Loose Ends

Trolling through the archives yesterday, I realized I’ve left a few things unfinished. So today, behold, I will share with you the dramatic conclusions to the following epic sagas:

  1.  Urban Outfitters. GAH.
  2.  Visiting my Grandma
  3.  Waking up early/Ayurveda (bumped to tomorrow as these two ran long)

Let’s begin.

Urban Outfitters. When we left off, I had a FedEx bill for $48.56, no shower curtain, no duvet cover and a Visa bill for things I hadn’t even seen in person ever.

That FedEx bill sat on my fridge for a good three weeks before finally, I decided it was time to deal with it. In the intervening three weeks I had also emailed UO to see when they were going to issue a refund, and they informed me that they hadn’t received the package.

SO. I was out on all fronts. I steeled myself for a few rounds of going toe to toe with nameless, faceless FedEx drones and picked up the phone.

TWO MINUTES guys, this was resolved in two minutes! I called, explained the situation and then finished by saying “…and so I have this bill for $48.56 and I’m just not sure if it’s a mistake? or…?” and the darling woman I was speaking to tappity tap tapped away on her magic keyboard and then chirped, “Oh yes Miss Madeleine, that bill should have never been issued. It is indeed a mistake and I have reconciled it for you.”

What the what? Seriously? I was in shock. Employee of the year folks.

So, this being resolved (I was so happy, it was like someone had just given me $48.56!) I decided to push my luck and ask about the package itself. I explained that UO hadn’t received it and they needed to receive it to issue me a refund. A little more tappity tap tap and the lovely voice informed me that several calls had been placed to UO to confirm return of the parcel, and they hadn’t returned the calls, so the parcel had most likely been destroyed in their central processing facility.


Destroyed? DESTROYED? Guys, I was already feeling guilty enough for the huge waste of resources (packaging, shipping, delivering, staff to answer my 47 emails back and forth) that had occurred because I was too stupid to read the fine print, and now the stuff had been destroyed? UGH.

What a waste. Environmentalist of the year.

I thanked the helpful woman and hung up. What a rollercoaster of emotion! Ups and downs, high and lows, the full gamut of ecstasy and agony all within mere seconds.

I was sure that now the parcel had been destroyed, I would never get my refund, and that $100 some-odd dollars would mean the difference between financial security and abject poverty. Adam and I would end up sitting on a street corner with Gus – ribs showing through his mangy coat, and Adam would angrily shove his finger in my face and scream hoarsely, “You just HAD to have a new shower curtain, hey Maddie? We just NEEDED that flowery duvet cover hmm?!”

We were going to become homeless because I can’t even shop online properly.

So, I decided to just avoid the whole situation some more. Obviously. 

AND IT WORKED OUT! The other day out of the blue I got an email from UO that said my visa had been credited. Everything was done! It was all done! Complete!


Visiting my Grandma. This visit was full of anxiety. I had to take the subway all by myself and spent the whole morning before I left Kris’s condo memorizing subway lines and directions. And in one of my more intelligent moments, I chose this occasion (riding the Big City subway and vising my grandparents) to wear a see through lace shirt. Because, yes. Of course, right?

The subway was fine though, and it was only when I emerged from the subway and started towards my grandparents place that I realized I was still tense. My heart was still thumping its way out of my chest.

I don’t think it was getting there that was making me nervous.

I stalled by nipping into a nearby grocery store and wandering aimlessly through the aisles, wishing my mom was there. She would know what was appropriate to bring, flowers? Food? Both? 

I finally picked up a bouquet in fall colours, a mix of deep ochres and orange, a small bag of cheese curds and fresh croissants. When I got to my grandparents, my grandma was in bed. She recognized me, “Oh! Maddie!”, and I gave her as much of a hug as I could. She felt strange, a soft little chenille person with hard undertones, bones riding just beneath the surface.

I immediately felt like crying, so I started talking a blue streak instead and offered the flowers to my grandaddy who flitted around trying to find a vase.

The visit went too quickly. My grandma was better than I expected. We spoke. She was with it until she wasn’t, she seemed to drift in and out of consciousness. She fell asleep several times during the conversation and my Grandaddy met my eyes and whispered, “She’s like this a lot lately.”

At one point a home care worked named Charity stopped by to bathe her. She needed my granddaddy’s help and I could hear my Grandma squawking in protest and my Grandaddy issuing instructions and Charity’s broken english trying to direct them both. It was too much. It was far too much. I stepped out onto the balcony like a coward and pretended to take pictures of the view.


When it came time to leave I couldn’t stem the flow of tears. I hugged her again and told her I loved her and as I walked out of the front door I kept thinking “I am never going to see you again.”

My Grandaddy walked me back to the subway, sweater knotted around his shoulders, walking jauntily with his cane, greeting everyone he saw by name, from construction workers to mail carriers. He’s 91. Jesus.

He tried to press a crumpled bill into my hand as we hugged, mumbling “Just something to get a little nibble on the plane, I heard they don’t feed you anymore.” I laughed and then I watched him walk away.

It was hard, but I’m glad I went. She’s going to a nursing home and because I don’t know how much she’s aware of,  I worry for him. How do you get used to the silence of an empty house after 60 years? Is that even possible? I’m worried. I miss them. My heart hurts.


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