livrer (lee-vray) verb
1. to deliver
2. to hand over, to surrender
3. to supply
livrer passage à quelqu'un = to let someone pass
livrer un tourment = to cause great pain, anguish
livrer quelqu'un = to deliver someone's order
être livré à soi-même = to be left to one's own devices
se livrer à quelqu'un = to confide in someone
se faire livrer quelque chose = to have something delivered
se livrer à l'étude = to devote oneself to study
Citation du Jour:
Le risque de se livrer à l'inessentiel est lui-même essentiel.
The risk of surrendering to what is not essential, is, in itself, essential. --Maurice Blanchot
A Day in a French Life...
The French verb "livrer" means "to deliver." More importantly, it means "to surrender."
* * *
"Do you remember me?" I say, instead of giving my 8-digit numéro de client.* I believe that if I give that reference number one more time, I will POP.
"I need those bubble envelopes--this morning!--or else I will be obliged visit the doctor for une bonne piqûre* to quiet my nerves!"
"Ah, bon?"* the telephone operator says, calm as a concombre.*
"Ce sera dommage!"* she adds. As if I am too dumb to understand French cynicism.
I can just see her elbowing her colleague, "It's l'américaine* again. You know, the one with 'In Search of Wine.' Hahahahahaha!"
(I am ordering my office supplies under my husband's wine business account: "A la Recherche du Vin")
"She must be having withdrawals!" I imagine them saying.
"Ecoutez!* Maybe it is because I am a woman. Maybe it is because I am NOT French. But I am having a difficult time convincing you that I MUST HAVE MY BUBBLE envelopes. Now! Today! Tout de suite!"*
"Non! I will not wait any longer. The livraison* should have happened last week. I have spent three days, nose to the window, waiting for le livreur.* Que dal!"*
"Je vous demande un tout petit instant, madame."*
And like that, I am put en attente.* The company's jingle is grating on my nerves. I think about how I am paying for this telephone call. I think about just how ee-dee-oht* an idea it was to order two times as many envelopes as I needed, just so that I could get FREE delivery. Make that, no delivery.
"It is a blague!"* I say, cutting off the operator. "You are doing this to me on purpose, n'est-ce pas?* Because Bush won! Is that it?"
I am only kidding the operator (through clenched teeth), trying to let off steam by adding a little "cinema" or drama to my complaint. It seems the only way to get some French businesses to deliver, is by throwing a fit and adding a few heaping teaspoons of exagération.*
Send me my bubble envelopes tewwww deeeeeeuuh sweeeet!* I hang up the
phone and reach for the dictionary, my new drug of choice.
....livrer. The second definition: surrender.
* * *
A week later the livreur arrives. "It is not ay-vee-dahn* to find you!" he says. He knows he is at fault, and so naturally he begins on the defense, as is the usual protocol here in France.
Instead of arguing, my eyes fix on seven cardboard boxes which read: "pochettes matelassées."* A two word poem to my now glistening eyes. I am so happy I could just BURST!
Post note: with my bubble envelopes sur place* I now await the books, which should be here within a week. I have ordered more wonderful timbres* from La Poste, and will stick those on each order before signing and shipping out your books. For those of you who have not yet ordered, qu'est-ce que vous attendez? ;-) A special discount is available when you order book I and II. Profitez!* See "Books" column, above left.
*References: le numéro de client (m) = customer number; une bonne = a good; une piqure (f) = injection, shot; ah bon? = oh really; un concombre (m) = a cucumber; ce sera dommage = that would be too bad; l'américaine = the American; écoutez = listen; tout de suite = right away; livraison; le livreur = the delivery man; que dal (or que dalle) = nothing at all; en attente = on hold; ee-dee-oht (pronunciation for 'idiote') = idiotic; Allo = Hello; une blague = a joke; n'est-ce pas = aren't you?; une exagération (f= exaggeration; tewwww deeeeeeuuh sweeeet! (tout de suite) = right away; une livraison (f) = delivery; Je vous demande un tout petit instant, madame = just a moment madam; ay-vee-dahn (évident) = obvious; pochettes matelassées = padded envelopes; sur place = local; un timbre (m) = stamp; qu'est-ce que vous attendez? = what are you waiting for?: profitez = take advantage (of it)
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