Wednesday, August 20, 2008

drama! suspense! floral arrangements!

when i get around to finally penning (or, more precisely, pounding out) my best-selling autobiography, i don't anticipate it turning out as one of those "mystery/suspense" tomes. i mean, my life certainly isn't boring (though my friday and saturday nights usually are), but i don't generally have or want that sort of excitement.

that said, when i wrote my springsteen post, i left out the entire sideplot. i did so on purpose, out of respect for matthew mcconaughey, who i thought might have finally responded to my repeated calls and felt the need to confirm his affection. (this, of course, would have to be despite the fact that he just had a kid with that model girlfriend chick he's been seeing.)

i'm getting ahead of myself. let me back up for a moment......

so saturday, there we were. SO and i were in the car, headed for the concert in charleston. we were running later than expected. (i considered introducing myself to his friends with an apology for our tardiness. something along the lines of:

"hi. i'm duff. sorry we're late, but you've met my boyfriend, and i'm sure it was about half an hour after you thought you were going to meet him."

thankfully, it didn't come to that- but i digress.......)

i grabbed the cell phone to call a friend at the radio station to ask him to check on something for me, and when i opened it up to dial, i noticed i'd missed a call. this, of course, is not unheard of, since my phone's set to "vibrate", and even when it's on my person, i don't always notice that it's going off. (is that a valid argument for wanting to buy tighter jeans?)

the number on the caller id was nothing i recognized, so i listened to the voicemail and would up rather perplexed by what i heard:

"this is elgin flowers and gifts. we just made a delivery here. it's about 4:01. since you weren't home, we left it at apartment 536."

uh. uhm. what?

a return call was required on two counts:

1. as you may recall (at least, i think i posted about it), a couple of months ago, i had an avon shipment disappear completely off of my doorstep. actually, i take that back. the perpitrators left my two small, heavy boxes of brochures. the other stuff, however, was gone. i still haven't worked out who took it, and since i live on the third floor, my prime suspects are actually my neighbors. i mean, who would make the effort to climb up and down two flights of stairs? anyway, as a result, i don't trust my neighbors as far as i can throw them, and the chick next door is kind of big.

2. flowers? are you kidding? i've never gotten flowers. in fact, it was the unwritten 30th item on my "to do before 30" list. obviously, there's been a mistake.

so, i returned the call....and left a voicemail that in retrospect, may have been a little crankier than usual. i believe i pointed out that standard procedure for deliveries is generally to leave the items in the office, and quite frankly i didn't trust my neighbors, so i was unsure as to whether i'd ever actually receive the delivery. i apologized when the deliveryperson rang my cell at work sunday morning and explained my concerns. i was told if i had any problems, i could call on monday.

alrighty then.

that matter taken care of, i began making calls. keep in mind that the intended call which led to my picking up the phone in the first place, wound up being call #6 or so. suddenly, i had a more pressing matter on my hands: trying to figure out who on earth was behind this, especially since "receive flowers" could only be crossed off of my list under a strict set of conditions.

five calls later, i'd eliminated five suspects. (well, seven, if you count mama saying that my sister, a notorious flower-bestower, was too broke to buy anyone flowers, and SO didn't require a phone call, as he was in the car with me.) the call i finally made to the radio station took care of my eighth suspect, and i was officially stumped.

here's what i'd figured out:

1. the sender knew my address. (with a holiday card list over 100 people, this wasn't much help.)

2. the sender knew my cell phone number. (this narrows things down considerably, as only maybe 20 people have my cell phone number.)

3. the sender most likely sent flowers because they knew i'd never been given flowers. (most people assume that, by the tender age of 30, a chick's been given flowers at some point. if we eliminate a pair of gas station carnations left on my car by a listener in my early days of radio in columbia, which i feel should count about as much as the calories in an unsweetened packet of kool aid, then i had yet to be flowered.)

this left me with an extremely short list of about three. (matthew mcconaughey was the most plausible of the three, which tells you something about the list.)

i actually lost sleep after the concert over this.

well, actually, most of the sleep i lost was because i was still wound up from the concert, and i was waiting for the tinnitus to quiet down a little, but while laying in bed, i pondered the likelihood that this was all a weird mistake and the flowers were really intended for someone else.

the mystery was solved early sunday afternoon, after i returned home from work for my inter-shift nap. i threw everything i'd taken to work onto the couch, brushed my teeth (nothing like teastains to make a great first impression), and knocked on the door of my old apartment.

just as i was turning around to head back to my apartment, i heard locks unlocking (he uses that chain lock, in addition to the knob lock, which is twice as much locking as i ever did, though that could've been because i'm lazy.), and was greeted by an indian fellow (complete with full traditional attire) who informed me that he'd knocked on my door several times the day before.

i looked around the open door, and partially in awe of how clean his apartment was (and you know, i just now realized that i forgot to look and see if he'd replaced the ceiling fan i took with me when i moved), and partially in awe of the fact that here in front of me was a vase of flowers....for me.

it was another half hour before i came out of shock enough to realize, whilst trying to nap, that perhaps my probable exclamation of "holy shit!" may have offended him.*

anyway, for posterity's sake, here's my bouquet. please disregard the cart full of culinary stuff in the background. unlike the neighbor who babysat my bouquet, my apartment is decorated in a style that's a little more "modern chaos" than it is "peaceful calm":

i thought about copying the message, but i think it's still pretty legible in this photo. the backstory, in case you missed my alaskan post, is that i met the guy who sent these to me on the train between anchorage and denali national park. when we parted ways, i headed south to anchorage, and he headed north to fairbanks. i gave him all of my contact info, along with the request that he send me a postcard from fairbanks. apparently, he remembered that i'd rattled "receive flowers" off when listing the unfinished items on my list, and decided to go that route instead.

needless to say, i was more than a little surprised.

mcconaughey's off the hook for now, but i still have space left on my list to add "receive flowers from a celebrity"........

*i say "probable" because there's a slim chance i may have said "holy crap" or "holy cow", but knowing myself the way i do, i'm thinking i went with the big one. at least i avoided the most serious of exclamations (which would involve the f-bomb), so maybe i wasn't in complete and total shock.


Larry said...

And to think, "Holy Cow!", for an Indian fellow, would have been perfect. Missed your chance for some unintended, international relations.

Ren said...


duff said...

larry: i thought about it, but "holy cow" is not nearly as likely to come out of my mouth as "holy" followed by things likely to come out of said cow.

ren: ain't it, though?