T-10

Ten days to departure!

Our luggage was supposed to be shipped on Thursday, but somehow FedEx screwed up.  I received a call Thursday night from Seabourn.  “Hello, I’m calling about the luggage pick-up failure” is how he started.  I had no idea what he meant!  Language is a funny thing–I guess I could have figured it out but, somehow, he had to explain it to me.  Luggage Pick-Up Failure is an interesting euphemism.  It’s like a doctor telling a family member that their loved-one had a negative patient outcome instead of just admitting he died. 

Luckily, the Luggage Pick-Up Failure was no big deal–they just picked it up on Friday instead.  I guess that’s why they needed two weeks to ship it–perhaps they were planning for multiple failures along the way.

I’m just glad they put it on the truck because until they, do all you do is add more stuff. 

Being neurotic, I photographed everything I put in the suitcase, so this way I would not make myself crazy looking for something in my closet that isn’t there.

 Of course, I could not stop there.  Each time I added a layer, I took a picture so I would know where it was, in case I needed it.

Oh, and good news on the Tux Front–I picked it up from my tailor on Saturday–perfect fit!  The first night we play dress-up is our over-night in California–I’ll post a picture then.

Various updates

Various Updates:

·         India, Inc.
We gave up trying to get our visas to India on our own—we finally said “Uncle” and went through a service.  The Indian Government has somehow decided to make the visa application process as cumbersome and confusing as possible.  The websiteis horribly written, does not work, forces you to make appointments but does not save any of your information, so every time you log on you have to recreate your entire file.  Going to the office is not good, there is always a line around the block.  And while you’re waiting on line they will, from time to time, announce that they are closing for the day.  This can happen at any time.  George had gone to the office a total of four times—without even getting in the door.  My advice: don’t try and get an Indian visa yourself, spend the money and have an expediter do it for you.  Welcome to India!

Our friend Joan had a similar problem.  She actually made it into the building, though, but was missing some minor piece of information and was told to return the next day.  Realizing she could waste several hours/days/weeks on line she asked if she could somehow skip the line when she returned.  The person in charge took pity on her and wrote something on a very small post-it note and handed it to her.  It read “Let her up”.  That’s it.  No name, no reason, no official stamp.  When she came back the next day she sheepishly showed the guard the note and, well, he let her up.  No questions asked.  My advice: Bring Post-it notes.  They are the golden ticket!

·         Tuxedo Park
I’m waiting for my new tuxedo—it’s going to be down to the wire.  Fitting In two weeks, with only one week available for adjustments.  With the way my luck has been going, I’m not sure I’m going to be sailing with a new penguin suit.  I did manage to buy an ivory vest and tie set, so this way I can mix it up a bit.  I’ve been obsessed with the tuxedo (as if you couldn’t tell), and just because I have all the parts doesn’t mean I’m going to stop obsessing.  I’m thinking of a new bow tie now.  I’m insane. 

·         Studs
One of our first Christmas’ together, George bought me a tuxedo studs and cufflink set from DeNatale Jewelers.  That was 30 years ago.  Since then, tuxedo shirts have gone from requiring three studs to four, or sometimes five!  So I’ve been short a stud—make your own jokes.  I’ve been on a mission to find a shirt that needs three studs, and on Thursday I found one.  I had gone to Bloomingdales to search around and was lamenting with the sales clerk about my plight.  She said that she had just heard about this problem recently—and it’s been a long time since the industry went to a set of four.  I decided to give up and found a nice Eton shirt, but my size was not on the rack.  Returning from her forage in the stock room, she handed me the last one in my size and announced “And, believe it or not, it only needs three studs!” She marched me into the dressing room but, alas, it was missing the top button.  “Will you consider buying it if I had a button sewn on?” she asked.  “If you have the button re-attached, I’ll buy it!”  A deal having been reached, she swung into action and, the next day, I was the proud owner of exactly what I set out for.  Plus she gave me a discount for the inconvenience!  Score.

I got home and told George my story—he knew I had spent the last few weeks visiting any store I could think of to ask if they had tuxedo shirts that only required three studs.  He was crestfallen by my triumph.  He had bought me a four button stud set for Christmas!  Gift of the Magi.  No worries, though, Eton’s Tuxedo shirt has a place for a fourth and fifth stud, but they also have buttons there in case you have a set from the 80’s.  Like me.

·       Baggage Check
Part of our package includes shipping our luggage ahead of us, but they never told us we had to set it up by November 30th.  Luckily I called them on December 3rdand they were able to accommodate us.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that they are picking up our luggage on Thursday.  That’s two weeks before we leave!  How much underwear do they think we have?  The plan is to pack whatever I need and do A LOT of laundry between the 19th and the 3rd.