|The “Nadia” by Mauboussin.|
Lovely objects of adornment. Are they useless? Maybe. It depends. Probably.
Friday afternoon while My-Reason-For-Living-In-France (MRFLIF) and I were out buying bread and vegetables and getting our flu shots, our house was completely ransacked, torn apart from top-to-bottom. The only piece of jewelry I have today is the simple, wide gold band inserted with flat rubies, sapphires and minuscule diamonds I was wearing. It was the first gift he gave me; we were not yet married.
Before heading out I considered slipping on my “everyday” jewellery which includes: Cartier tank watch and Trinity bracelet and an antique gold chain bracelet, once belonging to MRFLIF’s mother. I always wear these pieces together.
When we walked through the front door it appeared furniture was missing, but a few seconds later we realized something was very wrong. Drawers had been ripped out of every table and chest, upended with the contents strewn and flung from wall-to-wall. We had to step over debris to get into the house. Two Louis XVI pieces of furniture were seriously damaged, one maybe irreparably.
Bread was thrownhaphazardly, a sugar bowl emptied, and for whatever bizarre reason the thieves flung a bowl of freshharicots vertsI planned to cook for dinner, from the dining room, through the living room to the front door. Also next to the front door were pieces of Brie they had taken out of the refrigerator and ripped into two-inch pieces.
Probably one — the gendarmes think there were two or three, plus a lookout — broke Andrea’s bedroom window in the back of the house for entry and then opened two doors to apparently let in their accomplices. They closed the doors when they left.
It seems that thieves in our corner of the world have no interest in electronics. They left my brand new computer which sort of surprised the gendarmes, but I figured they wanted ease of movement, particularly since they were working in the waning hours of the afternoon. Silver held no appeal either. I’ve heard it’s not worth the trouble for return on risk. Gold and money is what they were after. They got the former, there was none of the latter in the house, but they definitely thought it was worth up-ending bookcases and throwing books around just to make sure.
So, bottom line I have no jewellery except for the above mentioned ring. The gendarmes said professionals (and even the semi-pros) have metal detectors that can be set to the metal they are seeking. They are quite the time savers I imagine. Inhome burglaries, gold is the metal of choice. That’s why they seemed to be infuriated by my considerable collection of turquoise, coral and quartz pieces and my bijoux de fantasie, which they dropped on the floor and even stepped on. Some things were crushed.
How does one measure the value of such a loss? Monetarily speaking, it’s somewhat considerable. But then what?
Isn’t jewelry always all about the memories? My mother’s engagement ring; my wedding ring and matching guard — Mauboussin, one in diamonds, the other sapphires; my engagement ring (well, rings actually); my Mauboussin Nadia ring; a gorgeous cabochon ruby and diamond cocktail ring; a real pearl necklace with a diamond clasp; a small Cartier cuff; my charm bracelet, the chain the watch fob of a grandfather I never knew: the charms, each one a treasured reminder of something and someone precious. . . and on and on it goes. . .
|Elsa Peretti’s diamonds by the yard. I had already given this necklace to Andrea.|
Andrea and I were talking about building a charm bracelet for Ella and how some of the charms on my bracelet might be a start for her. One in particular, a sweet gold baby shoe my mother gave me when I was pregnant with Andrea. She gave it to me at the baby shower my wonderful friend Betty Lou Phillips threw for me. Memories. It’s always all about the love, the sentiments, the nostalgia.
|“Just don’t call me a ‘police dog’ and I’m not a guard dog either, don’t make me have to wag my tail.”|
In the 10-page police report, the only line that had any real value, that was priceless really, was: “. . . un berger allemand était présentemaisce n’est pas un chien de garde.”
Translation: “. . . a Germand shepherd was present, but it (she) is not a guard dog.”
We didn’t think Charlotte was a guard dog, but now we have proof of our suspicions. The gendarmes told us we were lucky that she is not. They might have hurt her if she had tried to protect pretty, useless things. That would have been a tragedy.
The rest is just “stuff” and where are memories but in our heads and hearts after all?