I believe maybe from 1-800 flowers or something b/c I did it online. And also filled out the card online.
When my friend called me later to thank me she said you're pretty funny. I'm thinking, what is she talking about??
I'm known to be kind of sarcastic so she thought I was joking with her when I had enclosed a card with the flowers that said "happy birthday." I laughed when she told me this but was mortified too. And needless to say didn't get a refund either.
Just had to share.


The Schoonies said...

You are so good a mixing humor with sadness! I loved reading your story and I am glad that you were able to get it all worked out with the flowers and chocolate and money!!!