First Week, WORST Week!

There’s a saying in our community about New Year’s…”what you do on New Year’s Day, you’ll be doing for the rest of the year”.

Father, I hope not.

Buckle up…this is a long one.

The ridiculousness started on New Year’s Eve, at Watch Night Service, and every day after that has gone liberty-bibberty.

New Year’s Day was spent indoors, because my car was down. That day also marked Day 2 of me not getting an online order that had been “delivered”. Even though we have an Amazon Hub outside our apartment complex, many of our packages, for some reason, don’t make it there. Most of the Christmas presents that I’d ordered had to be re-sent, because packages would get delivered and then disappear. Because our management office was closed on New Year’s Day, I had to wait even longer to ask the manager about my missing package. I’d already sent some strongly-worded feedback to Amazon that has gone unanswered to this day.

Three days. No code from the Hub to pick up my package.

This past Thursday, I went to the management office and politely asked if they had my package in the office. Miss Snippy-tude responded by saying, “Sometimes, [the delivery drivers] put packages in the vestibules, or at the back doors.”

“There’s nothing in my vestibule,” I said.

“I mean the vestibules in the other buildings!” she cut me off, which I hate. “You’ll have to check the vestibules AND the back areas!”

For those who don’t already know, I have a bulging disc, and I walk with a cane.

“You want ME to check the vestibules and back areas?” I wanted to make sure that I understood her correctly.

“Yes!” There was other stuff she said after that, but I wasn’t listening to it.

“Okay, thank you.” And I left the office.

The only reason that I checked every vestibule in the complex was that I had to pass all four buildings to get back to the fifth building, where my apartment is. There were packages, but none of them were mine. I even saw an opened Amazon package in the bushes in front of the fourth building. Wasn’t mine, so I kept it moving.

Back in my apartment, I told Jenise what had just happened, that this woman–and I use the term loosely–told me to conduct my own search for my package. Jenise suggested that I post a message to our neighbors on our digital message board. I did. Basically, it read like this:

“If anyone has seen an Amazon package addressed to [my apt. #], please let me know and restore my faith in humanity. I have had three packages stolen in the past two months, and the company is not able to replace these items, which I need for my business. I would greatly appreciate your help.”

Jenise said that I shouldn’t have used the word “stolen”. I should state here that the first time that this happened, I inquired about it more strongly with the management, because the package had been signed for, and Ms. Snippy-tude said that she wasn’t the one who did. What word would you have used?

Anyway, I didn’t think any more about it, and I went to take my car to the shop. Walking to my car, I heard a voice behind me: “Chantal!”

That immediately put me in a “Maya Angelou” state of mind. If I am old enough to be your mother, then you don’t get to call me by my first name. I turned around, and Snippy-tude was out of her office, walking up on me in the parking lot. She then started fussing at me like I’d suddenly become her child: “We’re all searching diligently for your package, even though it’s NOT my job! I’m already hearing about your ‘message’!”

I was more pissed than intimidated, but I’m also not that argue-in-the-street-like-a-fool kind of woman. I’m too grown for that.

“I’m not trying to be malicious. I just want my package.”

That was all I could manage to say without her talking over me and marching back to her office. Yeah. That happened.

Jenise was not happy about that, either. The next day, she and I were sitting in the Property Manager’s office, where Jenise is stylishly defending me and apologizing for me at the same time. Really? I did what Snippy-tude told me to do, and all Hell broke loose because, according to the Property Manager, “the post made Management look bad.” I don’t think that Management’s bruised ego is my problem. They’re not responsible for my “missing” packages, but I’m responsible for their hurt feelings? Mm-hm. I did not apologize (especially since I didn’t get one from Snippy-tude), but I did promise never to make any more complaints, especially in writing. I will leave that to Jenise from now on, and may God have mercy on all of them.

That was Friday morning. Friday afternoon, we rented a car to drive to Lancaster. The plan was to have dinner, stay overnight, and shop on the way back. That was the plan. We got as far as dinner at Cracker Barrel when I took a tumble in the parking lot on the way back to the car. I fell on my left side, but the right side–with the bulging disc–kept me from getting up off the ground without help. Fast-forward to the ambulance ride, and an ER packed with people. Jenise and I were two of the only three Black people in that room.

Mama was a little nervous.

Two-hours and an X-ray later, I got released. Nothing broken, but extremely sore from the waist down. The promise of that hotel bed…would have to wait.

Tires on the rental were low, and Jenise got spooked. I had to walk her through a crash course in filling all four tires on a cold, dark, rainy night. Jenise ordered us two large sundaes (don’t judge!), and we ate them in the hotel room.

Besides a monster leg cramp, I slept like a baby. Thank God for heating pads.

Checked out the next morning. Flat tire! Of course, it was! Jenise called Road Assistance, drove 20 minutes on the highway at 10 miles an hour on a doughnut, swapped out the car at Billy Bob’s Airport, and went on to shop at our favorite store at Tanger Outlets.

Our favorite store, the Kitchen Collection, is now permanently CLOSED at Tanger Outlets! That means that there is no longer a reason for us to go to Tanger Outlets! To make ourselves feel better about that, we treated ourselves to lunch at Shady Maple Smorgasbord.

By the time we FINALLY made it to Shady Maple Market, Jenise and I were so over it that we almost forgot to buy ice for the freezer bags full of meat.

Two-hour drive home in cold rain and heavy traffic.

Hauling in the groceries like pack mules.

Spent the rest of the evening shaking my head in bed until sleep overtook me.

Woke up Sunday morning in absolute agony. This pain is way beyond Tylenol.

And here I am, at 3:40 am, recounting this three-day nightmare and wondering how I got through it all without beating the snot out of somebody or stabbing myself in the neck.

God is good. All the time. And all the time. God is good.

Next week has GOT to be better than this!

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