Monday, August 17, 2009

The Great Valentino Caper.

A few weeks ago a munchkin snuck into our home and stole FrenchBoy’s Valentino suit. For what reason, we had no idea. It was all very confusing.

We looked everywhere for "The Valentino". Every armoire and closet was thoroughly searched. We frantically dug through every conceivable (and inconceiveable) hiding spot until we came to the conclusion that munchkins must have stolen it….which came as a real shocker. We had no idea that munchkins were such fashion whores or that they were even interested in wearing human formal work attire of all things. Also, wouldn’t the pant alterations alone cost a small fortune in Münchells? (modern Munchkin currency) Why wouldn't the little bastard simply buy proper munchkin-sized clothing to suit his munchkin fashion needs?

But after a bit of thinking and backtracking, my heart sank. Somehow, someway, I must have left "The Valentino" with the dry cleaner. The last time I came home from the cleaner’s it must have accidentally gotten left behind. How we had not noticed this weeks before, I have no idea.

The French are not great when it comes to customer service. We’ve discussed this at length, no? So I really dreaded the idea of walking into the Dry Cleaner and saying: “I know you don’t know us, and we don’t even have our pick-up receipt, but hey, if you find a random Valentino suit in here, give us a call and we’ll come take it. Thanks.” I was sure they’d give us the evil eye and send us on our way.

Evenso, we did just that. We marched into the Dry Cleaner's a bit sheepishly and stated our case. The lady at the counter picked a crumpled up piece of paper out of the waste paper basket and scribbled down our name and telephone number and told us she would call if she found anything. As we walked out the door I thought to myself: “We are never going to see that suit again because as soon as we leave, that piece of crumpled paper is going right back into the garbage.” We drove home and I tried my hardest not to mentally kick myself over and over again for loosing my FrenchBoy’s suit. Things get lost, I told myself. It's the Universe's way of teaching you to not get too attached to material objects. Just. Let. It. Go.

But wait.

Did I mention that we bought The Valentino in New York City-----for our WEDDING? Yes indeed! I managed to loose the suit that my dear Frog wore on our wedding day. The suit that FrenchBoy was wearing as he stood up before The Creator, human-kind, and a few squirrels, to make an oath that he would love and treasure me until we dropped dead. A suit so revered that it is known around our house simply as “The Valentino”. As in: “Does this tie go with The Valentino?” or “I need a new pair of shoes to go with The Valentino.” A suit so filled with magic and memory that, to this day, it holds in it’s inside left pocket a small piece of ripped notebook paper on which is printed FrenchBoy’s original handwritten WEDDING VOWS.

The Valentino

Now, if you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m not especially sentimental or sappy, but the very thought of losing "The Valentino" and our wedding vows gave me sharp shooting pains in my wicked little heart. Pain. PAIN I tell you!

So imagine my utter elation when 30 minutes after we walked into our house the dry cleaner called to say she’d found the suit and we could come pick it up. I still have a slight bruise on the bottom of my chin from when my jaw hit the parquet. In one swift moment, France had redeemed itself somehow.

No fuss, no muss, FrenchBoy went to pick up The Valentino. We did a little dance of merriment, and we all lived happily ever after.


The End....Almost.

A few days after the suit’s homecoming, still on an emotional high from our good fortune, I stopped by the local fleuriste in Sablon (cuz that’s my 'hood) and bought the biggest bouquet of flowers she had. I wanted to personally deliver them to the Dry Cleaning lady who had actually found the suit. To say the least she was greatful. She kissed me—TWICE. Ok, it was only the French-style-supermodel-air-kiss type kiss, but still. You must understand that getting kissed once by your French drycleaner is a huge deal. Getting kissed twice practically makes us family around these parts. But somehow it seemed appropriate because that’s exactly how I felt about her when she called to tell us that our wayward Valentino had been found.

Moral of this blog post:

Not all French businesses hate their customers. Most, but not all.

Always check your effin’ dry cleaning before you leave the shop.

There is yet hope for this evil, evil world.

Munchkins do not wear normal man-sized Valentino suits.


Travel said...

How wonderful. I generally have good luck with the French by being polite and looking hopeless.


Dreaming of France said...

now why did i get all emotional reading this story? The cruelty of a forgotten Valentino hanging alone waiting for its owner? The telling of a good deed by a French business?

or I just haven't had breakfast yet.

Rachael said...

Fantastic post! I know I have a happy French service story but can't remember it right now. I'm so glad you found the suit -- maybe you could sew FrenchBoy's name inside it. Nah, you're going to this dry cleaner for the rest of your life and she'll remember it!
Wonderful photos!

The Liberty Belle said...

So glad you were able to get the suit back. I can well imagine how you must have felt about the whole thing.

btw, you were a beautiful bride!

Megan said...

Oh my. You are lucky. I went to the dry cleaners a few weeks ago to pick up a jacket I had dropped off. The lady looked at me blandly while I searched through every scrap of paper in my wallet and purse, looking for that tiny little scrap of paper. I described the jacket exactly. I looked helpless and American. nope. No deal without the receipt. Finally found it but there is no way she would have let me leave with my 40€ jacket without it, let alone a designer suit.

Anonymous said...

You had my heart pounding with this glad you found it!

k said...

Great post. I smiled from beginning to end.

Celebrating Loving Day in Hampton Roads said...

So happy things worked out for you guys..Beautiful wedding pics by the way.

'Drea said...

Thanks for the fairy tale; I was in need of one today.

That's a very cool black and white pic of you and FrenchBoy.

I am a sucker for expressions of joy and while the whole wedding party looks happy, your mother looks like she's close to nirvana.

Anonymous said...

what a perfect little story. it really had it all: a slice of french life. romance. mystery. loss. sorrow and redemption.

i'm glad 'the valentino' is now home where it belongs.


Anonymous said...

I was heart sick when I read this and then so elated by the end because your hubby's suit was found. Were the vows still in the pocket? If so, please please take it out and put it in a little frame.

Gosh I have not felt so worked up reading a post in a while.

Shanster said...

What a fabulous story!! And now YOU have a friend in the dry cleaning bid'ness...

He looks so smashing in The Valentino.. it would have been tragic to loose it... even if it IS materialistic...

Mignon said...

Very classy to take her some flowers. Peace..

[Insightfully,Heidi] said...

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