Friday, August 26, 2011

All Gussied Up

Edgar's sister Elsa got married last week and we finally got some family pictures taken with our new edition--who is none too new. He's already one, big as can be, and loves photo shoots about as much as his old man. Poor Lili's dress was supposed to be lilac-colored, but there was a mistake made somewhere along the line and the little girls' dresses came to us in pink--5 days before the wedding and from China. There was no time to send them back. Her dress was also about a foot too long. Thanks to a lot of help from my sister Marianne (okay, she finally just did it for me after I had to take out what I had done), I was able to hem it. The website from China advertised "Too many colors! Too many sizes!" Unfortunately, that proved all too true.

I also had a tricky run-in with a dress from China (different company). We hosted a foreign-exchange dress in lilac for a little over a week. It was a nice enough dress, but it didn't fit me. I e-mailed the company (there was no customer service phone number) and explained that I couldn't even get the dress zipped up. I had measured myself and was confident that I'd ordered the right size. They sent back an e-mail which said, in essence "prove it." I had to provide a picture of Edgar trying to zip the dress up on me. He had to hold a tape measure, showing that the dress was too small--not that I was too big. After that, they agreed to consider a return. I wasn't sure I'd have time to exchange the dress (it took 20+ days to arrive from China) and the shipping was costly, so I tried to sell the dress on ebay. I took a lovely picture of it on a hanger, but the hanger didn't do it justice. I tried copying the model's picture from their website, but it would only allow me to copy the bottom right hand corner. So I called Marianne (which is what anyone with that skinny sister in the neighborhood would do--she bails me out regularly and particularly when it comes to foreign formal wear) and asked her to pose for a picture. She's a good sport and was willing to do it. When she came over, I put the dress down on the counter. I didn't realize I had spilled oil there that morning when I had made pancakes. Marianne quickly noticed the dress was stained. Would anyone want to buy a stained lilac dress? I was distraught. We went ahead with the pictures--we were able to zip the dress up on slender Marianne. After she went home I noticed some of Edgar's orange soap that he uses to get grease off his mechanic's hands. Would that work on filmy foreign fabric? What did I have to lose? Lo and behold! It took that oil right out, leaving no evidence of my dirty counter! I confidently posted the dress on ebay. I had the option of inviting my facebook friends to view it. I chose not to--forgive me if you would have wanted that lovely gown. Days went by and then a week and nobody was remotely interested in my too-small evening wear. I decided to send it back to China. The company had kindly offered to pay up to half the price of the dress for it to be altered. I asked them to keep the dress and to give me what they would have to alter it. They surprised me by refunding the full cost of the dress and the cost of shipping it back to them on that slow boat. Actually, I speak too soon, They have said they will give me a refund, but I haven't seen it yet. In any case, it was fun to learn a little bit about Chinese culture by having that dress stay with us for a little while. She seemed to enjoy American culture as well, and she picked up English very quickly.

And now, lest you think Edgar doesn't ever smile, I captured him doing this when he didn't realize anyone was watching. Here he is with his brothers Sergio and Osvaldo:

Doesn't that smile look good on him?