Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Send Food!

(or Edible Toxic Waste, depending on who sends it)

Last week, as I was making the mad dash for the airport, my phone rang. Upon answering the caller inquired if I’d been to the office yet.

Me: Office? I’m not going to the office; I have a plane to catch. I took the day off from work.

LDA (Long Distance Admirer): Umm, I’m assuming you didn’t get anything at your office yesterday, because you would have thanked me, right?

Me: *goofy smile on my face* You sent me something?

LDA: Yes

Me: Cool! It will be something to look forward to on Monday.

LDA: Umm, the box I sent you, should go in the refrigerator.

Me: So you sent me some food?

LDA: You’ll just have to wait and see, but it will be better if it stays in the refrigerator.

I promptly hung up and called my office.

Me: Hey – I’m getting a box today, and I think it has food in it, so will you put it in the refrigerator?

SC-W (Stupid Co-worker): You want me to open up a box of food in the refrigerator?

Me: No, someone’s sending me a box. I think it has food in it and should be refrigerated.

SCW: How am I supposed to know if it needs refrigerating? Do you want me to open it?

Me: No! I don’t want you to OPEN IT. I know it needs to be in the refrigerator, they told me that much, I’m just assuming it has food in it. All you need to do is put it in the refrigerator. Can you do that?

SCW: How will I know which box?

Me: For God’s sake! How many boxes do I get at work? None! It’s coming TO-DAY. Just put it in the refrigerator please.

SCW: Okay, I’ll try and remember.

One of the reasons I was so adamant about the box being handled properly is because I’ve been down this path before. More than once actually. See, it’s what happens when you move away from home.

The first incident occurred when I received a cup of molten chocolate embedded with dissolved jelly beans.

You see when the pretty little box left California for Arizona it was a coffee mug, stuffed with grass and contained a chocolate bunny and little Jelly Belly jelly beans for Easter eggs. I’m sure my Mom never imagined the UPS man would leave the box sitting at my front door. You know, the door that faces west – and receives full afternoon sun? Funny how 105 degree heat for 6 hours can radically alter shape of things! When I called to “thank” her for the hot cocoa she was perplexed.

Mom: What are you talking about, hot chocolate? That’s not what I sent you for Easter!

Me: I know, but it sat outside until I got home Mom.

Mom: I knew it would sit outside, but why are you talking about HOT CHOCOLATE?

Me: Because, it melted Mom. I have a cup filled with chocolate ooze now.

Mom: What do you mean it melted? Why did it melt?

Me: It’s 105 Mom. I live in Arizona.

Mom: Well it’s not that hot here yet, she said stating the obvious.

Me: Well, it is here – and apparently chocolate doesn’t do well at that heat.

Mom: So just stick it in the refrigerator – it’ll get solid again, and then you can eat it, she counseled.

Me: Mom, I don’t think you get it. There is NO MORE RABIT. It’s just a cup of liquid. Messy liquid.

Truly, we’re not really slow learners in my family. It’s more that we just learn each SPECIFIC lesson, not the overall BIG lessons in life.

The next toxic delivery involved fruit.

Moving away from the Sacramento Valley – where every fruit and vegetable known to God and man is grown, to Arizona was a shock to me. No fruit stands on the street corners and the “green” grocer didn’t even know the difference between a Freestone Peach and a Cling Peach. Really! In one of my frequent calls home I mentioned being homesick for Fuji Apples. My Mom, always eager to share the bounty of earth went out and bought a lug of apples. And sent them to me. Without telling me she was sending them.

She had become more attuned to my life though, and had learned the lesson about sending things to my apartment, because I was bad about going to the mail box. Also – if it was too big to sit in my mailbox, it went to the apartment complex office, which very "helpfully" was open from 8 am – 5 pm M – F and 9 am – 12:00 noon on Saturdays. I worked in a town 54 miles from where I lived. Those hours pretty much insured I NEVER received boxes in a timely manner.

So Mom sent the box to my friends parents house. Only her parents? They weren’t there. They’d gone to Europe. So what did UPS do? Well of course. They tried to deliver the box for 3 days – then returned it to California. And my Mom? When she got the box she sent it back – but did called my friend found out why the box was returned, and resent it.

What she didn’t tell us? It wasn’t just apples. No, no. If you’re going to send apples, you should send something else too! Something carefully packed between the apples. Something that starts out hard – but when placed in proximity of other fruit, ripens and turns soft. And mushy. And pudding like when the apples jostle up against it. The day the package arrived (for the second time) I got a call.

Friend: Hey, your package got here! You better come get it right away, it’s leaking!

Me: What do you mean, “It’s leaking”?

Friend: The box is wet. There’s stuff coming out of the corners. It smells “sweet”.

When I arrived, the whole family had gathered around the box for the unveiling. Here are my shipping suggestions.

  • Always let someone know food is on the way.

  • Always make sure they’ll be around to receive the food.

  • Make sure you know the current climatic conditions to which you’re sending the food.

    Because kiwis and apples three weeks after they’ve shipped? Not so edible. Unless you like kiwi pudding with whole apples.

    (But really it’s the thought that counts)

    (And LDA? The NY Honey Crips? Delicious!)

  • 3 comments:

    Joe said...

    Some places simply don't ship inside the US in the summer: See's, for instance.

    JMom said...

    lol!! I can totally relate....I've had See's candies that melted in the box, mingling all the delightful flavors together, and my mom and your mom probably went to the same shipping school. My mom sends me percimon from her tree every fall. The first year after we moved here, she thought it would be nice to put in a few of her spanish guavas in there too. If it had been over the summer we probably would have had jam :)

    but.....it's the thought that counts and we're lucky to have moms who sends us a little taste of home once in a while.

    another redhead's mom said...

    Funny you should write on this yesterday! I got home to the "country" and found a box from Shari's Berries in California - shipped overnight to me. I don't dare disclose how much the 6 berries cost but will say the shipping overnight from California would have bought "us" a good supper from "The Swamp"!! My dogs - Cry Baby and Sam where sitting there drooling and wagging their tails! Evidently they ran the delivery guy off and commandeered the box! Thankfully they had not broken into the box of dressed up strawberries that resembled Christmas Trees$$$$