You know when you take a big gulp of cola - only to find out it's root beer? And you taste buds are all, "Blech, ew! Why didn't you warn me that was coming? I was not expecting that!"
That's how I felt the other day at the dry cleaning store. Allow me to backtrack.
So, adhering to my husband's logic that it's better to wait until you have 847 items of clothing to be dry cleaned rather than taking care of a handful at a time, I took a bag bigger than one of Santa's sacks to the dry cleaner last week.
I almost felt like it was Christmas, speaking of the big guy in red. "Finally, I'm getting my fancy clothes back," thought I so very happily.
And, as I began to pull out sweater after skirt after T-shirt of washable (and let's face it, pretty mundane) garments, it started to dawn on me that this was the bag of clothes I'd compiled to donate to charity. So, I begged the question, "Where are all my dry-clean-only clothes?"
Not realizing my plea had actually been verbalized (rather loudly at that), the kind lady behind the counter sheepishly smiled (even though she'd clearly just missed out on a small fortune) and said, "Uh oh "
Indeed. It was my beloved groom who'd moved the clothing bags to the garage because they were taking up too much space in the house. Minor hoarding is hardly a crime, people, but either way ...
I thought he'd hear me in Boardman from my day job in Stark County, but I decided to use my cell phone anyway. I counted to 10 during the dialing process and found that I was able to remain at a respectable decibel level by the time he answered.
"Hey, hon, funny story ... So, um, my dry cleaning, where might that be?" I said almost laughing ... but not really.
He reassured me, and by me, I mean himself, that he hadn't accidentally donated all my finest garb to charity.
Day four - still no sign.
Not that I'm not happy to tithe; it's all good. And, in a true making-lemonade-from-lemons moment (as my buddy Jess commented when I went crying in to tell her), I even mused about the contentment of the receiver of my work suits, ball gown and cocktail dresses.
"And, hey, I guess I'll have to go shopping!" I said, really turning that thing around.
But, my favorite stuff, poof! Gone. It did make me a little sad.
Not as sad as my dinner guests on Easter 2011 after they'd consumed my homemade wedding soup. Unbeknownst to me, the can of College Inn broth I'd used in a pinch (because I was out of my favorite bouillon cubes) to supplement the hand-made broth was bad - even though the "sell by" date had about three months to go.
No one told me that day, and it wasn't until the following week that my Dad asked me if I put vinegar in the soup.
"What?!" I said, mortified. Hey, I take a lot of pride in my homemade specialties. Staples include wedding soup, lasagna, meatballs, chicken scampi and Italian bread.
Well, no wonder half my family decided to Easter in Florida this year! Hmpf.
I'll have you know that the lasagna, bread and wedding soup (with homemade croutons atop) won rave reviews this year, people.
My close pal Christine Ruggieri of Warren tried to cheer me when I recounted the soup tale, claiming a similar story of ruined cheesecake to try to make my blunder seem less horrendous.
The truth is, nothing Chris makes - and she painstakingly creates each dish entirely from scratch - is ever anything less than perfect. Actually, I've come to expect it, though her humble nature would never concur. She is, in fact, the kindest, most thoughtful, hardworking and sincere gal around, so perfect is kind of her thing. Have I mentioned that she's also drop-dead gorgeous?
That's when it hit me: I've got Chris and other treasured pals, the true blessing of my family, two jobs I love, a cute little house that encircles a stable home - OK, OK, who cares about the dry cleaning? It's nothing.
There are folks out there facing some real tough times. In fact, I said a quick prayer to St. Jude for those struggling whose hardships I know.
Indeed, there is tragedy and sorrow out there, folks, and my lost loot certainly doesn't make the list. I'm super grateful for my life, and if losing a bunch of clothes to folks who might really need them is the worst thing to happen, heck, that's just icing on the cake, really.
Or croutons on the soup. I swear they're pretty good. Honest!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her with mix-up musings at email@example.com.