We live in a village of 402 people.
It's a small village and most of the people here know who is who or who is doing what or who isn't speaking to who. In some ways, it could be a French version of Mayberry, except we don't have a jail and no one's named Opie but other than that, it's a good comparison.
Besides the boulangerie and the resturant, most of the action here takes place at the Mairie (the Mayor's Office) and since the bigger post office was closed, it's now taken on that function as well.
It's ever such a joy for me when I have to buy stamps to get the chance to smile and say hi to Miss Snootie, the mayor's secretary. We have a bit of a history and I'm convinced she doesn't like me.
The other day, I got a notice that I needed to head up to the post office, located in an old closet in the Mairie, to collect a registered letter. The paper said that I could pick it up that day, after 11am.
When I arrived a little bit after 11:15, I said "Bonjour" to Miss Snootie and to the assistant mayor, who is one of our friends here in the village.
"I need to collect this," I said as I handed her the notice.
"Ah, ok, Dig. You'll need to sign for this. Do you know if it's a letter or a package?"
"Well, no. But since it's for a registered letter, I'm assuming it's a letter."
"Right," she said as she continued searching through papers and files around the room.
"Did you bring ID with you, Dig? I can't let you have this letter if you don't have any ID."
Was she serious? ID? She's been dealing with me on various and sundry issues from the school cantine to approval on our roof for over 4 years. Of the 402 people who live here, I'm sure she likes to torture me the most. She needs to see my ID?
I glanced over at our friend, who's subtile twinkle in his eyes nearly made me laugh out loud. But I'm a polite girl and my parents raised me well.
"No, I'm afraid. I don't have my ID with me," I said.
"Well, that's a problem. I can't give you this letter without seeing some form of ID, "Miss Snootie said. "You'll have to come back this afternoon."
A few hours later, I wandered back up to the Mairie, with my ID in tow, to collect the letter.
When I walked into the office, I saw that the closet/post office door was closed.
"Sorry, Dig. But the post office is only open in the mornings," Miss Snootie informed me. "You'll have to come back tomorrow."
It's obvious isn't it? She really, really, doesn't like me.
The next morning, I headed back up there with trepidation.
But there must have been some sort of cosmic intervention or she fell down the stairs because she couldn't have been nicer.
She asked me how the kids were, told me how beautiful Mooster is, and then gave me my letter with a huge smile.
"Have a nice day, Dig! See you soon!"
Flabergasted, I left the Mairie and headed off with my letter.
It wasn't until I was almost back at our house that I realized she hadn't asked for my ID.