Friday, November 23, 2007

Control Yourself

I really thought I had gotten over my control freak tendencies a long time ago. After my encounters with the outside world over the last week or so (has it really only been a week since I last posted?), I'm afraid I've just tightened my circle of experience to such a small world (HA)that I'm mostly able to control it, and thus don't realize what a freak I'm being.

The first of those encounters was what should have been a routine furniture delivery. I should have been suspicious after the purchasing process was surprisingly simple, including our decision making process. We decided to make the leap into dining room furniture, in anticipation of two large family functions in a week's time at our house. The hand-me-down table with unsteady leaves and tiny folding chairs just weren't going to cut it for the ten plus people we were planning for sit down meals at N's baptism and Thanksgiving. We found something we liked, and were assured on time delivery was no problem. The saleswoman practically acted like we were being silly for worrying about it being there for the events.

So, we prepared the dining room for the arrival of the furniture a couple of days in advance. I planned my day around the undetermined block of time when the furniture would arrive. Then the calls from the store started. It seems two of our pieces did not make it on the truck. Could we reschedule another day for delivery? Okay, if it was before the weekend. Fine. The chairs were brought into the house, and although they seemed to have grown much larger than they were in the store, no problem. Then the delivery guy asked me to come out to the truck. Seems there was some problem with the table. Sure enough, it was quite damaged. Put it back on the truck. Arrange ANOTHER day for delivery. Now, we are cutting it quite close to the arrival of company -- table scheduled for delivery hours before the first of said sit down dinners. The day before arrival of china cabinet and buffet, another phone call. The cabinet has been damaged, can we arrange for another delivery day? ARE YOU SERIOUS?? Isn't this your company's job, to deliver furniture unharmed?? Up until this point, while inwardly furious, I had been trying quite hard to maintain an air of "go with the flow, this will all work out" despite the number of calls it was taking on my part to get any satisfaction. Finally, after enlisting a store manager, we were able to get delivery of all pieces of furniture in time for the event. Did I mention that there were also stickers applied to the front of every one of the fine wood chairs that did not come off intact? The delivery manager assured me that he would "personally put something on the truck" that would take care of it on the day of our final delivery. The fact that J. was at work for over an hour with GooBGone while I prepared dinner on the eve of N.'s baptism tells you how serious that promise was.

But, eight people ate dinner in my new dining room, three hours after its completed arrival in my home. I made it myself, despite a bout with mastitis that developed that morning. Control freak, who?

The ill fated other encounter with the outside world was the scheduled photo shoot with the children that was supposed to result in not only a set of two month portraits of N., but also a cute Christmas card of both O. and N. that I could just pop into envelopes and send out. This all seemed so easy in my mind. You know, after the trips to two different stores with J. in tow to obtain the requisite holiday outfits -- reindeer sweater for O., red velvet jumper for N . and the haircut for O. that involved me holding him on my lap and getting covered in his shaggy discarded curls. And the wrestling with both children to get them fed, dressed and transported the forty five minutes to my mom's house so she could accompany me to the photo shoot. Easy, I tell you. I can handle all this. What I can't handle was N.'s decision to be fussy for the first time in a week, and fill her diaper at exactly the beginning of the scheduled time, or O's decision that he was NOT getting his picture taken, even if it meant no candy, and no toy browsing in Target afterwards. He was willing to scream to show he meant it. We got five terrible shots of N., one decent one, and zero shots of the two of them together. A hard sell and one hundred dollars later, I was able to leave the studio with what I hope are some pictures of her babyness so she won't feel like a neglected second child.

So, we staged a photo shoot in Grandma's living room later, and you'll be seeing the results in the Christmas card I'll have to crop, choose and order for myself. See, it always works out better when I do it myself. Control freak? Or realist? You be the judge.

Meanwhile, we had a lovely time at all of our family events -- O. played with his cousins like a prince, even without naps, N. endured the water and scented oils of her baptism like an angel and let lots of people hold her without screaming.

But this morning, when it was just the four of us, all four of us in our bed, it felt like a good day to be back in a small world.

1 comment:

MEP said...

It sounds like you remained far calmer than I would have in a similar situation. I can imagine myself sobbing hysterically while talking with the supervisor on the phone. I don't even want to imagine what my husband would have done.

Congratulations on all the successful entertaining!