This weekend I made another gruesome discovery. I was at the beach with my family, and after a day of sun and sand, I returned to the hotel to take a shower. I collected all my toiletries to bring into the bathroom, and it was then that I opened the soap case I’d previously packed for my son to take to camp. Inside I found the new bar of soap I’d placed in there before he left still in its original pristine condition – full size, perfect rectangular shape, free of grit, marks and dents. It had never in the course of two weeks been touched. He’d told me he’d used the showers while he was away, but apparently he’d never once used soap.
Panic-stricken I whipped around, holding the soap case out toward him. “What exactly did you washed with?”
“Shampoo.” He shrugged. What was my problem?
I guess I should be happy about that.
The real problem now, though, is I still have not received my son’s clothes from camp. We’re going on two weeks now. Even if they had mailed it out at the cheapest possible rate like turtle-express, wouldn’t it have gotten here by now? Did they lie to me? Are they trying to steal my son’s fine collection of Minecraft t-shirts? What is going on? WHY WON’T THEY GIVE US OUR USED AND POSSIBLY SMELLY CLOTHES BACK?
Remember how I found the clothes on the camp website when the camp told me they couldn’t find them, and I had to direct them to their own lost & found page with the picture of his clothes LABELED with his name because I listen to instructions and labeled every Goddamn thing that went into that suitcase? Well, somehow that wasn’t enough to get the clothes returned to me. I called the camp up the other day to see what the hell the hold up was because my son has no clothes other than the ones he was wearing the day he came home. When I explained the situation, the woman on the phone said she would look into it. She didn’t inspire much confidence, and I was starting to think we may never see those clothes again, but when she got back to me she said she had located them, which was good because I had already located them a while ago. The only thing was payment had to be arranged to mail them out. I was like nobody said anything to me about payment. The last I heard the guy was going to mail them to me. So I guess now I know why they were holding his entire summer wardrobe hostage.
“About how much is that going to run me?” I asked. She said she didn’t know but started talking about checks and credit cards and such for payment.
“Well, when you find out the cost you can let me know.”
“We can do it that way if that’s how you want to work it,” she said. How the hell else would I work it? How am I supposed to pay for something if I don’t know how much it is? Now I’m getting a little pissed because while this mishap isn’t entirely the camp’s fault, I feel they had a hand in it, but they expect me to pay for it all. Plus, they’ve had his clothes for close to a month. Summer’s over now. So I said, “This is his whole wardrobe. How was he allowed to leave camp without anyone checking he had his clothes?”
“Well, the pile doesn’t look that big.”
He’s a boy, I thought. He doesn’t need that many clothes. So then I don’t know what the hell they have of his or if I was ever getting them back. If mailing costs 20 bucks no problem. If it’s a hundred bucks, I can just get him a couple of new t-shirts or wait until next year when he’s outgrown everything and get him a new wardrobe then.
I never heard back from the camp. I was starting to make peace with the fact that I might never see his clothes again when the UPS truck pulled up in front of my house. I rushed to the door, breathless. The guy came around the truck carrying a sizable brown cardboard box. There written on the side were the words I’d been longing to see. “YMCA Camp.”
They came. They came. I didn’t pay for them, but they came just the same!
“Your clothes are back!” I screamed. “Thank God almighty. They’re back.”