Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hi.  Sometimes I miss blogging.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If You Give a Mom a Project

This post is inspired by the children's book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," and my good friend, Catherine Denton, who always said this would make a good post.

If you give a mom a project during Christmas break, she will pick the bedroom closet. She will pull everything out of it first thing in the morning while the kids are watching TV in order to organize it.

After she gets the closet empty, the kids will start to ask for breakfast, so she will head to kitchen in her pajamas to pour them a bowl of cereal.

When she opens the refrigerator to get out the milk, she will notice the sausage links she bought the day before and think pancakes would be really good with sausage.

So she will mix up the batter and pour a pancake into the skillet. While breakfast is cooking, she will decide to check her email.

When she checks her email, she will remember the blog she started the night before and decide to finish it. Pictures would be good with the post, she thinks, so she does an Internet search for clip art.

While searching the Internet for clip art, she will smell burning pancakes and remember breakfast, which she will narrowly save.

After breakfast she will tell the children to get dressed and decide she should get dressed herself. She will put on clothes and go to the bathroom to wash her face.

When she washes her face in the bathroom sink, she will notice the sink needs cleaning and grab a disinfectant wipe to clean it.

Once the sink is clean, she will see that there is still plenty of usable solution left on the wipe and will not want to throw a half used wipe away, so she will wipe down the bathroom cabinets.

When she wipes down the cabinets, she will notice the bathroom trash needs to be taken out. And since she is taking the bathroom trash, she may as well take the kitchen trash.

And if she's going to take the kitchen trash, she should check the fridge for old leftovers to go out with it. When she opens the refrigerator door, she will see the box of chocolate covered cherries she gave her husband for Christmas and will eat one.

"A cup of coffee would be good with this," she will think, so she will pour herself a cup with sugar and milk and decide to drink it with the new decorating magazine her neighbor gave to her.

After she reads the magazine and drinks her coffee, she will put the milk back in the fridge and remember that she was supposed to clean out the old leftovers. She will notice the juice spill in the bottom of the fridge left there the week before by her five-year-old. So she will decide to clean the spill. And if she is going to clean the spill, she might as well wipe down the shelves, too.

After she cleans the refrigerator shelves and throws away all the old food, her sink will be full of dishes from the old leftovers and breakfast and she will want to load the dishwasher.

But before she can load the dishwasher, she must unload the clean dishes from the day before, so she starts to unload. When she opens her cabinet door to put away the clean dishes, the Tupperware lids will come falling out on top of her, and she will realize she needs to organize the kitchen cabinets.

While she is organizing the cabinets, the children will come into the kitchen asking for lunch, and she will have to stop what she is doing to feed them. And of course, the five-year-old's favorite Tinkerbell cup with the curly straw will be dirty because the dishwasher is still full, and she will cry, and the mom will have to wash it by hand before she can make lunch.

After lunch, the sink will be overflowing with dishes and the mom will need a bathroom break because of the coffee she had earlier, so she will go to the bathroom before tackling the growing kitchen catastrophe.

When she goes to the bathroom, she will look in the mirror and notice her eyebrows need plucking, so she will grab the tweezers and set to work.

Tweezing her eyebrows will remind her of putting on makeup, and putting on makeup will remind her of the date she is supposed to go on with her husband that night. She will remember she needs to call the sitter and confirm a time for her to come over to watch the kids, so she will reach into her pants pocket for her phone.

Her phone will not be there, and she will remember she left it charging in her bedroom, so she will go to her bedroom to get it. When she picks up her phone, she will see she has four messages from her husband.

After spending twenty minutes texting back and forth to her husband, she will look around and notice the contents of her closet are still lying all over the floor, so she will decide to get back to work on her project.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Revelations at 2 AM

It's 2 a.m. and I am awakened by the involuntary conjugating of Spanish verbs in my head.

hice, hiciste, hicio, hicamos...

I wish I could say the conjugations were correct, but at 2 a.m. it's hard to tell. It's really more of a mixture of stems and roots floating around up there. Also, at 2 a.m. it is difficult to make your verb tenses agree, even in English, hence the reason I used the present tense in the first sentence above and the past tense in the third.

But enough about grammar. I can't sleep. It could be the spontaneous conjugation. It could be the three cups of coffee and a Diet Dr. Pepper I had yesterday. Or it could be this looming, pressing need I feel to make a plan for my life.

Yeah, maybe that.

In a year, give or take, I will have completed my BA in Creative Writing that I began four years ago. Four years I've been doing this. Four years I've been writing research papers while cooking dinner. Four years I've been getting up early, before the kids wake up, to read material that sometimes makes me want to go back to bed. Four years I've been taking an hour bus ride to sit in classes with young adults who make me feel wise and ignorant all at once. And when it's all said and done, the grand total will be five years.

Then what?

Then I will return to my life as a stay-at-home mom and write a wildly successful novel, along with an uber-popular blog that will skyrocket me to the top of the literary ladder, followed by a book of short stories, and maybe even a poem or two, just to keep me creatively sharp. And this will be achieved while getting all those things done around the house that I never had time to do before because of school, of course.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Except, how many wildly successful novelists do you know? I mean, personally know. Like, have them programmed into the list of contacts in your phone.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

See, I have professors who have published several books. My Poetry Writing teacher is a nationally recognized poet. One of her books won the National Book Award. Just to give you a point of reference, other NBA winners include Alice Walker, Eudora Welty and Cormac McCarthy. So, I'm not talking about total schleps and wannabes here. These people have at least some measure of talent and ability. Yet they also have "day jobs", because unfortunately, talent don't pay the bills.

The truth is, even some of the most renowned literary geniuses in the world never knew success in their lifetime. The pinnacle of their careers was reached posthumously.

Emily Dickinson
Zora Neale Hurston
Jane Austen
Sylvia Plath
Ralph Ellison

People, Van Gogh only sold one painting in his life.


Which I know he was a painter, not a writer, but it's all art, so stay with me.

I could be the most gifted writer to ever walk the face of this planet, but reality is telling me I might be wise to leave myself some options. Especially if I am having trouble getting my verb tenses correct.

So, I've been thinking about how very much I love my Literature classes. What other class can you take where your main course of study is to read stories? Seriously, I read my anthologies for fun. I'm a total nerd. And then we get to talk about them in class and my professors have to shut me down in order to give others a chance to talk.

Reading and monopolizing conversation - two of my favorite pastimes.

What if I could put those two together to make some sort of a dream job that would actually guarantee me a paycheck while I did the writing gig on the side?

Wait a minute...isn't that what my professors are doing?

Well, Supermom, yes, it is. However did you come to such a stupendously intelligent and observant conclusion?

I'm just smart like that, you know. And rather than let all that smartness go to waste, I thought perhaps I should share it with the future of our great nation. I should impart my wealth of literary insight unto the young people of the world...or at least the metro area.

I should teach.

Well, I've spent the entire four years of my college career answering conversations just like the one below:

Them: What is your major?
Me: English.
Them: So you want to teach?

And now I find myself not only refuting my own objections, but looking at another 4-5 years of school for a Master's Degree, and yes, even a Doctorate.

I don't understand how it came to be like this, but at 36 years old, I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

A Literature Professor.

And really, doesn't it just make perfect sense? Why didn't I think of it before?

Dr. Supermom. I can see it now...just like the picture above. I will be a saintly patron of wisdom and enlightenment, leading thirsty young minds to the fountain of knowledge, where they will drink happily and heartily.

Yeah, right. Probably more like this:

So, the requirements for a doctorate in Literature?

  1. 60 hours, including 18-20 dissertation hours. That's not so bad. I can do that in two years. Two and a half, at the most.

  2. PhD exams in two subject areas. Okay.

  3. Write and defend a dissertation. Yeah, I knew that would be in there.

  4. Mastery of a foreign language. Well, crap.
Four to five more years of conjugating Spanish verbs in my sleep.

Sleep. I never really liked it anyway.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weighing In

“What happened to your neck?” my friend asked. “Did a vampire bite you?” She was referencing the embarrassing itchy rash on my neck that was looking worse instead of better.

“Ha, ha,” I said, casually pulling my unusually fluffy hair down around my neck. “I think it’s poison ivy, but it’s not going away.”

She smiled. “So, that’s why your hair is so big today.”

That’s the bad thing about good friends. Nothing gets past them.

After about two weeks of treating my “poison ivy” with everything available in aisle 8 of my friendly local pharmacy, I finally broke down and took myself to the doctor. Actually, it was the Urgent Care center, because my doctor had retired from practice and I just never got around to finding another.

“You have shingles,” the Urgent Care doctor announced.

Shingles. My first thought went to skeletal, mangy pirates dying from unsanitary conditions and poor nutrition and I was momentarily horrified. Then I realized I was thinking about scurvy, which is thankfully very different from shingles. “So, what exactly is shingles?” I asked the doctor.

“It’s basically the same virus that causes chicken pox and is usually brought on by stress to the immune system,” he said matter-of-factly. Well, that was a relief. No parasites crawling around under my skin or vampires biting me in my sleep. And stress would certainly explain it. With my husband and myself both in school and three kids at home, I was averaging 4-5 hours of sleep a night and running at a breakneck pace constantly. Stress to the immune system sounded pretty accurate. So the kind doctor sent me home with nothing to be done about my rash but wait it out and wear big hair for a couple more weeks. He also referred me to a doctor with whom he wanted me to establish myself and said he would be calling me to set up an appointment with them. I was a medical orphan no longer.

Three weeks later I went to meet my new adoptive doctor. The receptionist called me the day before to remind me about my appointment at 9:10 a.m., and also reminded me to come half an hour early to fill out my new patient paperwork, which would mean I would have to be there at 8:40. So, at 8:45 the day of, I was rushing around the house in a panic, looking for steps to my morning ritual I could cut out to make me less late than I already was. As I was dashing out the door, I realized I had forgotten to make coffee. Coffee…the most treasured and sacred part of my day. How did I even manage to get my shoes on the right feet without coffee? How did I manage to put one foot in front of the other and walk myself to the front door with my keys in hand? By what miracle was I able to stand upright and not fall over unconscious? I turned back to the kitchen and, for a brief second, contemplated taking the extra six and a half minutes to brew a cup. Was it more responsible to try to keep my lateness to a minimum or to consider the safety of other people on the road by not allowing myself to drive in a non-caffeinated state? Guilty conscience won out and I rushed, coffee-less, out the door.

Needless to say, I made it to the doctor’s office in 5 minutes and 47 seconds with 20 minutes to fill out paperwork. I was probably more than a little smug when I filled out the paperwork in 10 and set down to wait for my name to be called. I mean, here I was, showered, hair fixed, makeup on and looking not too shabby for a woman running late and I filled out their stinking paperwork in record time. But this was all part of my plan. The makeup and hair would come in handy when I needed a self-esteem boost after having to be weighed. Yes, weighed. I knew it was coming. They could have poked me with a needle the size of a turkey baster and I would have been fine. I would have even been okay with a little unnecessary outpatient surgery. But make me step on the scale? I was sure the Hippocratic Oath said something about keeping patients from harm and injustice. Weighing me against my will seemed the most unjust atrocity a doctor could commit. It was right up there with harvesting organs and overcharging for Tylenol. Perhaps I could put together a malpractice suit.

I picked up the only remaining magazine on the side table next to me and began to peruse. One by one the other patients waiting in the lobby began to be called back while more people began to come in and take their seats. After about 20 minutes of waiting, I started to notice people being called back who had come in after me. I wasn’t too terribly concerned, but my magazine had run out long ago and the only other magazine available was AARP. So I sat and stared out the window and watched people in the parking lot. That riveting experience lasted for another 30 minutes before I finally decided I should say something. The people running the show obviously didn’t realize they were dealing with an addict; an addict who hadn’t had their fix. I mean, I didn’t selflessly sacrifice my morning cup of coffee in consideration for their schedule just so I could sit there surrounded by sick people reading an old issue of Better Homes and Gardens and watching the grass grow out the big picture window for the better part of an hour, just so they could take my blood pressure and make me step on their god-forsaken scale!! WHAT KIND OF A RINKY-DINK QUACK KEEPS HIS PATIENTS WAITING LIKE THAT????!!!!!

So, at 9:50, I took a deep breath and swallowed the caffeine withdrawal that was clawing its way up my throat and made my way calmly to the reception desk.

“Excuse me,” I said, oh-so-sweetly, “my appointment was at 9:10 and I still haven’t been called back. Could you please double check the time for me?”

The tiny little receptionist, who had probably never had a phobia of scales in her life, tapped on her computer keyboard and then turned to me with a smile. “Oh, your appointment was at 9:40. We wanted you here at 9:10 to fill out paperwork.” Then adding salt to the wound, she said, “Your name is next on the list to be called.”

“Oh,” I replied, digging my white-knuckled fingernails into the soft wood of the reception desk.
“Thank you.” I turned and walked back to my seat in front of the window, feeling very perturbed and humbled at the same time. I should really try to pay more attention to those reminder phone calls.

Soon after, my name was called and I shuffled toward the nurse with the clipboard who was holding open the door for me. She was smiling, too. “How are you today,” she asked cheerfully.

I’m ready to tear your frickin’ head off and throw up on your sensible shoes, I thought. “I’m good, thanks,” I said, equally as cheerful. Then I wondered how much less I would weigh if I really did throw up.

“Just set your purse down here and step up on this for me,” the nurse instructed, motioning to the chair and the new, digital scale.

Here it was: my moment of truth. I obediently sat my purse and heavy sweater on the chair, thinking perhaps I should take off my shoes, too. I mean, they had kind of chunky heels. They were thick wedges, actually. The soles were probably pretty heavy. My jeans were heavy, too - kind of new, not soft and worn out. You know, after they’re washed a lot there are fewer fabric fibers and they weigh less, but these had only been washed less than 20 times, probably. Then the thought of standing barefoot in my underwear brought me back to reality and I closed my eyes and stepped on the scale, fully clothed. The last time I remembered getting weighed at the doctor, it was one of those older scales with the slides the nurses move until they’re level. I could stare straight over them and not really read the numbers and let the nurse scribble on her clipboard in complete and blissful ignorance of what it said. However, this scale had the new digital screen, displaying the magic number in very large, very red high definition digital brilliance. I’m pretty sure the patients down the hall could see it. In order to ignore it, I had to close my eyes. Now, in a moment of dumb curiosity I had weighed myself at my sister’s house the year before. I had a general idea of what I weighed. And suddenly, before I knew it, yet another moment of dumb curiosity had seized me and I caught myself peeking. I am not a math person, but it doesn’t take a scale-phobic mind long to calculate when pounds are involved and I deduced very quickly that this scale must be broken. According to the new-fangled digi-wonder scale I had gained eleven pounds since I last checked at my sister’s house. Eleven pounds in approximately as many months.

“Okay, right this way,” the smiling nurse said, looking up from her clipboard and directing me to the room where I would have the privilege of waiting some more. I followed her inside and sat down, numb with the effects of the scale shock. “The doctor will be with you shortly,” she left me pleasantly and closed the door with a soft click. I was alone. My caffeine withdrawal combined with the trauma of the weigh in suddenly came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks and my eyes started tingling with the promise of tears. Great, I thought. This is just great. Why don’t I just start crying here and now so when the doctor comes in he can not only see my new 11 pounds but he can just go ahead and declare me clinically insane? I am a grown woman, for crying out loud! What is wrong with me?!

I blinked quickly and took a couple of deep breaths, scolding myself for being such a girl and tried to suck it up. After all, I had been under a lot of stress and not able to take care of myself properly. And my shoes probably were really heavy.

The doctor came in just as I pulled it together and he looked at my neck, which had been healing up nicely. He made jokes and we engaged in some polite doctor/patient banter and he suggested I make another appointment for a full physical sometime within the next six months. You know, since I am technically his patient and all. So I agreed to make the appointment and made a mental note to eat nothing but bread crumbs and Diet Coke in the meantime so my next encounter with the scale would be better. We shook hands and I headed to the check out desk where I stood in line to make my future appointment. As I stood there contemplating a fabulous diet and exercise plan that was sure to fail I happened to notice the woman in line in front of me. She was not a small woman and her jeans were very…uh…snug. I also noticed that on her backside, just next to the right back pocket, was a slit about two inches long that was stretched and gaping wide open, exposing pinkish-white flesh. I did a double take, thinking surely she just had on a pair of nice, flesh-colored underwear. But further observation told me she was either wearing a thong or going commando because it was not white cotton shining out of the hole.

I’ll admit, I did stare for a moment, because…well, I don’t really know why.

My initial reaction, after the shock wore off, was to tell her. It is an unspoken girl rule to always tell another woman when she has lipstick on her teeth or mascara smeared under her eyes. This would probably fall under the same category. But really, what could she do about it? She couldn’t reach back there and wipe it away with a moist towelette . She didn’t have a jacket or sweater to wrap around her waist. She would have been horrified and embarrassed and have left the doctor’s office a mess, probably drawing more attention to it than if she had walked out oblivious. So I opted to do the woman a favor and stand there quietly, waiting my turn, completely forgetting about my silly eleven pounds. I mean, it could have been worse. I could have been in public in a pair of split pants showing my shiny white butt to the whole world. So, after I made the appointment for a follow-up physical, I went home to make coffee, with lots of sugar and cream, and I might have even had a nice fattening pastry to go along with it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Please Come Back to Blogging" was the title of the email. At first glance I thought perhaps a publisher had stumbled across my poor neglected blog and was going to offer me a ridiculously fantasical amount of money if I would only grace the blogging world with my uber-important cyber-presence. Acclaim. Recognition. Fame.

But no.

It was my best friend, which in terms of publishing, translates to something equivalent to my mother. She loves everything I do.

"And I'm following you," she wrote. "See? You already have 1 follower."

There you have it, folks. I'm on my way.

(And since she is a follower - my one and only- I will be sure to catch it when she reads that I equate her compliments to that of my mom.)

Not that she's not important. Not that I don't appreciate her admiration. Not that I don't absolutely respect and value her feedback, but I've tried coming back to blogging. It didn't work. I think the date of my last post can attest to that. And so I asked her, "How?"

"Like this," she replied. "You think of something that happened throughout the day...and just share your thoughts about it. It doesn't have to be spectacular. It doesn't have to be funny. It just has to be YOU."

She makes it sound so easy.

So, here is my attempt at being me...again.

I got a phone call the other day from my youngest child's teacher. She said my Baby - sweet, luscious, crazy adorable Baby - was having a really bad day at school. She said she wasn't listening. And when she tried to correct her, Baby said sometimes her brain just can't listen.

Granted, Baby is in Pre-K. It is her first year at school and she is a rather...ahem...energetic child. But I've never had a teacher call about one of my children. What did this mean?? What was I supposed to do?? Is it a sign of things to come? Was this phone call from the Pre-K teacher the first in a series of many troubling phone calls? Who would be next? The principal? The FBI? The (gasp!) video-rental store???

"Yes, Ms. Supermom, this is a courtesy call from Blockbuster. Baby rented "Dora Saves the Mermaids" twenty-one years ago and failed to return it. You are responsible for the ten gajillion dollars in late fees on this account. Please pay the fees as soon as possible or we will have to revoke your membership. If she had only listened to her Pre-K teacher..."

You see where this is going, right?

And you should probably know that this wasn't Baby's first reprimand for her inability to "listen". When little Pre-K-ers have a good day at school, the teacher draws in a happy face for that day on the calendar in their bright yellow folders. About every other week Baby comes home with a note in her little folder and a straight line face. You know, that face in between frowny and smiley that somehow doesn't feel quite as merciful as I am sure the teacher intends it to be. It seems to be gritting it's teeth behind that straight line mouth, saying, "Your kid is driving me CRAZY. Do something!"

So, now the teacher has resorted to a phone call. This is serious.

I listened to her explaining Baby's offense to me and my mind was racing for the appropriate response. While I can fully appreciate her position - because, after all, I do live with the child - and I want to give the teacher my whole-hearted support, I had never been faced with this particular set of circumstances before. Was I supposed to go to the school and march her home for the beating of her life, or should I apologize profusely over the phone and promise to throw all of Baby's toys out in the street? Neither one of those seemed quite right. Fortunately, the teacher let me off the hook.

"Baby's standing right here. Would you like to talk to her?"

"Yes, please." A long silence. "Hello?" I ask the silence.

"Hello," replied the tiniest voice ever.

"Honey, what's the problem?"

Baby then went into a long explanation, most of which I didn't understand because she was obviously very emotional and trying hard not to show it. From what I could gather, I believe it had something to do with singing during rest time.

I already knew the answer to the question, but I asked her anyway, "Baby, do you like going to school?"


"Do you want me to come get you and bring you home?"


"Then you need to listen and act like a big kid." And then I went into the speech about it not being fair to the teacher or the other kids when teacher has to stop class to get on to her, blah, blah, blah. And I felt the need to tack on the obligatory parental statement of confirmation, just to say I did my part: "Do I make myself clear?"


When I heard her sad, little voice and the shame she felt for letting me and her teacher and her classmates down, all I wanted to do was rush over, pick her up and hold her until Pre-K was over. "Baby," I said, wanting to cry myself, "you are a good girl. Mommy loves you so much."

"I love you, too."

And then she put the teacher back on the phone. I thanked the teacher for her patience and asked her to keep me posted. And I spend the rest of the day worrying, not about Baby's behavior, but about her feelings. Baby is the most expressive, most sensitive, most lovable child I've ever known. Yet in her excitement, she can be maddening. Not that she doesn't care about what you're saying, she just loves life, and at times, does not want to be interrupted by duty or obligation. It's not that she wanted to disrupt rest time, or take anything away from her teacher, she just loves to sing. Maybe, from the outside, it looks like I am dismissing a behavior problem. And in truth, maybe I am. But isn't it good, for everyone, to have someone in your corner? To be loved not for what you do or how you behave, but because someone out there gets you, and is willing to look beyond to the heart of what you're all about?

Kinda like my mom, or my best friend, who love what I write, even if it's not necessarily Pulitzer winning material.

When Baby came home that day, she said she had a surprise for me. She handed me her yellow folder, and when I opened it to the calendar, she had a bright orange smiley face for the day. After I gave her the squeeziest hug ever and kissed her bubble gum cheeks, she ran off singing at the top of her lungs.

Music to my ears.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Problem With Princesses

I'll tell you a secret. I've always wanted to dress up like a princess. As a child I wore dresses to play outside in the dirt. And when all my friends were buying Guess jeans in middle school, I still preferred a skirt. Then there were formals and proms and the wedding. I chose puffy sleeves and skirts with lace and roses and all the romantic touches so important to my inner princess. But alas, I grew up, and this new, less romantic, less idealistic person rejects anything even remotely resembling a ruffle. (Ruffles, you know, accentuate all those things I am now busy trying to hide.)

Though my days of ball gowns are over, my inner princess resurfaces now and then, but only when an occasion arises that merits her highness enforcing her monarchical rule. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I have two girls who inherited the same princess gene. When my youngest wanted a Sleeping Beauty dress for Christmas, I was giddy with excitement. Truth be told, I may have even planted the idea in her unsuspecting little head. How would you like to have a fluffy, pink, Sleeping Beauty princess dress for Christmas? Would you? Huh? Huh? It was the epitome of selfish, vicarious acts, I know. But it worked. And we placed an online order for the dress, the sparkling tiara and bejeweled shoes, all matching in shades of gold and pink. After all, when the inner princess speaks, it is within your best interest to obey. My little one's joy on Christmas morning almost matched mine as she paraded around in her royal accoutre. She was a confection.

Then, of course, a few weeks after Christmas, I discovered the Sleeping Beauty costume and all it's glittery accessories on sale at the mall. As I was checking out the discounted price tags and feeling kind of sick about the money we narrowly missed saving, I noticed the pink brocade Sleeping Beauty shoes seemed different than the shoes we received from the online Disney Store. These shoes before me were bejeweled, with large pink plastic gems to delight the eye of every potential princess aged 1 to 101. I remembered then that the online photo showed the same shoes, but the shoes we actually got were absent of jewels. Not only did I pay full price for the shoes, but I didn't get what I ordered. The inner princess was not happy. What good are simple pink brocade slippers with a glittery heel when there are jewels to be had?! Off with their heads!
That evening I went home and sent a short and sweet email to the good folks at It simply said:

"In early December I ordered the Deluxe Sleeping Beauty costume for my daughter, along with the tiara and shoes. However, the shoes pictured online have jewels while the shoes I received do not. Why?"

Two days later I received a generic email from Guest Services asking for my name, order number and item number of the shoes. Alas, I did not save the order number, because that would require thought and foresight on my part. I had blindly put my trust in Disney, not even recognizing the mistake until weeks later, after my daughter had practically worn them out. Does that sound like someone who saves order numbers to you? So I sent them back another email with my name and the item number, letting them know that I did not save the order number. The very next day, I received this super chipper email from the UberDisney Store employee, Joe, who is so very happy to help, I wonder if he has had too much Pixie Dust:

"Thanks for the email and the chance to help!
I was so pleased to hear from you and would be happy to assist you in resolving your concern. Regrettably, I will need additional information in order to do so. At your earliest convenience, please send your full name, address, telephone number and online order number. We will review your order and will get back with you as quickly as possible.
Please include any other emails you may have concerning this issue, so we will have a full understanding of your concern.
We look forward to hearing from you again very soon!
Have A magical Day!!

I'm not sure I've ever had anyone thank me for the chance to help me, and especially not with an exclamation point. I didn't know if I should feel honored or creeped out. Yet the inner princess was pleased with his posturing, even if he did ask for the flippin' order number again . I replied to Joe to let him know that the order number was still an enigma floating somewhere in cyberspace and happily supplied him with the remaining information.

One hour and fifteen minutes later, I got a reply. On the dot. Joe had passed the request to his friend, or possibly twin sister, Jessica, who was equally enthusiastic and exclamation point happy. Jessica thanked me for allowing her to bring more magic to my experience and apologized profusely for my inconvenience. Without question, without hesitation, Jessica offered to send us a brand new pair of shoes free of charge and no need to return the jewel-less shoes.

I'll be honest. I wasn't expecting that kind of painless service. I expected her royal highness would have to make an appearance and throw around her weight a little bit (which is quite a lot at this time in her life) and probably still not have resolution because I didn't keep the order number. But, the Wonder Twins, Joe and Jessica, came through for me, exceeding all my expectations.

How do you suppose that makes me feel?

Like a princess.