Day 15: When Mistakes Are Made

There is little room for mistake when one is practicing the ancient Ayurvedic art of Oil Pulling.  The steps are simple:

  1. Dip a spoon into a jar of coconut oil (or sesame, or fine virgin)
  2. Insert spoon in mouth
  3. Remove spoon from mouth, leaving oil behind
  4. Swish the oil around your mouth for ten to twenty minutes, taking care to “pull” it between your teeth
  5. Spit the oil out into the garbage

Five steps.  What could go wrong?  Someone forgets to remove the spoon?  A person spits the oil into the sink instead of the trash, running the risk that it was solidify in the pipes and cause a back-up the likes of which man has never seen?  Both possible, I guess, but not very plausible.  Let’s face it, the hardest part about oil pulling is making the time to do it.  There is less room for mistakes than, say, packing wedding invitations.

This is a lesson I’ve learned firsthand.  We presumed the process would be simple:

  1. Find vendor to handle the design and printing of our invites
  2. Place order
  3. Review proofs
  4. Receive invitations
  5. Address envelopes
  6. Pack envelopes, taking care to stamp the RSVPs tucked inside
  7. Take to post office
  8. Wait for the responses to start rolling in

We were confident that following the steps would lead us to the promised land of headache-free delivery.  Whoops, right?  Steps one and two were seamless.  Step three was a little dicey, as the proofs showed up a week later than we were promised.  The tardiness continued with step four, as the finished product got delivered 3 days later than the assured arrival date.  Both of these slip-ups would have been easily overlooked if our invitations were perfect.

That’s what we get for dreaming big.

Confusion set in when we opened the box to review our purchase.  There was no green on our cards.  Where we expected to see a shade called “Molly,” we were instead greeted with a deep navy.  Now, I like blue as much as the next man, but not when I’m expecting green.  Not when then proofs I reviewed showed me green.  Not when the order form we filled out and contract we signed said green.

The vendor tried to tell us everything was ok.  “That is your color,” she assured us.

I took my phone out to check the proof.

“You can’t look on your phone,” she said.  “Proofs aren’t true to color on phones.”

“I looked on my computer, too.  It was definitely green there.”

“Well, you can’t trust a computer screen, either, because they’re so different than what prints out.  Here, let’s take a look at the proof we printed.”  She rooted through our folder and took out a piece of paper.  It, too, showed green where we expected to see green.  She was quick on her feet, though.  “This is green, but you can’t trust our printer.  It’s different than the one the card company uses.”

“So what you’re telling me is that the proof we were sent, the digital proof we were given to look at because you say they don’t do paper proofs for wedding invites, was not an indication of our invitations?  What’s the point in that?”  I jabbed my finger down on the blue branches that covered my invite.  “We never would have agreed to move forward if this was what we thought the cards would look like.”

She stammered a bit before making a promise to make everything right.  She did, and we moved onto Step 5.  We tapped Marta, handwriting expert extraordinaire, to address our envelopes.  She knocked them out in record time, leaving us at Step 6 – the stuffing and stamping of the envelopes.

Each envelope required 2 stamps – one for the RSVP and one for the main envelope.  I’m not the greatest mathematician, but I know that this means we should have ended with an even number of stamps used.  We didn’t.  We were left staring at eleven stamps when we knew there should have been ten.

It was our hope that we forgot to stamp the outside of an envelope.  That would be an easy fix.  After flipping through them all, however, we learned the true depth of our mistake.  We stuffed an envelope with an unstamped RSVP card.  Short of tearing open every invite, there was no way for us to figure out which guest is going to think we chintzed out on our stamps.

To whoever it is – we’re sorry.  We have the stamp, we just didn’t put it on.  Please don’t take this as an indictment of Kim and myself.  Please don’t think we’re asking every single guest to use their own stamp to send back the RSVP.  It’s just you, and it wasn’t on purpose.  We promise.  We just figured that stuffing envelopes would be as easy as Oil Pulling.

Boy were we wrong.

Update: I wrote this post over a week ago, but didn’t get around to reviewing and posting it until today. In that time, we’ve discovered who received the stampless RSVP card. Apologies to Nate and Rebekah for our glaring oversight. Whoops, right?




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About evan

i once found, when finding was fun, a path through the stars that led straight to the sun.
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