September 28, 2009

a happy ending.

Nub and Noah

This is Noah. Noah works at Departure, where seven and a half weeks ago, I left Nub.

Late last week, on realizing that my hedgehog still had not been returned, my friend Jennifer (our production stage manager at the opera) sent a disgruntled email to the management company who oversees The Nines Hotel, where Departure is located. She got a blanket reply, and then a second reply saying "someone will be responding to you within five days." Today she received an email from one of the managers at the hotel, saying that he had inquired into the matter with the restaurant's manager and with, it turns out, Noah.

I received the copy of your comments to Starwood, and can personally help and follow up on the situation.  I would like to apologize for the poor communication and follow through of our associates. 

Upon receiving your letter today, I discussed the matter with Ron Acierto, our Departure manager, as well as Noah  - the associate who you spoke with.

According to Noah, he personally took the stuffed animal – a small monkey?- to the post office, and sent it via regular mail in a small box.

Noah did not send it express mail, or certified, and does not have a tracking number for this shipment.  He believes that he may still have a copy of the receipt from the payment at the USPS office, but will be out of town for the remainder of the week and will attempt to locate it upon his return.

I will let you know what we discover later this week.  If you would like to discuss the situation further, I can be reached at the number listed in my email signature.

David Marsh
Director of Operations - Food and Beverage

When I got this email, I realized that maybe instead of being lost somewhere in Departure, Nub was in fact lost in the mail. What if, I thought, the address on the box was wrong and there was no return address? I called the post office and created a report with the Lost Mail division, who took all the relevant addresses and agreed to call me in two business days with their findings.

I got home tonight and was busy cooking dinner when I poked into my bedroom for something, only to hear my phone buzzing. I answered, thinking it would be the post office. Instead, it was Noah.
"I'm standing at Portland Opera and I have Nub," he said. "But the office is closed and I can't get in to deliver him."

It turned out Nub had, in fact, been sitting at the post office for five weeks, having been improperly labeled and lacking a return address. Noah hadn't thought anything more about him since dropping him off five weeks ago. No one at Departure had followed up with him so he had no way of knowing that Nub had never arrived. Today his manager called him; he was spending a day at the coast. He DROVE BACK to take care of the situation: called up the post office, swung by the branch where Nub had been dropped off, and brought him to the correct address.

"I don't want to leave here without dropping this box off," he said. I told him that there was no one to open the door: the folks in Patron Services don't really know me, and probably wouldn't let him in anyway. Cristina was in yoga until six inside the building, but there was no way of reaching her for another half hour. I offered to meet him at the office. "I'm only two miles away," I said.
"How about I drop him at your house?" he offered. "Unless you think that's weird."

So that's what he did. I gave him my address and then sat out on the stoop to wait. I warned my neighbor, Andrew, that I might shed a tear when Nub was delivered. Less than ten minutes later, Noah was smiling and walking up the sidewalk with a parcel wrapped in paper and string, and an envelope. "It's a little outdated now," he said, "but that's OK."

The envelope and letter were both typed up on a typewriter. The envelope is addressed with my name, "AKA: Nub's Mumsy."

The contents of the letter:
Dear Miss Jessica,

I have most certainly missed you. It's been torture these weeks apart and I can't say I've ever been more bored. This lovely gentleman who was kind enough to rescue me from that awful safe in the basement of that glitzy hotel may be sweet and all but he certainly doesn't travel NEARLY enough for my tastes.
He made sure to pack me carefully into this cozy little box for the journey home and he wanted me to convey a little message for you:
'I can assure you that Nub has been exceedingly well-behaved and quite entertaining in the week he spent with me. And he was remarkably gracious what with having been locked up in the basement up until I was able to procure him from security. I certainly hope he hasn't left too gaping a hole in your I'm positive quite lovely family and home. All my best, Noah.'
I must reiterate, Noah was the soul of provision and care during my brief stay in his home. I'm sure he'd love a picture or post cad from us on one of our future adventures. I'll be sure to get his home address prior to my departure. I look forward to seeing you again upon your opening this parcel. Just be careful, I may be sleeping and you know how grumpy I can be.

Love, Nub

happy reunion


  1. Jess, this is a lovely, wonderful story which truly shows the amazing, remarkable, loving people that really do exist in this world. Thank you for posting it on Facebook and letting us all share in the joy of both the return of your great hedgehog, and the great spirit of Noah. You are the best!
    Alison 'Savage' Pulcher