I spent the subsequent 20 minutes hopping mad, and shaking, on and off the phone with UPS. Obviously, Monday redelivery would result in no flowers for my wedding and a $300 box of garbage on our doorstep for the first day of our honeymoon. Isn't the point of "overnight delivery" to have the item delivered, well, overnight?? Not four days later? ("YES! YES! YES! --I madly pressed the button for "request redelivery or pickup"). I eventually got to speak with a carbon unit.
My options were sort of vague in some senses, but iron strict in others. For example, I could request re-delivery after 5pm...but it might or might not occur, based on the whim of the individual deliverer as it was up to him or her. Union regulations. I could arrange to go pick up my item myself ($300 worth of flowers dehydrating in the August heat as we spoke), in a kind of cruddy area that was half an hour's drive away. I could also try to find the delivery [man, as it turned out], on his lunch break in our town at 2:30 at a particular restaurant. That sounded like my best bet. The only problem, of course, was that my cell-phone-free auntie would be arriving at the airport on hour away--also at 2:30.
After a few more calls to and from UPS, it was established that the UPS lunch spot of the day was a different (but still local) restaurant, and that they would be congregating there at 3. (Who knew they had such organization around their breaks?) I also called TheLimey at work, who agreed to cut short his first day back at the home office in weeks in order to pick up aforementioned aunt at the airport. I equipped him with a cardboard sign (they'd never met in person) at his lunch visit home.
As many of my errands were not in our town, I only got to about the part where I deposited clean linens at my old apartment (for out-of-town family members) before I had to return for the UPS rendezvous. This meant that I didn't get all the cake and flower supplies, but I had a chance of getting the precious, precious flowers themselves.
I waited nervously at the appointed restaurant (Wendy's) for a few minutes before a brown-uniformed man walked in. He looked completely nonplussed when I approached him, and then referred me to a different UPS guy who would be there shortly. Presently another UPS guy showed up, with another on his heels. Right: neither was the one I wanted. (I wondered how the heck many UPS expediters could they possibly need in one tiny town like this, and how was it that they all decided to meet at Wendy's for lunch that day?) Finally, another brown van drove up, and I was out there before it even stopped. As I approached, the driver said, "You must be the lady from L__ Street!"
He then informed me that he had already gone back to the house and tried to redeliver the package, and that our neighbors had signed for it. Apparently he is in the habit of having them sign for TheLimey's stuff when he's out of town, anyway. Of course this begged the question: why the heck couldn't he have done that earlier that morning instead of making me completely insane for the entire day?? But I didn't say that. I just went home, spoke with the neighbor, and got my gigantor package of flowers.