Finally, yesterday morning the call comes that a truck will be arriving to Etrochey in fifteen minutes. Not just any truck but a truck with clothing, Neil’s badly needed Big MacDaddy work computer and of course the mattress. This is exceedingly welcome news. Neil has been wearing the same 3 t-shirts and 2 pairs of pants for 2 weeks and has 1 lightweight jacket, not at all suitable for the chilly fall nights here. But who cares about him, he’s irrelevant and inconsequential. It’s all about me and I want my bed and my clothes and my camera.

So out we go to meet the truck which could not (later found out would not) come all the way to the front door. Of course it’s pouring rain. Now before I go on let me just say that we paid extra for air shipping so that there would be no delay in the shipment and for the distinct pleasure of having someone unload the goods here in France and debris removal as they say. I know it’s called this because I have seen it (many times now) quite clearly printed in the contract.

So here we are 12 days late. I was preparing to make coffee for the big French guys who would soon be tracking mud all over the house. After about a half hour of nothing going on I decide to see what the hold up is. I go out and I am shocked to see Neil deep in animated conversation with one really skinny man. I use man loosely as he appears to be about 15 years old. But imagine my relief when I see that the boy has brought his trusty helper, a girl who appears to be the same age, dressed to go out dancing and I realize that she is his girlfriend along for the ride. Mon Dieu.

Apparently the boy is not prepared to unload the goods, has no way of opening the crate and is not happy that we keep talking about a contract. Now I can actually see the mattress in the back of the truck and I want to summon my superpowers and push everyone aside to drag it out and lie on it in the middle of the street. But I refrain. What happens next is the boy becomes quite enraged, starts violently ripping open the crate by jumping on it, I’m serious. Then he starts tossing stuff out.

Neil and I carry it all down the street and into the house. The boxes are getting wet, what a mess. Thankfully we didn’t have much but still. The moving company has repacked it all so I have no idea what is what. Customs has ripped open several boxes upside down (also slicing through baskets and things) and they had Neil’s level sticking out the back of a very valuable painting. But it was unharmed so overall not too bad.

As I looked around I did notice that the 2 wardrobe boxes with my clothes were missing. We looked and looked, nowhere to be found. Of course the bloody golf clubs and tools and all of Neil’s clothes easily found at the Gap all made it.

I don’t mind telling you that the tears flowed. Ten years of trolling the world for pants all lost. Sure we have insurance but for me that is little consolation if you can’t find the stuff anywhere. It would take me years to recover the pants. Where the hell was I getting time for that let alone the strength for clothes shopping that, for giraffes, is incredibly deflating?

I kept saying over and over in my head “it’s only things” then I would remember my fabulous Max Mara cuffed dress pants found in Rome or my pale grey linen wide leg pants (not even worn yet) and get weepy all over again. Finally at the end we discovered 2 boxes that I didn’t recognize and salvation lay within. Stuffed inside were the garment bags full of pants and shoes and purses. Rejoice, rejoice!!! I swear I heard choirs singing.

So much for detachment from possessions. At least I know for sure what I would take if my house was on fire. Having actually gone through the loss for even a short time has confirmed that the simple life for me is one wear I wear the pants in the family.

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