This Is Not An April Fool, I Really Am Cross As Two Sticks

I have been Quite Cross this week; not Constantly Cross, but Intermittently So. Some of my You’re On My Last Nerve feeling could probably be attributed to hormones and upcoming ladies’ holidays, the looming “third-wave” of Covid cases, the super-slow vaccine rollout that is seeing people get their second shot FOUR MONTHS after their first, and the fact that it was spring break and the most excitement I had to look forward to was cracking open the extra-large bag of Mini-Eggs, but much of it was just General Ridiculousness and Can People Even Do Their Jobs.

On Monday morning I got a call from the orthodontist’s office; I assumed before picking up that it was simply a reminder call for our appointment for my son to pick up his retainer, for which the orthodontist took impressions of his teeth the week previous. Instead of an automated message, it was an actual person, who began explaining to me in great detail that the orthodontist took impressions of my son’s teeth in order to make the retainer that we were to pick up. Yes, yes, do go on. After a few minutes of this, the woman relayed the real reason for the call: the lab had somehow broken the impression and instead of picking up the retainer, my son would have to get impressions all over again. Then, we could pick the retainer up the day after that.

Accidents occur and these things happen, but honestly, can anything be easy and straightforward with this son’s orthodontia? Can it? The answer, of course, is no. From the initial criminal orthodontist to the one that put on brackets that had to be replaced, to finding a new orthodontist, who only happens to work in Calgary every other week, to my son actually breaking brackets, to a global pandemic that slowed his treatment by at least six months, to a twisted tooth from the bracket being on the wrong tooth that was attached to his elastics, to a process that took a solid eight months longer than anticipated. I mean, of course the lab broke his impressions. Of course we have to go to the orthodontic office three times in the space of one week, of course I am running out of ink in my printer printing off Covid consent forms because there is no online option. WHY is there no online option? Why am I printing things out like it’s 2010?

Anyway, we have the retainer, and I celebrated to myself prematurely about being free from the orthodontist office, as my son informed me that we needed another appointment in a month and then one every two months after that. “Every two months…for how long?” I asked, picturing me sitting in the parking lot until he’s an actual adult. He didn’t know. No one knows. Forever, I guess.

My second grumble was with the veterinary office. Barkley has a recurring medication that I refill about once every two months, and the vet has a really great system wherein I call and leave a message, asking for a text when it’s ready. I always get a text within a day or two, and then I wait in the parking lot for them to bring it out to my car (pre-Covid I would just pop in and pick it up). Anyway, eight days had passed since I called and I hadn’t heard a word, so I called the office to speak to someone directly, and after being put on hold, hung up on, and calling back, I finally spoke with a woman who told me that the medication had been sitting there FOR EIGHT DAYS. She told me a text had been sent, I said I hadn’t received it, and in my mind, a Deadlock Had Been Reached. I didn’t really care what happened, I was just going to come and pick up the medication, and I said as much to the woman in a pleasant voice. “No!” she said. “We NEED to find out what happened so it doesn’t happen again! Maybe we can call you!” I said, it’s fine, a text is fine, this has never happened before, it’s a glitch. Then, the woman suggested that the fault was MINE, that I must have deleted the text, because the text had been sent, therefore it must have been delivered to me.

Hold up there, lady. I am not a time-traveller from another era, unfamiliar with this little glowing machine in my hand that pings every once in a while to let me know that there is communication that went from another person to space and back. I don’t even receive that many texts, let alone texts that I would just randomly delete. Also, I could see the text chain from the vet office, with the last text being from January, exactly two months before. The text has not been deleted, I cannot say what happened but it is NOT THAT.

The final Source of My Crossness has to do with a company that has efficiently and reliably delivered floral arrangements and gift baskets for me on many, many occasions over the past decade, including – and this is important – to my parents. I have been always happy with this company, up until a couple of weeks ago, when I ordered flowers for the occasion of my parents’ wedding anniversary. I waited to hear from my mother, and waited, and waited. Finally I asked if she had received anything – no – and then checked my confirmation emails over and over to see if I had erred on the date or address. It would be unbelievably out of character for this to happen, but you never know. I had not erred.

Finally, my mother texted me to say that my parents had gone out to pick up the flowers from the Purolator depot, and thank you, they were lovely. Wait, what? My PARENTS, who are senior citizens, had to go out IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC to pick up their own flowers for which I had PAID A DELIVERY FEE OF FIFTEEN DOLLARS, to be delivered TO THEIR HOME. Let me tell you, I was pretty unhappy with this turn of events. I sent a strongly-worded email to the company TWO WEEKS AGO, and not a word have I had in response.

What if my parents were infirm? What if they had no access to a car? What if they had Covid or any other illness for which people often send flowers? What did I pay a delivery fee for if the flowers were not to be delivered? I am LIVID about this, not just about their shoddy customer service and radio silence, but also, now I have to find a new floral/ gift basket delivery company. SUGGESTIONS WELCOME.

Other, smaller grievances include our customary Spring Gusting Winds, which have been blowing all the needles off of my neighbour’s evergreen tree into our yard, which means that our mudroom is constantly covered with dead evergreen needles which seem to get everywhere: into my boots – discovered only when walking and one dislodges and stabs me in the toe – on Barkley’s fur, and into everyone’s feet any time we walk downstairs, for a painful reminder of Spring. Also, for mysterious reasons, frozen petit peas have been completely unavailable at Superstore, which everyone knows are far superior to those tough, bigger peas and there are rumblings again of a toilet paper shortage – although, apparently in Canada we have our OWN toilet paper manufacturers. We are, apparently, Toilet Paper Self-Sufficient, even if we don’t have enough vaccines, so I guess that’s something. At least we will not have to resort to wet washcloths, which is a plus.

My final grievance is that I painstakingly chopped up Mini-Eggs to stir into homemade vanilla ice cream as a Special Holiday Treat, and after I complained about how chopping Mini-Eggs is a bitch of a job, someone mentioned that I could have used a food processor. WHY WAS I NOT SMART ENOUGH TO THINK OF THAT? Oh, and also, I had a coupon for $6 off a $60 purchase at Co-Op, and when I got to the till I was at $57, and I panicked and bought caramel eggs that were 2 for $3, and later saw that same exact item at Superstore for $0.88, and this has bothered me ENORMOUSLY. Like, that extra $1.24 I spent to get $6 off feels disproportionately wasteful.

Well. That’s enough grievances to last a while. My Sith name today is, apparently, General Grievance. Time to move on with life, and maybe grab a handful of the leftover Mini-Eggs. xo


  1. That is a lot of provocations all at once.

  2. Pat Birnie says

    Wow that is a frustrating week. Incompetent people drive me nuts. I’m with you on our frustratingly slow vaccine rollout, and we have just been shut down again here in Ontario. That said they opened up the appointment booking for 65+ on March 31. Husband got on the system at 12:10 am and we are booked for Saturday (2nd does July 24:(. )

  3. You deserve to be cross and if you weren’t I’d think you weren’t all there mentally. I MEAN REALLY! What a mess of a week. We all have them and during this pandemic they seem worse than usual in my opinion. Vent all you want here. I get it.

  4. This is quite an annoying set of issues. The delivery – WHY DID THEY NOT DELIVER? The lost text message NEEDING to be straightened out. Please. Those mini eggs in ice cream do look dreamy even though you overpaid.

    Curly left her coat at the ortho yesterday. She got braces so she was a little off her A game. Seeing warm weather (it was freakishly in the 30s yesterday) in the forecast I said we will grab it later since I once again have 2 in braces. It will become my life mission to align their appointments on the same day. Guessing that will be unlikely most of the time with different school schedules. One can hope.

  5. NICOLE. I had to so some deep breathing as I read. The orthodontist tried to BLAME you? The florist NEVER DELIVERED and KEPT YOUR DELIVERY FEE?!?! Serenity now.

  6. You need to keep hounding that florist – and go to the very top. I am LIVID on your behalf.

  7. Wow. You were hit with a lot of crap this past week. Very annoying for sure…the orthodontia doesn’t seem to end. And the flowers. WTH?
    Mini eggs in ice cream? That will help with some of it. Right?

  8. April 1st was a Thursday YOU DID A SURLY THURSDAY POST and it’s AWESOME. Name and shame the flower place on every social media platform, it’s the only thing that sometimes works. They didn’t even fucking refund your goddamned delivery fee? WTF? They’re going DOWN, man. I know there’s a certain state of mind that we get to where we can’t let stupid little things go, and it’s terrible, and I know for a fact that I have painstakingly chopped up things that I could have processed. I am, however, now going to use the food processor to chop up some mini eggs to bake in shortbread for a friend who’s feeling really down, and that’s all because of YOU, baby. Happy Surly Easter.

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