Friday, January 6, 2012

Facing fears

When Maureen was born Robb's friends who live in Indiana sent us gift cards for Schwanns food delivery since they could not bring a meal to us themselves. It was thoughtful and generous of them, to be sure. Except for the fact that for the past 15 years I have lived in mortal fear that one day the Schwanns people will get their hands on my contact information. Some people are afraid of spiders; I am petrified of Schwanns.

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the mercenaries when wars end: Schwanns recruits them to be delivery drivers. Their sales reps are vicious stalkers. They sneak catalogs into your mailbox. They email you about special offers at 2am. They urge you to accept delicious samples. They will not take no for an answer. Ever.

It's ridiculous, really, to be fearful of a food delivery company. Right? Maureen was born in January, and it was sometime in October that I worked up the courage to look at the Schwanns website and contemplate placing an order. After several days of deliberation, I made some meal selections.

I nervously asked Robb what he thought about ordering, but he could not have been more cool about the situation. "Whatever you want to get..." Frankly it's exasperating when your partner calls you out on crazy behavior. Not that he called me out on it, but he was acting like dealing with Schwanns should be no big deal. Of course it's a big deal: once they have us in their clutches they will never let go! We have a responsibility to protect the baby from aggressive consumer shenanigans.

I was relieved to see that food could be shipped, so there was no need for a terrifying Schwanns rep to come to our home. Whew. I clicked the button to continue. If I had the food shipped I would have to pay by credit card. But I have gift cards! I scoured the site frantically Crap! There was no way to redeem gift cards online or over the phone. All purchases with gift cards had to be made in person with a delivery driver. I flippin' knew it! We would not be able to pull this off without incurring the Schwanns sales pitch.

I relayed this information to Robb, so he could share in my outrage. But he shrugged. Fine, I'll show him how scary Schwanns can be. I scheduled the delivery for a window of time when I would be at work, and Robb was home watching Maureen by himself. Then I told him what I had done, so he could be exasperated with me. But he said, "Okay."

Seriously? No reaction at all? That man really knows how to push my buttons.

I waited at work for Robb to call and give me play by play about the Schwanns delivery. And I waited and waited. Until I couldn't take it anymore. I was sure that Robb had been tricked into some kind of evil subscription program, and I would arrive home to find he and the baby buried under a mountain of individually vacuum packed frozen steaks. My imagination ran wild. I called home.

"So? What happened?"

"The guy came around 2."

"What? The window was supposed to be between 11 and 1. Did you ask why he was so late?"

"I didn't ask. The guy was nice."

Uh oh. "What all did you get?"

"Whatever you ordered."

"That's it?"


"Was he really pushy?"

"No. He left a catalog and said he'd be back in our area in two weeks."

I was baffled by Robb's experience with the Schwanns man. It simply didn't fit with my recollection of crazy Schwanns sales people. I mean, the guy I remembered who delivered to some of my coworkers when I was in college, he was relentless. A giant rat terrier with a refrigerated truck. It didn't add up. Maybe I had been wrong all this time to be fearful of Schwanns.

And then several days later as I scrolled through the caller id I found this:

Don't answer the phone

It was THEM!

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