Okay, I'm back. The past month has been pretty crazy, but I have managed to recharge my blogging batteries a wee bit and I think I'm good to go for a while before my next big hiatus.
Lisa is fine, thanks for your emails of support around that. She's up and walking and the bruises are healing, so pretty soon the only evidence of Summer 2007 is going to be three little pink scars. Not bad, considering.
On the aviation front, we have moved our offices from the Landmark FBO at Pearson to a nearby hangar complex where the owner has given us a nice office and hangar space for the aircraft, along with access to lower fuel prices. In return we have made our aircraft available to the hangar owner should it be required, and I think it will work out pretty well for both parties.
Anyway, that's me playing catch-up, it's time for a "real" post. It isn't aviation-related, but here's an awesome thing that happened to us recently. And by "awesome" I mean "This makes us look really bad. In fact, we are going to Hell."
I have changed a few minor details in this story but its essential truth remains.
A few weeks ago, Lisa had gone to a wedding - a friend's sister had gotten hitched, and they had invited Lisa. I had flown that weekend and missed the party - quel suprise I know - but she told me all about it. Basically the whole thing sucked pretty hard. Give you an example? Well, stuff like the bride wore a tube-top, was stumbling drunk and angry. The venue, a part-time bingo hall, had zero decorations, there was no food, and the groomsmen wore fake, printed-on tuxedos. Now I know I'm coming across like a snob, and I want to make it clear that this wasn't about money - they spent a big chunk on alcohol, cowboy hats and cheese doodles - it was about taste, and essentially there was none. Oh, did I mention the best man hit on Lisa and then barfed on the back of her dress after she turned away in disgust? I should mention that.
//Now I want to add a bit of relevant info - Lisa and I are saving for a downpayment on a house, so we have been really taking a hard look at our expenses, and looking for ways to reduce them and save every nickel we can. Fast forward back to the story//
The couple had registered at a large hardware store chain (can you tell this was a hick wedding?), and Lisa had bought them a small gift from their registry. She had planned on giving it to the surly, drunken couple at the wedding, but as none of her other friends had brought gifts she decided to avoid embarrassing them and give the gift after the wedding.
She told me the story, and the more I thought about it, the less I wanted her to spend her hard-earned money on this couple. So I asked her if it would be acceptable to return the gift and instead put the money into our house fund. She was initially horrified, so I asked what she had gotten in return for showing up at the wedding. No food, and the bar was a cash bar. There was no entertainment either, unless you count the guy who repeatedly played "Every Rose Has its Thorn" on his truck stereo in the parking lot or the numerous fights, also in the parking lot. Lisa had shelled out for a gift, and on top of that had to pay again to have her clothes dry cleaned, so I felt that she had already paid her dues.
I convinced her to return the gift. She eventually agreed, so I put it in the trunk of her car for the next time we were passing by one of the large chain hardware stores.
Now last weekend, we were preparing for a house party and were foraging for supplies. We were driving and saw a grocery store and decided to stop in for some fruit and veggies and pop and whatnot. As I was parking, I saw one of these large hardware stores was right next to the grocery store.
I told Lisa I'd catch up with her at the grocery store, and I went to the trunk, pulled out the gift (and receipt) and stomped off to the hardware store.
I went up to the nice CSR girl and told her I'd like to return the gift in exchange for cash. She said sure, and started to go through the refund process. Right at the end she said that I couldn't have cash, that because the gift had been paid for on a credit card they could only refund the money to the card. I happened to have Lisa's VISA on me from earlier that morning (long story), so I gave it to the CSR girl and had her ring it through.
Now it's kind of interesting - on the return receipt, the wedding gift registry number was printed in large letters right at the top. The CSR girl took a look at it, and paused for a few seconds. Then she looked at the name on the credit card. Then she looked at me, long and hard. I figured she was wondering why the name on the card was Lisa and I clearly wasn't a Lisa. "My parents wanted a girl" I joked. She didn't crack a smile, and turned away for a second to answer a ringing phone.
I saw Lisa walk through the main doors of the hardware store, and start to walk over to me, bags of groceries in her hands. She froze, then did a 180 and walked out very quickly for a woman with a good number of stitches in various moving parts.
The CSR girl gave me back Lisa's VISA and said "The money has been refunded. Is there anything else you'd like to return?" She was snarling, almost openly hostile.
I said no, got Lisa's VISA back and quickly walked out, feeling the CSR girl's eyes bore into the back of my hairless skull.
I met Lisa in the parking lot and said "What the hell was that?"
"I didn't know she worked here. That was the bride."
I told you it was awesome.