Tuesday, March 17, 2009

From Ima With Love!!!


Right about now, some of you are totally cursing me out, because if given the opportunity you would most likely choose to strangle your mother-in-law. I have heard the horror stories - sorry - can't relate.

I have to preface my aforementioned love for Ima (as I call her) with some history, so you will have an understanding of what it is that Ima has done that has me praising her so publicly.

Hun and I got married in September of 2000, almost nine years ago, in Chicago. However, after the wedding and a few festivities, we got in my Camry and drove off to live in New Jersey. My in-laws were also living on the East Coast at the time, only a half hour
away from us, in another State.

Like everyone, after taking the plunge and relocating, I spent my time settling in and making our apartment feel all homey while looking for a job - LIFE - I think is what it's called.

At some point - the videos from the wedding were edited and sent to us in New Jersey. It took three videos to capture our wedding, I have no idea why, but every moment of that glorious day was captured on three VHS tapes that.......... we never watch.

It took a little longer, but at some point, I received a message from my mom that the wedding proofs had
arrived as well.

The wedding proofs first sat in Chicago, and my mother did not go through them to pick out the pictures she wanted in
an album. At some point, for a holiday or some other reason, we took a trip to Chicago. I brought the proofs back to NJ to make my choices and wrote the negative numbers out on a paper. After I was done, my Mother-in-law took her time choosing pictures, which apparently she also had to do for a fourth album for Hun's Grandmother. However, at the time Hun's Grandmother had some medical issues requiring surgery and a hospital stay...

More time passed.

When my Mother-in-law and I had our pictures chosen, we sent in our requests to the company and expected them to get to work.


A) We were supposed to place the negative numbers on some special form (that they were obviously supposed to provide, but never did)

B) They did not want to start putting together the Albums, until all parties requests were in. (Meaning, my Mom needed to get moving).

Well, more time passed and we brought the proofs back to Chicago. They sat with my Mom for a while, because my Mom was now consumed with preparing to make another wedding for my brother. He got married in August 2002.

I had So in September 2002, and we still had no wedding album, and no wedding photos (besides those from friends who somehow managed to take the most unprofessional and unflattering photos ever).

It just seemed that life kept taking every one's time and energy. There were family issues, some great, some not so great.....and the proofs just sat and sat and sat.

In March of 2003, Hun and I moved to Chicago, shortly followed by my In-laws. It was completely a business move, decided by Hun and his father, but I was ecstatic. I love Chicago. I grew up here and I believe it is a wonderful place for my children to grow up.

My Mom then had to succumb to hip pain......followed by hip replacement surgery and rehabilitati

It is now 2004 - I give birth to Ro in February and suffer the baby blues (a lighter version of post-partum depression).

Like I said, LIFE - some good, some not so good, and still no wedding album.

Finally we decided that we should have not let the photography company dictate to us that all album choices have to be in at the same time. That was one of our biggest mistakes. We were different people living in different cities and we were preoccupied with many different life experiences that over time had our priorities moving further and further away from putting together a wedding album.

But we attempted to contact them and set up a
n appointment to finally put together the albums, sometime between 2004-2005. They kept canceling on us, and pushing our appointments off. We were no longer a priority for them because they had a million more recent weddings to contend with.

It was a mixture of life, logistics, our faux pas and their lack of professionalism, but in 2005 there wa
s still no album.

And then the news came.....the company that had my negatives, and still owed us albums already paid for in the package my in-laws chose for the wedding..........were no more.

They went belly up - BANKRUPT!!!

But where are my negatives???

Two of the photographers from the original company, who shot my wedding and have worked at many weddings in my community, went off and started their own company. They continue to work on many weddings that take place in my community.

I called their place of business to get any informatio
n I could on where my negatives might be.

The secretary told me that they did in fact buy ou
t all the negatives from the old company, but could not be certain that mine were still in existence.

"They may have been disposed of."


She said she would have to call the lab and have them check if my negatives were still being stored. She also said she would get back to me.

Lying B$&#!!!!

She never got back to me. Every time I called, I g
ot the run around. She was obnoxious - constantly telling me that they were probably destroyed, I would never see them, that they were too busy for me...

I kept telling her, that I would not accept that until she could officially tell me the lab looked and it was no where to be
found. She could never tell me this, because no one was on top of the lab, and frankly, no one was looking.

She would tell me, even if they found it, they don
't sell negatives (they just end up in the garbage anyway) and the new company would not honor the inclusion of albums in the pre-paid package. So even if they found the negatives, it would cost about $300.00 or more for just one album.

I literally spent months calling again and again
and again. I also spent a lot of time crying. I can't believe I let it get to this point. I blamed myself completely and I would never have a wedding album, unless I made one from the proofs - which would cost an arm and a leg. I was really depressed over the whole matter.

I also knew that if I had to keep calling them to be on top of the situation, I would get nasty. I would no longer be nice, and I would probably become so angry, that if they did find the negatives, they
would set up a bonfire, throw them in, dance around my incinerating negatives with bottles of Jimmy Beam in hand, and photograph the whole scene, and then send those pictures to me with a big "F YOU" written across them.

My Mother-in-law kept reassuring me, don't worry - I will get it done.

My Mother-in-law is a very soft-spoken person. I do not think she knows what a potty mouth is. She can be irritated, and yet, no vulgarity exits her lips. I have hardly seen her in a fit of anger. Yet, who is going to take her seriously???

That was three years ago - THREE FRIGGIN YEARS AGO!!!

I resigned myself to the fact that I will never have
a wedding album and I will never have the negatives. I stopped crying over the matter, and went on with my life.

But for three more years, my MIL was on top of it. Without my knowledge, she was calling and calling, and tracking the photographers down themselves at other weddings and events they were working on. She spoke directly to them and insisted they help find the negatives and hand them ov

Last night my MIL stopped by. She had just returned from LA where she attended an extravagant Bris (Circumcision and baby naming ceremony) for her brother's latest son. Hun's uncle alway
s throws big parties and this was no exception. My MIL told me she had something for me and came in with a box full of something.

In the box, were some party favors that came from the Bris. Cute baby boy paraphernalia filled with more junk food, that I need like I need a hole in the head, as well as some other cutsie party favors.

But then my MIL made me close my eyes and she handed me something else. When I opened my eyes, I realized I was holding something that many people never receive after they get married.


I have in my possession - every picture ta
ken at my wedding in it's original form. I can take the negatives anywhere and have any album created. I am also fortunate that I have an Uncle in NY who is a photographer and has a dark room and can make me that album.

But in addition to the negatives, I have two CD's. They were not putting photos on CD's in 2000 when I got married, bu
t now they are, and I was holding in my hand some very valuable memories. And this is all due to my MIL's hard work, dedication, determination, will, and love for me.

It has been almost nine years, and the last t
hree had my MIL never wavering, never giving up as I did.

And although I still do not have the album, I am one
a million steps closer.

Thank you Ima! Thank You! Thank you! Thank you!

I am totally crying right now (damn hormones). I think my Mom still has my proofs and I really do not think I saw these photos in almost nine years.

My parents on the left, my in-laws on the right.


5 have shown Orah a little love:

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

I am so glad the story had a happy ending. Kudos to your mil for never giving up.
I still have my wedding proofs in some envelopes somewhere and I never did anything with them. Oops...that was more than 16 years ago. Some day...maybe.
Funny story about the name Ima. When I was growing up, my parents used to tell me that two of the names they had thought about choosing were Ima and Lillian (shortened to Lil). Why is this funny you ask? My maiden name was Darling. I was not amused.

Anonymous said...

WOW, ur mil is a -ma-zing!!
So happy you got your proofs, albeit nearly a decade later.
Awesome!! Now, get that album done and I'd like to C it!
-Miss S.

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

Go Ima! She is one good lady to have on your side! Great story...

Candice said...

What a wonderful story.

Psst, I like my MIL too. Of course she lives a few states away. ;)

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I have to agree, you have an amazing Mother in law!!! Wow!