Mysterious arrival

I happened to be home yesterday when a UPS delivery person rang the bell. Only as I opened it to find him trying to juggle an enormous (about 28 cubic ft) box did I remember that deliveries on this street must be hell on the delivery workers.  Basically, they have to park some blocks away and then schlep things in manageable lots–and this carton’s size precluded juggling any second item–to the intended.  In the sweltering heat. And my household alone receives upwards of 10 boxes and bags of books a week through the ministrations of these folks!

In this case, the further surprise that it apparently was not books–a carton that size would have killed a fellow twice the size of this guy, who was not puny–and, unlike any publisher, the sender had somehow managed to create a situation in which I was to be charged $100 COD (turns out to be for import fees, an unintentional gaffe, I think, on the part of the sender’s customs statement.

As I was on my way out of the house immediately after this initial transaction, I dumped the carton–very very light–and took off, only to rediscover it this morning. The sender’s an old friend–which is why I am confident there was no intention to saddle me with a surprise $100 demand on my doorstep.

Inside, the packing was of that UPS-store hypercareful variety, with enough planet-unsafe styrofoam and bubble wrap to sink a small ship.  And inside all that carefulness are two lovely-but-not-my-taste china platters. One is large enough for a Thanksgiving turkey intended for a party of ten or twelve and the other only marginally smaller.  The pattern is a classic, Bavarian rosebuddy thing, and the edges are both gilded and crenelated.  I am trying to imagine the household in which these would fit. To say nothing of why I am the recipient. To say nothing of why they look as familiar as they do other-worldly (Old Worldly?).

It’s a bit like receiving someone else’s amazing wedding present. Wonder if the sender has just pissed off a bride by failing to get these goods to her, whoever she is?


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