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Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011 - "The Longest Goodbye"

For the past few days, Toronto has held on tightly to us, like a needy girlfriend after the breakup.

Dave has been working furiously at the studio to finish up last minute projects, while also juggling the house closing paperwork.

Turns out closing a house 1000 miles away isn’t as easy as it is when you move to the next town.  I’m used to sitting at a large table in a lawyer’s office while papers are placed in front of me with several  “sign here” stickers on them. When you aren’t in the presence of the parties involved you have to prove that you were in the presence of someone authorized to say that you were, and to verify that you are who you claim to be, by placing a shiny star-like seal on the document.  This requires 2 forms of id, the types accepted noted on a separate sheet of paper included in the large stack of waivers, agreements and certifications.  Sounds easy, right?

Well, how to begin?  First, I had to go to my own separate legal counsel to have my identity verified, etc.  I left with stacks of paperwork, stamped and sealed and a bill for $200.  Then Dave went to a notary to sign on the dotted line and his papers were also sealed to the tune of another $200.  I went home to organize the papers, and called the attorney’s assistant in NS to confirm that we had executed everything properly and found out that we had missed one form.  This doesn’t sound like a big deal, does it? 

It turned out to be a really big deal -  because, you see, the same notary who signed his papers had to be the one to sign the paper we neglected to sign.  Since the notary we used worked at a “chain-type” notary establishment, she wasn’t available the next day, hence we he had to print out his papers all over again, and ALL the papers had to be witnessed by the second notary who delivered yet another $200.00 bill.  (When Dave tells this story, he embellishes it a bit, claiming that we needed to find a one-armed notary, born on a Wednesday in July - twice.  I happen to think the story is pretty eyebrow-raising as is, but whatever.)

Then I placed the papers (after making sure that all the documents were in place at least 73 times) in an envelope and sprinted over to the UPS store for Express Delivery before going home to pack boxes for the next three days. 

During packing weekend, two real estate agents decided to bring people through to see our condo, which was still on the market.  I have no idea why one would want to show a condo, a beautiful condo, once expertly staged by yours truly, at a time when it was in such a horrific state, but they did, which disrupted my already daunting task of boxing up every one of our possessions. I cannot express on paper the magnitude of this task.   Suffice to say  - We. have. stuff. 

Now, onto the appliance dilemma.  About a month or more ago, Dave and I visited an establishment here in Toronto called “The Brick” which is a chain furniture/appliance store. We spent a good deal of time choosing a washer/dryer, refrigerator and stove.  We asked if they could be delivered in Nova Scotia on the date we needed delivery.  We were told that they could.  We handed the clerk our credit card. 

Flash forward to four days before our move.  Dave called The Brick in Nova Scotia, who informed us that our credit card had not been charged yet, so they couldn’t process the order and also?  They don’t deliver to our part of the world on Fridays.  They deliver there only on Tuesdays, which means we would be without appliances in our new home for four days.

After trying to work it out with the Toronto store unsuccessfully, (which included the charging of the credit card) we cancelled the order and told them to cancel the credit card payment.  On Saturday, as I boxed the contents of our closet, Dave pulled up the Sears website to choose our appliances once again.  We called the store and were told that if the appliances were in stock we could have them delivered on the Friday.  The sales agent suggested that we use the online site, and put our choices in the “shopping cart,” and then call back to make sure they were available before placing the order.  So we did.

When we called back we spoke to another agent who informed us that they did not deliver to our area at all, and after much coaxing she changed her story to include the words “home delivery.”  “Home delivery” was not available at our area, however, there was a drop-off center down the street from us.  Ok. Good enough.  Now onto the ordering.  We went through at least 6 refrigerator, 8 stove, and 5 washer/dryer choices before we found any that were available.  I realized then that I might end up being the proud owner of a house full of Acme products.  But at that point, I just didn't care.

And to top it all off, this exercise stole approximately 1.5 hours of our moving time. Prime daytime before the mid-afternoon exhaustion moving time.

Dave then put the order through on line. Within minutes his credit card company called to question the charge, one of two large charges in a few days time, and had denied the charge until they could investigate. Turns out our friends at The Brick had been quick to charge our credit card but not to take the charge off, so we authorized the credit card to do so. Then we called Sears to ask them to put the charge through again which required our call to be transferred to another individual who apparently felt our story was so engaging he had to to hear it again. 

Then we confirmed that our order was really, truly, absolutely ordered and that it was REALLY TRULY going to be there on the Friday. We made this man swear to God and hope to die and also?  We made him pinky swear.  He did and we exhaled, but not all the way.

But how to get the appliances from the drop off center to our kitchen, we wondered because we are city folks and are used to expensive magic such as 7-day 24 hour delivery.   Dave called the drop off center to find out.  And a real person answered the phone.  I heard an angel sing. Dave had a long friendly conversation with the woman at the drop off location and when he asked her how one goes about getting the deliveries from there to our home, she supplied us immediately with the contact information for several people who would be happy to deliver it to us. 

We held our breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. 
I threw salt over my shoulder.
Dave made the sign of the cross the wrong way like he always does.

And not a shoe dropped.  Not even a slipper. Not a flip-flop.

Anyway, it was a very long day indeed, and so we decided to order our very favorite pizza, one of the few things about this city we agreed we would miss.  We called to have it delivered to our door along with a salad.  We order the same pizza all the time and our orders are kept on file at the pizza establishment so we just have to call and order “the usual.”  Dave called the number smiling in anticipation of our thin crust multigrain delight and then I saw the frown.

“You can’t access our previous order?” 

Suddenly we had to recreate our perfect pizza. “What was on it?” Dave asked and my mind went blank.  I never really thought about the individual ingredients, only the delicious result.   "Magical Toppings?" I offered.   At that time of night, after the day we had, recreating this pizza seemed a task as insurmountable as recreating that 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle of The Last Supper after my  cat jumped on the table and sent the whole thing crashing to the floor in pieces. This happened when I was eleven.  That was how long ago it was that I felt this defeated, and yet, as it turns out I am never too old to sob about such small disappointments.

As if sent by the heavens the pizza delivery guy strengthened our dwindling resolve to face another day by getting very excited about our impending move to the Maritimes. His enthusiasm and amazement made us feel like bold adventurers.  Risk takers.  Brave frontier people!   Needless to say, these  good feelings were slightly enhanced by a few glasses of nice white wine.

Then I laid my head down and everything faded blissfully to black.

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