UPDATED: To Caitlin in Austin from Andrew in Chicago: Happy (super belated) birthday!
Unbelievable news: Andrew emailed me, (see the end of the post) and the whole internet deserves a high five.
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Bedrest is boring, but today an opportunity has presented itself to make my humdrum day a little more exciting. Today I got a misdelivered package.
Here at the Adams Abode, we get a lot of packages, and misdelivered mail is usually at least a bi-weekly occurrence. Typically, we get our neighbor's packages or a bill meant for someone the next street over. No big deal. We just walk the wayward mail over to its correct home. Just a couple days ago we got someone's social security check, so Chris just gave it back to the mailman since it was meant for someone not in our neighborhood.
Since I get a fair amount of unsolicited packages from PR reps and companies who request for me to do reviews, I have received several packages meant for me but addressed to the wrong person. I've had packages sent to me addressed to "India", "Jennifer", and "Amy". Again, no big deal; it's usually a mail merge mistake or some poor intern's oversight.
All this exposition is to explain that when we got a package addressed to Caitlin today, I opened it with no hesitation.
When I opened the box, it was immediately apparent that this was not a sample for me to review or a gift for our new baby. This is a very thoughtful (though belated) birthday gift from Andrew in Chicago to Caitlin in Austin.
When the package arrived in Dallas, Caitlin's address was scanned in as mine. If I simply request a "return to sender" action, this package will never get back to Andrew because his address is gone, too. It will go to the great mail graveyard known as the Mail Recovery Center (where hardly any recovery happens, apparently).
I figure that I have enough Austin-based readers that surely we can find Caitlin and get her her gift. Would you help me out? If one of my friends took the time to send me a very thoughtful birthday gift and it ended up in the wrong place with no hope of delivery, I'd certainly want the recipient to try to track me down.
Or, if you're based in Chicago, perhaps you know Andrew. In the spirit of trying to find them (and in a blatant disregard for privacy), here's the handwritten note Andrew included in the package:
And here are the main contents of the box:
So now we have a list of clues:
1. Andrew lives in Chicago at "1635 W. P[something]"
2. If Andrew got Caitlin's new address correct, she lives somewhere in Austin in a new apartment that begins with "5413 Co[something]" and may have recently returned from Europe.
3. They have a mutual friend named Chelsea.
4. Caitlin's birthday was (perhaps) somewhat recent, although the gift is belated.
5. The main gift is this along with a travel journal, a gold money cat, and some postcards.
Isn't this fun? See why this is a mystery? Surely together we can figure this out. Haven't you always wanted to put your inner Harriet the Spy to the test?
If you are Caitlin or Andrew, get in touch with me. I'll make sure one of you gets the package. And Caitlin? Happy birthday!
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Update: Alyson was having a slow day at work, so she had the brilliant idea of emailing THE THING Quarterly to see if any Andrews in Chicago had placed an order for Issue 16. They wrote her back saying they'd look in to it:
I bet we can figure this out... or at least help. We are looking into it now.
-Jonn (via firstname.lastname@example.org)
A few hours later, I got an email from Andrew. Yes, THE Andrew:
The Thing just sent me this link to your blogpost. That's the package I had sent to my friend Caitlin for her birthday! Not sure how it ended up in Dallas, but thank you much for holding on to it and trying to find either of us! :D That was incredibly thoughtful, and I'm lucky the package was mis-sent to you. I talked to Caitlin and she said that she's willing to come pick up the package from you. If that's alright, I'll let her know!
Thanks again for that blog post!
PS: Caitlin told me she's read your blog before and loves it. She's ecstatic that you're holding on to her present right now.
And almost immediately after I heard from Andrew, I got an email from Jonn at THE THING Quarterly:
Hello. This is Jonn Herschend from THE THING Quarterly. We think we've solved the mystery. We just contacted the Andrew whom we think ordered the Dave Eggers issue and asked if he sent something to Caitlin in Austin. We had to do a bit of detective work because we had many Andrews who were in and around Chicago. But the fact that you provided the letter was a huge help because in the letter there was a PS regarding a Chelsea. The Andrew that we thought might be your Andrew ordered the Eggers issue from Illinois and sent it to a Chelsea in SF. We could not figure out how it got back to him in Chicago, but we figured we should send him an e-mail with a link to your blog, nonetheless. And it turns out that this is your missing Andrew! He should be getting in touch very soon.
THE THING Quarterly
And the final piece of the puzzle is that Chelsea is Andrew's girlfriend, and he had the Eggers issue sent to her in California. Chelsea brought it to Andrew in Chicago, who then mailed it to Caitlin in Texas.
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Thanks so much to everyone who emailed tips or tried tracking Andrew and Caitlin down. It made today's day of bedrest so much more exciting. Maybe something fun like this will happen to me tomorrow, too! High fives all around, internet!