It was not a dark or stormy night when I first glimpsed my good New York Times fortune that I wrote about yesterday in Fresh off the press. In fact, it wasn’t a night at all. It was a bright and cool morning when I was doing the traditional suburban mom dance of raising the blinds at the window over the kitchen sink while rinsing out coffee mugs. Yawn. I did the squinty eyed 45 degree head tilt to “better see” what looked like a newspaper on the driveway. Occasionally, a hometown news style paper would be delivered universally, and my Life-Wife (explained better here)Why you need a Life Wife had always been good about sharing the extras she didn’t need for couponing but this paper…it just looked different somehow.
I took out the trash (choo! choo! All aboard the glamour train!!!) and I skipped over to investigate. When I flipped the casing around to reveal the title, I instinctively cradled in it toward me like you would upon finding a child or enchanted rose or some other sacred thing. Worse yet, I looked quickly over both shoulders and concealed it (still clasped to my chest) as I backpedaled into the house; like Smeagol, I too was entranced by my precious.
There it was, a possibly stolen (or at the very least “improperly delivered”) copy of the New York Times in my hands. I would like to tell you that I stapled it to a poster board which I then staked to the front yard with a sign that read “sorry for the confusion, aficionado of the Times, this arrived here accidentally”. But I did no such thing. I read every single article then prayed it would return again, like Jack’s bean stalk, the next day. Then I prayed against that because someone was paying for it and they would realize the error and By God if I was paying for a subscription I would hope I would receive it. (It was a confusing time made exponentially harder by the fact that with the dawn of a new day, the paper arrived once more).
I had always dreamt of the day I would be grown up enough to warrant my own weekend edition of the Times but I hadn’t quite got around to that. Yet there it was, like some sort of technicolored fable – showing up in my hands; none other than the Sunday edition. Before I could bring myself to gorge on what would surely still be the book review and possibly (fingers crossed) the NYT magazine, I had to crack the case. Why had I received it? Had someone known my secret to always have this very subscription? Had I mumbled a confession to my husband as I slept – and really what would THAT have sounded like?
When I asked him he replied that he hadn’t bought it, that I could sign up for a paper if I wanted it and then asked what the draw was. (sigh). My Life Wife and her real life husband had to be the next logical guess as they subscribe to what I am estimating is ten magazines (possibly more and a few just for me), but no, it wasn’t them either. Ditto my BFF.
I sucked in as much air as I could and I did the unthinkable – I called customer service to report a delivery error (exhaaaaaaaaaaaaale). I spoke with a representative that told me, no. There had been no error. That subscription was mine. The representative couldn’t tell me who it was from but if I guessed – the name would be confirmed…