Author Archives: Christine Lacoste Bordelon

Alarms, prom dresses and postal delivery, OH MY

People who like to watch reality TV should come in to my house and live my life just 24 hours. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to. Every day presents itself with a new drama, and it’s all real.

Take today, for instance. At 12:15 a.m. while watching Jimmy Fallon, my house alarm starts to beep but, since we’d never heard that in the past three months we’ve lived in the house, we had no clue that’s what it was. My teenager hears something, too, and we track it down to the alarm system.

After pressing tons of buttons, I finally get it to stop. Okay, so I think that’s over. At 6:10 a.m., the alarm siren goes off, by itself. My husband is already up, so the alarm is no longer armed. Is Casper the Ghost now living in our new home? The only way we can shut it off is to pull a circuit breaker outside and take the battery back up out of the system. I call the alarm company, they will come out later in the day.

I meet the alarm guy, a very nice man, but he has no clue why it would have gone off like it did without being armed. He gives me the line I have heard so many times since we started in January 2011 building our new home in Metairie: “I’ve been in the 28 years, and this has never happened before. … Call me if it happens again.”

Okay, like I wouldn’t call him? Didn’t I just get him out to find out what was wrong?

While I am home dealing with the alarm, I realize another problem hasn’t worked out.  I know I shouldn’t get started talking about ordering a dress for prom season. It’s hell, pure hell. Dramarama isn’t even a strong enough word to use. We are on a budget since we built the house – understandable, right?. So my daughter – to her credit – searched all over the find the perfect dress. She finds one on line. I look at it and approve it – since it cannot be strapless or indecent it any way. It’s beautiful. Just perfect for a teenager, which is so difficult in this day and age and our culture.

We order it on March 4. We pay more than I wanted, plus pay extra for two-day express delivery.

I call to check on it last week to see when it might come in.  I learn that the dress isn’t scheduled to be shipped until June 5. JUNE 5!!!!! REALLY!!! The prom is in late April.

I call the company and tell them my dilemma and ask if they thought I would have ordered a dress had I known it wouldn’t be delivered until June 5. Basically I am told I didn’t read the fine print – just like another customer she had just spoken to – and there is nothing they can do.  (I guess us busy working moms just can’t read.) They will not refund our money. No way to get it faster, either because it is supposedly custom made somewhere in the world.

Finally, they agree to let me pick something else and they will charge me an extra $40 to allow me to do this. What am I supposed to do? Lose hundreds of dollars or pay an extra $40? The same day my daughter calls the company, unbeknownst to me. They tell her the same thing and add that they talked to me, had notes in my file,  and to pick out something else.            Well, it’s not as easy as that. She goes back on the website, and we discover now that most of the dresses that are supposedly custom-made like the one she originally ordered now have a date of, guess what, JUNE 5 on them. No longer does it say 6-8 weeks anywhere on the website. Coincidence? I don’t think so. If that had been clear to begin with, customers like me searching for “prom dresses” during “prom season” would not have ordered a dress from this company.  Why weren’t only the dresses available to be shipped in March or April only advertised as prom dresses? So deceptive.

And, when you call the company, the phone number dialed instantly puts you on hold for 15 minutes without even a person coming on and saying you are on hold. A person comes on, puts you back on hold and then we are disconnected not once but two times!!! So we try a third time and told the girl do not put us on hold. As we are on hold those three times, the availability of the dresses she likes goes from 2 to 1 to 0 all before our eyes. My daughter is crying hysterically. This is so ridiculous. We can’t even talk to someone and the dresses disappear.

If a dress is custom made couture, how can any size no longer available? We ask that question and were told it must be glitch in the computer system. I get so incensed that businesses blame technology for their lack of helping customers. HELP ME! I NEED CUSTOMER SERVICE WHEN I CALL!!

So she orders a dress, of course, even more expensive than the first, but at this point we just need to get this done. When parents are beaten to death emotionally, sometimes we just cave in. That’s something I struggle with all the time. But I know all of us can’t be strong every minute. I only have two kids. I just don’t know how people with many more children do it. I come from a big family and you would think I could roll with the punches better, but there are always too many punches to duck.

You think ordering the dress is the tough part. Think again – DELIVERY. The dress is delivered by USPS by Express mail within days on a Friday. Which seems great. Finally, something is working out. But, no one’s home to sign for it, so a notice is left. Easy enough, right? You fill out a form that was left, tape it to the mailbox and the postman is supposed to deliver it the next day. The package is not delivered on Saturday. So, we take the notice to the nearest post office. It’s not there. I call the 1-800-ASK-USPS, give the tracking number. They guarantee delivery on Tuesday with a confirmation number. Mail comes on Tuesday, and the dress is not with it.  I call the USPS number again, they say there are sorry. WELL IT’S EXPRESS DELIVERY AND THE PACKAGE IS RETURNED AFTER 5 DAYS. I am sweating it out here!! What are we supposed to do? The notice has been on my mailbox for three days now and no package.

I am given another local post office to call. They laugh when I explain m y dilemma. LAUGH. REALLY,  although the guy seems really nice. They have the package but close at 5 p.m. Luckily my husband works nearby. He asks for the nice postman who finds the package but doesn’t open it. I wonder what we will find tonight when it’s opened??

Sojourners movie

It’s taken me a while to get this up but I couldn’t dismiss writing about the premiere of the movie, “Sojourners,” recently at Notre Dame Seminary.

            The event was packed, sold out in fact. Young, old and in between, including me, sat and laughed and were touched by the honesty of the young adults on an annual trip to Medjugorje with the Sojourners of the Burning Heart ministry.

            Sojouners musicians performed several songs, includinng the movie’s theme song, and filmmaker Steve Scaffidi and Sojourners of the Burning Heart moderator Tammy Dupuy gave a quick talk before the screening.

            “This is a story for all of us that are looking for more,” Dupuy said. “Our prayer for this movie is that it will spark a light and help people advance their prayer life and help people decided where they are going on their (faith) journey.”

            Archbishop Gregory Aymond was on hand to chat and take photos with teens and called the movie a “story of discipleship and responding to God’s call for discipleship.”

            I spotted groups from various high schools there. St. Mary’s Academy seniors Dominique Shelton and Gabrielle Trepagnier learned of the event from their teacher Laura Chance. They said they really didn’t know much about Medjugorje before, only heard tangentially about Mary appearing to people there. They were blown away by the movie.

            “It was really good,” Shelton said. It was eye-opening just seeing how much love you can experience in an area and the warming of hearts of those who were there. I’d like to go there. I want to feel what they felt – that joy that they experienced.”

            Scaffidi plans to take the movie on the road to Italy, Spain, London, California.

            “It’s taken on a life of its own,” Scaffidi said.

            Find the movie at http://www.thesojournersmovie.com.

            Contact Dupuy about the Sojourners at tammydupuy@yahoo.com or 289-3194.

Vatican announces indulgences for World Youth Day

Vatican announces indulgences for World Youth Day

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – To help encourage prayers for a spiritually fruitful World Youth Day in Madrid, the Vatican announced Aug. 11 that Pope Benedict XVI had authorized a special indulgence for anyone who, “with a contrite spirit,” raises a “prayer to God, the Holy Spirit, so that young people are drawn to charity and given the strength to proclaim the Gospel with their life,” a Vatican decree said.

The decree included the offer of a plenary, or full, indulgence to all the young people who will gather with the pope in Madrid. World Youth Day runs Aug. 16-21 in the Spanish capital; the pope arrives Aug. 18.

An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment a person is due for sins that have been forgiven. The conditions necessary for receiving a plenary indulgence include having recently gone to confession, receiving the Eucharist and offering prayers for the intentions of the pope.

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Msgr. Robert Guste tributes

By Christine Bordelon

Msgr. Robert Guste, who was in residence at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Kenner, died Aug. 3, 2010. Many who knew him have sent in tributes. Here are a few of them:

From Deacon Jeff Fariss of Kenner

The first anniversary of the passing of Msgr. Robert Guste is here – Aug. 3.

My wife and I so enjoyed being with him every morning at 9 a.m. Mass. I served as a deacon at those Masses since being assigned after Hurricane Katrina. He was such a holy priest, always filled with joy. He prayed about absolutely everything, would buy someone a meal, fill up their car with gas, sit and listen, even to those who wanted his time over and over. He was so patient.

He was pro-life and always encouraged others to go pray outside the “abortion mill” as he called it. And, in spite of his age and health, he would go himself! One of the best stories of his that I remember was when he saw a man bringing a young woman to the clinic. Father Guste called him over and said if he brought her to the New Life Center to have an ultrasound, he would give him $100. The guy took the deal and a life was saved! He told others, and they gave him $100 and he made more deals.

He was fearless in the work of the Lord, a man of prayer and was willing to give his time to any who needed it. Many times, we would hear het got a 2 a.m. call to visit a hospital, but, of course, we’d never hear it from him. He was humble and virtuous, like Jesus, always looking to do the will of His Father.

Missing him, praying for him as we always asked us to do and counting on him praying for all of us.

 From David Rittinger, an altar server at OLPH

With the anniversary of the passing of Msgr. Robert Guest, there are so many things to mention about him.

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Crazed life as a working mom, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend

I saw the promo tag line for the new movie “The Help” – Change begins with a Whisper – and it made me think how often I feel like God is whispering in my ear “You will get through this” as my life unfolds by the minute, hour and day.

We all juggle so much. I think my brain must resemble spaghetti just wiggling on a plate. When will the strands slip onto the floor? We know they do. We all slip up sometimes. Just ask my daughter. Trying to keep up with all she has going in her life and what I have going is daunting. I amaze myself what I accomplish as opposed to what I forget.

When I see all the poverty, homelessness and tough situations people endure daily just outside my office at Howard and Loyola avenues, I know that I am lucky.

With this blog, I hope you can laugh with me, laugh at me, share similar circumstances and commiserate with me and sometimes, even cry with me. But, mostly, I want you to realize that we have to trust that God has a master plan for all of us. We have to try harder not to sweat the small stuff, although I know I do all the time. Keep the faith, remain hopeful and know that tomorrow is another day.