“Hi honeeeyyy! So have you talked to your sister about July?”
“Mom, what? What’s happening in July?”
“You’re coming home. You and your sister are going to come up to Maine.”
“Uh, we are?”
I shouldn’t have been surprised when talking on the phone with my mother last week because stuff like this is typical mom-behavior. You know, telling you what to do, or making plans and then “informing” you of them, rather than scheduling them. Ever since I knew I might stay in Paris for a few extra months, I also knew I’d probably want to make a trip home at some point, but hadn’t gotten that far yet. With my mom on my back about July—not a month I would have picked for travel to the U.S.—it’s started to remind me of this weird relationship space I’m entering with my parents, one that I don’t know how to negotiate yet. Keep reading »
Bonjour, mes amis. It is I, Leonora, your faithful heroine on zee mission ov finding her one true love à Paree. So, it ees wis great disappointment zat I muss tell you that this week, I haf made très peu de progress. I am, how you say, a leetle stuck in zee matters of zee heart.
OK, so actually, the truth is just that I had a rather uneventful week. No word from any boys. Stayed in most nights, preferring to take walks and cook dinner alone. I’m not feeling too sad or lonely, just experiencing a slight lull in entertainment. But in general, I’m cool and calm, and have been focusing on appreciating Paris for the amazing city that it is. Keep reading »
Once the weather gets nice in Paris, life becomes dangerous. All anyone wants to do is lounge by the Seine with a bottle of wine, some creamy cheese, and a crispy baguette. I could do this everyday for the rest of my life and be happy. Between the Luxembourg gardens being a stone’s throw away, the populated banks of the river, and the sun-drenched terraces of cafes, it’s so tempting to just blow off everything and indulge. An unhappy realization came yesterday when I tried on some of my summer pieces to realize that —ugh—my pants are tight. As I tried to wedge myself into a European size 36 skirt, which had fit me so perfectly in September, I let out a little whimper of defeat. I knew what this meant: goodbye wine and baguettes. At least for a little while. Although, in reality, I’ll probably be good for about a week, then tell myself as I have a half glass of rosé and a bite of croissant that I’m being oh-so-French by showing such gallant restraint and moderation. For an American in Paris, the word moderation tends to be interpreted quite liberally. Keep reading »
I’ve never been a believer in the “power of positive thinking,” but I may be changing my ideas about keeping a constructive and happy outlook on life. I was in a real funk throughout the winter, and it was just today, as I was skipping around town running errands, that I realized I’m fully out of my dark phase. I can pinpoint this change because of two very concrete things: 1.) the sun being out and the temperatures rising, bringing out the cherry tree blossoms and generally making Paris slowly wake up in color; 2.) finally feeling over Alex. I have been very careful to monitor my thoughts about him. The usual thing that happens is something reminds me of a moment with him, and my heart aches for a moment while I say to myself, Oh, Alex. Sigh. What happened? It lasts for a second, a flash, and could happen as many as 20 times a day. A few weeks ago, I noticed the frequency had tapered to some 5-10 times a day. But now what’s amazing me is when I stop to think, When’s the last time you thought about Alex? I feel good that I can tell myself that it was yesterday, or even the day before.
But above all, I’ve just had a good feeling (like I mentioned in my last post) that spring in Paris is going to be great, and that things are going to start happening for me. And I truly believe that because I’m in this mindset, they are. Keep reading »
Over the past two weeks, my romantic past, present, and future all happened to collide in the type of way that makes you feel like you’re living in a movie. Except, since this is real life, and things never start and end in a picture-perfect 90 minutes, there’s no happy ending … yet.
I spent last week in Israel. What an amazing experience. This trip for me was first and foremost about vacation—I definitely needed some down time and felt a huge craving for sun and warmth. But it ended up being so much more. Keep reading »
I got posed a rabbit. And I am not happy about it.
That is to say that Pierre m’a posé un lapin, which is the expression for getting stood up. (Don’t ask me what rabbits have to do with it.)
Technically, no, I didn’t go somewhere and wait around for no one to show up, but what happened Friday night was just as disappointing. Keep reading »
After almost two months of not seeing the sun and living through constantly overcast skies, things are finally starting to brighten up here in Paris, and it’s made a crazy difference in my life. I’m seriously considering relocating during the winter months to a warmer climate—this year taught me a crazy lesson in seasonal depression.
Maybe it was daylight savings time this weekend (NOTE—Oops, it took me a while to figure out that DST doesn’t happen here until next week. I was off by an hour for a whole day!), but all of a sudden I feel like things are moving really quickly, almost in such a way that I feel like I’m already at the finish line (wherever that may be) looking back. This past week went by in a flash. My parents were in town, which meant living on an intense tourist schedule, ushering them around the Louvre and through the crowded streets of Montmartre, plus getting us to London for the weekend and back. Exhausting! This visit was weird because it was really the first time I’d ever hosted my parents and been living in a world that was entirely different from theirs … Keep reading »
As much as American girls may complain about the state of dating, sex, courtship, and guys, at least we can read the signals on our own home turf. (Whether we want to believe them is a different matter.)
But over here in Paris, where the word “dating” literally does not exist in the French vocabulary, understanding male/female relationships is all the more confusing. The issue here is that French men and romance are traditionally stereotyped (just like American women, or any romantic situations for that matter). The way things are “supposed to be”: If a French dude kisses you, it means he’s fallen for you, and there’s no pretense, and a week later you’re buying toothbrushes for each other and making love to accordion music on a bed of croissants. But, when things don’t magically become this clear-cut, the confusion sets in, and there’s no rhyme or reason to actions because … well, there’s no standard dating code of conduct.
Where this leaves me at the moment is wondering if I got the brush-off, or what comes next (if there even is a “next”). Keep reading »
It took me three days to come up with a witty and grammatically correct text to send to Scrappy Bathroom Boy (not the best nickname I realize), the guy I’d met at the Prescription Cocktail Club last Saturday. Why is it so hard to find my personality in this language? I wondered as I made revision after revision of the message in French. Finally, on Tuesday, I trashed my drafts and went for something simple and direct: “It was nice meeting you. Sorry, I just wasn’t up for the late night thing last Saturday, but would have liked to join you and your friends. If you want, maybe we can get a drink sometime this week.” Phew! My heart raced as I sent it off. I couldn’t help holding back a smile at the thought of finally going on a date. When was the last time I had been on one? It had to be early November with American Boy. November. Jesus. Keep reading »
Je suis désolée. I’m sorry. I spent some time last week reading my posts from the past two months and realized that, well, I’ve been a complete Debbie Downer lately. This is the supposedly adventurous life of some girl in Paris??? I thought as I clicked through. Sure, the whole Alex fiasco was definitely a dramatic romance, but looking back at my words, I saw how I was missing everything around me. My waking up was in part prompted by a random IM from an acquaintance back in NYC. An older man with whom I’ve always had a guiltily flirtatious rapport with. When I told him I’d been a bit down lately, he almost berated me. “You have to have adventures. You are so free now. You’ll see: later, there will be no time for this type of stuff. You need to just go places and see things.” For a moment this made me depressed. As if I were barreling headfirst towards this place of older age and responsibility, and was already regretting not being more fun right now. But then I saw that he was right. Why do we spend so much of our lives living in the future? Or lingering in the past? Why does it never occur to you to just not think too much about things? (Well, because it’s really hard to do this, but it shouldn’t be.) That day, I made two swift decisions. Keep reading »