Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Flash Dance

Gwynn's Island Bridge

Once upon a time, Chesapeake Bay Woman actually had a functioning brain, a brain that could retain things like the Portuguese word for breakfast or the major accomplishments of the Maya, the Inca and the Aztec.  She could write college level essays on the rise and fall of civilizations in several different languages.

Then one day--seemingly overnight--she became a stressed out person of middle age assuming she lives to be NINETY TWO! who stood helplessly as she waved bye bye to any hope of ever acting like a normal human being with a normal functioning brain. (Whatever "normal" is. Do you know?  I've never seen it before.  Wouldn't recognize it. Does not compute.)

The following incident proves this point once and for all.

Technically, my deadline for submitting the photos and text for the book on Mathews was yesterday.  However, based on my work schedule, and the fact that I live in such a rural area, I had to have the flash drive containing everything in the mail by the end of last week.

So, I toiled frantically and furiously to finish the thing up so that Friday I could send it all off from a Fed Ex store in Williamsburg near my work.

(Near = 10 miles one way, by the way. So that's 20 miles extra on top of the 100+ miles I would have driven to and from work.  But this isn't about my long commute. It's about my age which I just now determined is more than "middle" age unless I live to be 92 long lost brain.)

When the guy said, "That'll be $30," I grimaced but quickly handed over my debit card. $30 for peace of mind that it was going to get there on time was painful but acceptable. Monday morning-- a day early-- it would arrive, he promised.


So I drove back to work, finished up the work day, drove the hour home and stumbled in the door Friday evening, frazzled but relieved. Rummaging around my pocketbook for my cell phone, however, I felt something that should not have been there.

My heart skipped a beat.

It was the flash drive.

The. Flash. Drive.

Yes, Chesapeake Bay Woman spent $30 to send off a nice handwritten note and some other paperwork (which could have been faxed for FREE) all sealed up in an envelope that contained no flash drive. The entire  book was right there in her trembling hand.

Then the reality of it set in. There is no Fed Ex--or UPS or any other form of shipping--store open in Mathews on Saturdays.

(If there is, please don't tell me about it now; it's too late.  If one does exist, they need to list themselves in the Yellow Pages. If they are listed in the Yellow Pages, please don't tell me that either.  I was too stressed out to think clearly.  Or at all, evidently.)

Also, I was not at all sure that the U.S. Pony Express Postal Service could handle getting it there by Tuesday. But all this post office business would have to wait until Saturday morning, because the post office was now closed for the day!

Off I trotted first thing Saturday morning to the Hudgins post office, where the very nice lady looked at me like I had six eyeballs when asked if it would be expensive to ship this one little envelope to South Carolina by Tuesday at the latest, Monday preferably.

She gave me one of those looks.

I pretended not to notice and asked, "Do you think it'll be more than $30?"

Her pursed lips and raised eyebrow told me in no uncertain terms that it would.  She gingerly placed it on the scale, however, and we both were shocked to learn it was "only" $19.00!

"When *cough* will it arrive, roughly, do you think, just a guesstimate?" I asked, not really wanting to know the answer because it had to be bad news.


She said it with as much--perhaps more--conviction as that fancy Fed Ex guy in Williamsburg.


And, much to my surprise and relief, it actually did arrive Monday. 

So, let's tally up the cost of this painful ordeal, shall we?

$30.00 - to send paperwork which could have been faxed for free without the flash drive containing all the contents of the book,  the whole point of sending the package.


$19.00 to send the flash drive with all the contents of the book and have it arrive on the same day that $30 package did (which tells me I should have used the postal service all along and skipped Fed Ex).


one hour away from work and twenty extra miles of driving to send a package that did not contain the flash drive


one close call with a major cardiac event after finding the flash drive in my pocketbook when the flash drive was supposed to be en route to South Carolina 


Chesapeake Bay Woman has lost the use of her last functioning brain cell. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, and forget about ever speaking or writing in Spanish or Portuguese or even English again.

Case closed.

The End.


Kay L. Davies said...

Anthropology? You studied anthropology? And archaeology perhaps? I've forgotten everything I ever learned, and don't want to talk about it even if I could talk about it, which I can't. When we were in Chichen Itza last year, the only Mayan word I could remember was "cenote", a deep hole into which they sacrificed virgins.
Canada has a postal strike, and we are applying for visas to visit Russia this summer. So my husband has to take our passports and forms to FedEx or some such, which he hasn't done. He insisted we get everything ready by Sunday. Tomorrow will be Wednesday, and my passport is here on my desk, my form is on the kitchen counter, and the visa photos are still in their Costco envelope, not affixed to anything.
I'm so glad your flash drive reached the publisher. Now you can relax. Please.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Anonymous said...

CBW--(I admire your little Spanish translation at the bottom of the page) __I can so strongly relate to everything you wrote in this blog. I look at papers I'd written in college and marvel at how the hell I'd ever written them.
As for the flash drive, it is the fact that it was such an extremely important item that you FILED IT in your purse.... I find many things that I'd thought had been put in a special location were instead "filed" in my purse. (My purse goes with me everywhere, so the medula oblongata or some such portion of my brain takes over and I stash the crucial item in the purse during a frenzied moment.
Anyway, cut some slack there--you drive 100 miles a day, raise your family, work full time AND write this blog, all enough by themselves. Throw a book with photos and deadline into the mix...well, we love you, and your friends and family will have the best replies for this.
PS (Blog Cabin photos are really coming along )

Anonymous said...

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Kay - Latin AMerican Studies, an interdisciplinary major. Did take some anthro, and at least one archaeology, but mostly it was sociology, language, history, etc. Loved every minute of it. Forgot everything I ever learned.

LLC-Thank you! I went over to the Blog Cabin site last night and was surprised to see they're giving away a trip to Mathews (aka "Susan" which makes me laugh)to one lucky winner. If they're interested in an unofficial tour provided by a frizzy haired girl wearing a crab hat, let me know..

mer-Hilarious! That's about how my Spanish is these days, probably worse.

Daryl said...

Oh dont be so hard on yourself ... at least you realized before it was too late ... I could tell you stories ..

even micksc (WV) ...

Jamie said...

You say Maya, Aztec and Inca and I think Lake Titicaca. I love saying Lake Titicaca. What other word is there where you can say "titty" and "caca" in one word? It also makes me think of aliens. Now you all think I'm crazy and that's okay because, well, I am.

I use the postal service for all my shipping. I often "adopt" service men and women overseas and I use the PO exclusively. Mostly because FedEx and UPS don't go to Iraq or Afghanistan. And because I'm lazy and don't want to drive the 20 min to the UPS store.

Does anyone else refer to U-P-S as "Ups"?

Unknown said...

So sorry for all the frustrations and bloops along the way. But now you can see daylight, and you've accomplished so much. Your prize is being the author of a great book! Love it.

Maria_NJ said...

Please do not take this the wrong way...I cried...

I know you did not mean to make me cry but I just felt your pain and frustration...

When I got to the part where you said that you found it in you purse I just said out loud, NO, NO!!

but knowing that it is there, safe, PRICELESS...

you poor thing, have a big glass of vino...

Maria_NJ said...

Lake Titicaca, I like saying that too...that's funny Jamie...where is the Lake located...

Jamie said...

Maria- Lake Titicaca is located on the border between Bolivia and Peru.

Country Girl said...

The good ole post office saves the day! This was an exciting and heart-wrenching read, though. I could really feel your pain and frustration. You must have been anxiety-ridden the entire night. Ay yi yi, as my sister would say.

Country Girl said...

ps - forgot to tell you that i thought your post title was brilliant.

Mental P Mama said...

We can work on those nerves come next Friday night. Wine One One. :)

Anonymous said...

CBW--I am sure that both Maria_NJ and I would be happy to recommend you to DIY, as the PERFECT resident expert guide for the Mathews Co. area ! We have no pull with the network, but another blogger fan of yours has mastered planning flash mobs at the network headquarters--or the threat of one-- to get DIY to do her bidding.
Someday you will be able to "quit your day job", I just know it.