If you want to ship something to Austria in a hurry, you best use a registered mail service rather than entrust your precious parcel to the whims and furies of unchecked postmen. Many moons ago on our holiday in Doolin, we visited the Rock Shop in Liscannor. While there, I took the opportunity to purchase a small gift or a friend in need of a pick me up at that particular time.
“What’s your spirit animal?” I asked her by text, gazing at rows and rows of little miniature carvings of animals out of various stones like jasper, amethyst, quartz, and so forth.
Her reply was one of those pictures that says a thousand words.
I stared at the display, slightly dismayed. While the selection was impressive, there were no red pandas anywhere in sight. I did a full circuit of the shop, cataloging other potential gift ideas, picking up and then putting down (and then picking back up) a little fossil here or there before finally wandering back to the counter. The problem with picking a gift that you need to send by mail at a rock shop is that you’re picking out, well… rocks. They’re heavy. Eventually I selected a little ordinary bear carved out of red jasper (though the underside of the box described it as “rainbow jasper”). It was not a red panda bear, but it was a bear and it was red, and it’s the thought that counts, right? I also settled on a small fossilised orthoceras because it was something light enough to post and because my friend is bonkers about rocks. I mean, crazy. If you have a geology pun, chances are she’s heard of it. (But I invite any reader to submit any that they know just to test the theory.)
It took me a couple of days after our return to Dublin to organise getting it out in the post, but eventually I did get to the post office. I posted two different small parcels out to her that day. One which was quite time sensitive and went by registered post, and the other with my gift by ordinary first class mail. That was on the 21st of August. The registered parcel, due to arrive in 4-5 working days, arrived right on time. The other one…. didn’t.
By the time three months passed, my friend and I had given up hope. It was lost. She knew I had sent something, but not of the contents. Another package I had sent earlier arrived almost eight weeks later than expected, but there was still no sign of the little red (not panda) bear.
Until tonight when a notification pops up on my phone.
Christmas miracle, indeed. Thank you, providence. This is definitely one of those instances where it is much, much better to be four months late than never.
Love you, J. Keep rockin’ it.
(See what I did there?)