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 »
“I think today might be the one day of the year where it’s socially acceptable to get wasted alone,” I wondered aloud as Emily and I walked past some heart-shaped decorations in the window of one of the many anonymous-looking Chinese restaurants lining the streets of Belleville. It was Sunday, Valentine’s Day, and we’d spent the morning in yoga class and were now walking back to the metro together.
“Awww,” she said, consolingly. “Well, I think Valentine’s Day is kind of like New Year’s. Usually a letdown. But totally, you can drink.”
“Maybe I will. Maybe I’ll cook something nice too,” I said, immediately reflecting on the guilty secret that has been my life for the past few weeks: working in bed for most of the day, reluctantly dragging myself out into the cold to find a pathetic dinner of baguette and cheese or yogurt and cereal. It made me remember that I’ve been so lazy lately that I hadn’t bothered to do the dishes after most of these meals, and that my apartment was a complete disaster zone.
We walked on in silence, both ostensibly sad because of the lovers’ holiday. Me, because I’m completely alone. Emily, alone as well because her boyfriend lives in Spain. At that point, it seemed only natural that, yes, I’d cook tonight, and Emily should come over so that we could have a girls’ night, drink some champagne, and feel sorry for ourselves. I felt relief because the thing is, I’ve never had any feelings about V-Day before, but this year felt like a slap in the face because last year, I’d spent it with Alex … Keep reading »
While I was in NYC, a session with my old shrink told me that I really need to—as much as I hate, hate this expression—“put myself out there” more. “It’s not wrong to want to be in a relationship,” Dr. W reasoned. “It’s unhealthy, however, if you just sit at home all the time and do nothing about it.”
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The moment the wheels of the plane touched down at JFK, I felt the comfort of the familiar as I realized that everyone around me was speaking English. I mindlessly zoomed through immigration and got in a cab. I’m sure you know the feeling of coming back home when you’ve been away for a while—it’s weird how natural it is, sort of like nothing’s different, or you never really left. And yet, at the same time, you’re thrown off by out-of-the-blue changes, like how all of a sudden there’s an Apple store in your neighborhood, and a building that was on one block isn’t there anymore, and a high-rise has gone up in the space of four months.
I have to say, being home makes me feel really torn. I’ve been so proud of myself for coping so well in a foreign city outside my comfort zone, but God, it’s nice to just not have to think about the littlest things. Keep reading »
If you could have your ideal social life, what would that be? Parties every night of the week? Home-oriented with the option to go out? Hanging out at your best friends’ houses?
Creating the tone of your life outside work hours depends on the kind of person you are, but it’s also largely reliant on the city you live in.
It’s taken me a while to realize that cultivating a “normal social life” in Paris can’t rely on my past experiences. Even though I may have grown tired of my going-out habits in New York, I felt engaged in a certain standard culture. In Paris, however, I’ve come to see that I’ve been fighting an uphill battle to tap into what I’ve come to think of as that “standard social culture,” because, duh, the lives of young people here are vastly different. Keep reading »