Friday, December 23, 2011

Sign Wars

I think that I'm going to be in a documentary soon...a reality show maybe...about crazy people who start fights over signage. First, let me backtrack to November when I needed to get the word out about my Holiday Bootie Buster Boot Camp. I had a limited budget (that means 45 bucks) and I needed as many signs as possible. I managed to get three 18x24" signs with posts and used up all my budget, plus I had to throw a few extra pennies in from the kids' piggy banks. Remember these?

So...fast forward 4 weeks and I decide to make the boot camp permanent, so I need permanent signs right? I head straight back to the sign maker with enough money for 15 signs this time!! GO ME! Only this time, they try to charge me $477!!! That's FOUR HUNDRED and Seventy Seven green backs, gold coins,  pure gravy... BUCKS! I couldn't figure it out. They couldn't figure it out. Shouldn't I be paying LESS for ordering MORE? Eventually they looked my last order up on their handy computer and discovered they only charged me for one sign the first time...and three sign holders :-) Oh Bother! I wiggled and waggled my way through two customer service reps, two different locations and finally my man, Richard, came through for me. He got my signs with posts down to just over $15 each. I wanted to kiss him! Instead I just promised him my everliving committment to return to him for all future sign needs. I had my toes crossed though, ...so if anyone knows of a way to get cheaper signs, let me know.

So the Sign Wars all started about 5 weeks ago. I mean...these babies are... well...they are my babies!! Cheap they are not. I must guard them like they are diamond encrusted. One of my three holiday signs was in a prime location at a 3 way stop in my neighborhood. One day I drove by and lovingly gazed at my sign as I dropped the kids off at school. A few minutes later I drove by to find my sign GONE...and in it's place is a PTA Christmas Bazaar sign. Not only did those b!@tches PTA members put their sign in my spot, they completely removed MY sign! A week or two later my husband found it flung into a field across the street. We had plans to "communicate our unhappiness" to the PTA, but eventually decided that blood might be shed and we just dropped it.

Two weeks ago, as my Dad and I were driving down the road, I excitedly showed him the location of one of my newest signs...

...only to discover it was mostly hidden by a much bigger Christmas Trees For Sale sign that someone had put in front of it. Grrrr....

I dropped Dad off at home, headed out for a run and as I went by I plucked that baby out of the ground and tried to move it over...unsuccessfully. The ground was frozen and wasn't budging for me. I propped it up and being the bigger person, came back later with a hammer and in a more appropriate spot RIGHT next to my sign instead of in front of it, I hammered it in safe and sound. Several days later I drove by to find that this time they had uprooted their sign and again moved it in front of mine - this time completely covering mine. *#*%@*##*!!&*#. So with two little confused girls in tow, I removed their sign and drove it to their house. I really didn't want to have words with anyone and the sign at their door said they were on a break. Not wanting to scare the teenager sitting inside wondering why some crazy woman was peering through his front window with a tree sign held up high over her head, I gently placed it on their front porch (where it remains to this day :-)

I know I've lost it. I'm a mad woman. And yesterday was the last straw. Again, after passing one of my signs and returning within minutes from the other direction to see it was gone, I was just stumped. Where in the world could it be? What makes people think they can just destroy or get rid of someone else's stuff? At Christmas no less. Nowwwww, I will admit that this particular sign is on someone's private property. Someone I don't know. Someone who I did not ask permission of...But I placed the sign in a place kind of "off' their property...that they can't even see from their house...but that is prime sign location. I kind of wondered why there were no other signs there, but the thought was brief. I think it shouldn't have been such a fleeting thought, though. I mean...I see the owner of this house out vacumming his garage floors and waxing them and stuff. He's no slacker in the yard/home maintenance department. However, my sign was there for a good three weeks with no issues, so I had been quite pleased with my trespassing skills.

It directly occurred to me when Mai and I could not find the sign in the bushes anywhere, that these home owners had definitely removed it. I wanted it back. Badly. With cute dog and even cuter little girl by my side, I rang their bell. A woman answered. I kindly told her that I illegally placed a sign on her property and was hoping that rather than vandals having destroyed my "very expensive" sign, that perhaps someone in her home had rightly removed it and could I possibly have it returned to me. She said she was so very sorry about my sign but she had no idea what in the world I was talking about. Then about that time she turned a bit surly and expressed some pretty deep anger about people who put garage sale or missing pet flyers on the telephone pole out there in their side yard and I IMMEDIATELY KNEW she had my sign. However, she wouldn't break. I was sweet and kept it all under my hood. You're not getting me riled at Christmas time, lady...I'm walking away with my Christmas spirit high and just happy to know it wasn't punk vandals but actually someone who had a right to remove my sign. I can deal.

As Mai and I sang out our Merry Christmas to her and wandered back to our dog walk, not 30 seconds passed before I got a blocked call...which I didn't answer. A few minutes later...a second blocked call...which I did answer. It was her. I knew it would be. She couldn't handle the guilt...not this close to Christmas. She said she had my sign. She tried to put the blame on her husband, but either way, I knew it...she just couldn't stand the lies :-)

I immediately went back to her house and she returned my sign...postless. When I asked about the post she actually said "I think you are pushing your luck". I reminded her that although the posts aren't "that" expensive, every little bit counts at Christmas time. She said she had put it aside to use as a tomato ladder in her garden next Spring and so after a little scuffling around behind her door, she returned my post to me, too :-)

So whadaya think? Should cameras be following me around OR WHAT??

13 comments:

Elizabeth said...

you are much nicer than i would’ve been. it pays to have patience! i could learn a thing or two from you :):)

Mike said...

Ha! We are going to see you on the new TLC series "signage wars" :-). That's cool the lady called you, even if it was because she felt guilty.

*~*~* Tracy said...

Wow, you get bonus points for not committing a homicide. Patience is always a good thing...unfortunately I possess about 1/2 a molecule of it.

I'm glad you got your signs back, with their posts.

Julie said...

LOL! Practically rolling reading this! You are awesome!

Kate said...

Oh my gosh Julie! That's crazy! Way to handle that last situation with class. Not only did you get your sign back BUT you set a fantastic example for Mai. I hope I'd handle a similar situation as well.

Merry Christmas, my friend!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

This is hilarious! I can't believe the woman lied to your face. All she had to say was that she didn't want signs on her property, hand it over, and ask you to place it elsewhere.

Good for you for sticking up for your signs, though.

Epic Fail said...

I say you go to the next PTA meeting and very loudly and publicly ask who ripped up your sign and flung it into a field. If there's one thing I know about PTA ladies its how much they love to do nasty things anonymously, yet live every day in fear of being publicly confronted about any of it. As for the others, I'm familiar with the never-ended battle to maintain signs and things, but I don't know a good solution. Vigilance is all you can do.

Jill said...

You have some gumption and I love that about you. I am way too weeny, I'd have stopped with the first no. Happy to hear your sign - and post - is back! YAY!

Have a fantastic Christmas, Julie girl! (and I hope your gift exchange gift arrives soon!). Big hugs to you!!

(oh, you reminded me that I was at our gym yesterday and there WAS new TRX stuff up - yay! Totally mad me think of you!)

ajh said...

What a huge pain. Good luck keeping all your signs from now on.

Alma said...

I'm shocked that people would be so rude. I mean, it's not like you're competing for business with the PTA & tree sellers. I think you were quite civil indeed. Around here, people post paper flyers w/ the tear-off phone #'s at local coffee shops, kids consignment stores, yoga studios, community centers, etc.

Laurie said...

I love how you got your sign back. Sure, it was on private property but the woman could have been honest the first time, given it back (along with the post) and then you could have been on your way. Glad the guilt got the best of her.
And I had no idea the signs were so expensive.

Terzah said...

Wow, what a story! I want you with me next time I have to get info out of someone who doesn't want to share. You should be a newspaper reporter with that kind of gut--and you got her to give it back, too. Amazing!!

Nelly said...

Wow, this is straight out of a reality show! Bizarre, haha

Yea, that Stanford game was brutal to watch the finish of. I thought Stanford deserved to win, but they made too many mistakes.

Oregon played well though! Congrats on the Rose Bowl win! Next year Oregon won't have to worry about Stanford beating them, Stanford will likely be 8-4 next year I bet. But USC will be good (as long as Matt Barkley comes back), I see both Oregon and USC going 11-1 next year. Who knows who will win the Pac-12!