14 February 2007

Roses, daisies, tulips, snapdragons

Normally I wouldn't post about the sappy details regarding the flowers my husband sent to me this morning, but this has more to do with our neighbor and my bumbling French than the flowers themselves.

While I was drinking my coffee this morning, I heard the cell phone buzz. A message! Just the phone company telling me our calling minutes were dwindling. But I also noticed that there was a missed call from an unfamiliar number, at 8:15 in the morning. I must have missed it while I was still sleeping. I called it.

"Bonjour something something something..."

"Bonjour. Vous m'avez téléphoné?" I give my name.

"Oui, something something fleurs something. Quelle est votre addresse?"

OH! It's a flower delivery guy! He's here to deliver flowers! I'm looking out the window, but see no floristy vans or cars.

I tell him our address, and understand that he tried to deliver the flowers at 8:15 in the MORNING. Who delivers flowers that early? Anyway, I explain that I'm here, and he can bring them now or anytime. I think I hear him say that he'll stop by this morning.

But wait: he's trying to tell me something, in slow patient French to this lady who understands less than his five-year-old daughter. He already delivered the flowers this morning!! But to whom?

"Un homme a la troisieme etage." A man on the third floor.

"Mai, ne c'est pas que les fleurs sont pour moi? Je n'ai pas les fleurs." But are the flowers for me? I don't have the flowers.

Yes, yes. I gave them to this man. [Has me repeat my name and address. Confirms that I am the rightful owner of the missing bouquet.]

"Bon, je parle avec mon voisin." OK, I'll talk to my neighbor.

Or SOMEthing like that, because I was starting to get nervous and I don't really remember what I said except for the "voisin" part. My neighbor has my flowers!

So I go knock on his door. There is radio music BLASTing from inside. I knock louder. I continue to knock. I hear him cough. I knock again. No answer.

Unsure what to do, I go down to the street and ring his bell. (Which--this is ALL MY FAULT--has our name on it. I had mixed up the bells when I put the label with our name on it. I switch the names.) No answer.

I come back up and knock again. Still no answer, but a few more coughs. Is he sick? Can't hear me?

I'm starting to get teary. What if our neighbor has stolen the beautiful flowers my dear husband has sent to me and is deliberately not answering the door so that he can hoard them for himself?

I go back to our apartment, and write a note that looks something like this, in bad, rushed French:

"Bonjour monsieur,
C'est possible que vous avez des fleurs qui sont pour moi? Je suis la voisine à la côté, et j'ai téléphoné le floriste, qui m'a dit que il a donné les fleurs à quelqu'un à la troisieme etage. Si c'est vous, vous me pouvez donner les fleurs? Merci beaucoup."

I knock again (no answer), try to stick the note under his door, which doesn't work, and then leave it on the door handle.

Some ten minutes later, I hear his door creak open. He IS there. Another minute, and there is a soft knock on our door. I run to the door and open it, to a huge bouquet lying on the ground, his door swiftly closing, and an overpowering whiff of cigarette smoke (that explains the coughing).

I shout "MERCI!" to his door, and gratefully collect my flowers.

I have a sweet husband. We have an odd neighbor.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Happy Valentine's Day, sis!

Love, Sar