Veiled Threats Mystery
No, not my children.Â (But that was a good guess.)
As Iâ€™ve mentioned before, for our 35th wedding anniversary, we were planning to take pictures of us dressed like a beautiful bride and groom, surrounded by our beautiful children, in beautiful settings.Â I had a dress, Benedetto had his usual tuxedo, the kids had outfits, we were set to go.Â Except for the veil.
And one of our first photo ops was coming up soon.Â Technically, I didnâ€™t have to have the veil for the photo op, but there was the thought of it blowing romantically in the wind.Â I would not give up on my dream so easily.Â No siree.Â I ordered this over six weeks ago, and was now beyond irritated.
What to do?Â I e-mailed the wedding veil establishment, which of course was abroad.Â This time, Coventry, England, but I have an inkling from the level of English used that this was simply a stop on the way fromâ€¦ China.
Why pay $200, when $20 gets you the same thing?
Well, Iâ€™ll tell you why:Â the $20 veil will not arrive.
I e-mailed and said the situation was desperate.Â I needed my veil, I needed it now, and where was it?Â They said to wait 6 days and let them know if it hadnâ€™t arrived by then.Â There must have been a shipping holdup and they understood the situation was serious.
Great.Â They couldnâ€™t have mentioned that 6 days ago?Â My first photo op was in four days, and two of those days would be the weekend.Â Would I like a refund, or a store credit?Â At least they were very polite, and with me, politeness counts, even if you have steam coming out of your ears and youâ€™re planning on murdering them the next day.
â€œPlan B,â€ I intoned into the i-Phone.Â â€œIâ€™ll get back to you.â€
Even in my extremely remote, archaeological field location, where there was a will, there was a way.Â
Then I learned:Â there was no way.Â I was up the creek.Â But I wouldnâ€™t give up without a fight.
These were my thoughts:Â 1. Buy another veil and be done with it.Â This entailed:Â 2. Finding a bridal shop. 3. Making an appointment, and 4. Paying an outrageous amount for a handful of tulle or lace.
I came up with a couple of ideas for Benedetto to call in the way of bridal shops near the destination to which we were headed.Â Naturally, the only shops I knew of, or could find on the internet, were fairly famous.Â Turns out each was pricier than the next.Â Since this was just for fun, and not a real wedding, we hoped not to spend a bundle.
â€œPlan C,â€ I texted him next during a lunchbreak from my clipboard and field notes.Â â€œFind a WalMart.Â Buy 3 yards of white tulle (itâ€™s like fine netting), 54â€ wide.Â Buy a wide hair comb, either clear or white.Â I will then sew the tulle onto that when we arrive to our getaway on Monday.â€Â
How hard could it be?
All this, while working to uncover a 230-year-old Spanish coin, along with tons of historic bricks and rusty nails in the rain, wind, and the red clay mud of uber-rural America.Â I donâ€™t think, even in small-town USA, that any bridal shop in their right mind would want me strolling into their store in filthy boots with reddish-brown clay-stained hands.
My son and I arrived home on Sunday night.Â We met up with the others and had to check that all of their clothes were packed before leaving at 4:00 am on Monday.Â Rising before 3:00 am, I would get 2.5 hours of sleepâ€¦ after excavating all day and making the drive home, and dropping a different car off at the airport.Â At this point, I had showered, put on my pajamas, and a rain coat over top.Â I felt myself better dressed than most of the population, though my husband did feel the need to ask:
â€œItâ€™s nighttime and Iâ€™ve been digging in the mud for days.Â I deserve a shower, and I will not be speaking with one other human being.Â We are dropping off a car, period.â€
So back to the topic at hand, letâ€™s see how the kids did under his watch of packing, as he later would be heard to protest, â€œI TOLD them not to forget anything!â€
A mother knows that she has to make a typewritten list of every. single. article. of. clothing.Â Then, and only then, said articles are laid-out on each childâ€™s bed.Â Then, you watch them put them one. by. one. in the suitcase.Â Otherwise, it. will. not. happen.Â Then, you realize it probably still wonâ€™t happen.
At 4:00 am, Sashenka declared that she had forgotten her everyday-nice shoes at the dacha, but it was fine, she had her tennis shoes, and she could wear thoseâ€¦.Â No, I replied, I guess youâ€™ll be wearing your dress-up shoes for the next five days.Â The girl was actually shocked that I could think so well on my aching feet after days of exhaustionâ€¦.
Petya forgot his sports jacket since he wasnâ€™t at the dacha and had been digging ditches, too, for the past few days, his mind rather rattled with multiple suitcases and wardrobes, and yes, red clay doesnâ€™t really come out of khaki cargo pants, why didnâ€™t he stick with grey, black, or olive for the entire excavation???Â So I was stuck doing loads of laundry late into the night, and thus, he wore a suit jacket for travel due to his oversight.
Pasha brought along his everyday black pants rather than suit pants for the wedding photos, and while he thought they were just fine, I could spot them from 50 yards away.Â Note to self:Â crop his photos at the waist.Â
Mashenka forgot nothing, but grabbed the red rose head wreaths/crowns that the girls were going to wearâ€¦ without telling meâ€¦ after I had packed them.Â I tore up the house looking for the flower crowns for a hour before she told me that she had already helped herself to them.Â I took them back, lest they be lost forever.
It was a long night and morning.
Tomorrow I will tell you how I solved the case of the missing veil with my do-it-yourself substitute.
————Tags: 35th wedding celebration, arranging for wedding or anniversary photos in remote location, Chinese wedding veil, destination wedding mess-ups, kids who forget to pack correct clothing, last-minute missing wedding veil, missing wedding veil, ordering wedding veil from abroad, organizing remote wedding destination, packing lists for traveling children