“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 »
Sometimes the best thing for a broken heart is to take that heart to the bar and to get it really, really drunk.
I spent most of the past week in bed. It’s not as bad as it sounds—it wasn’t like I was crying every night (or at all), but I was just in a place where I couldn’t get out of my thoughts about me and Alex. I knew it would have been healthier to try and do some wholesome socializing, but I just put my head down, devoted myself to work, and thought about what it means to let someone out of your life. I finally decided to take me and my deep thoughts out when, on Wednesday, Dani called to invite me to get cous cous in the 10th. It sounded mellow and uneventful, so I threw on my boots and a sweatshirt without a second thought.
Little did I know that “getting cous cous” meant going to a lively bar with a group of people and getting wasted … Keep reading »
I’m devastated. And so paralyzed by losing Alex that I can hardly move. I don’t know how I’m supposed to get through my day, and feel as if I’ve almost forgotten how to walk, talk, sleep, eat, or think. Things will get better, I know. But for the moment, I’m really in the thick of it, and kicking myself for knowing I’d likely find myself here in the first place.
The week was quiet after Alex left Paris last Sunday. Later that same evening, I heard from him on IM. He told me he had gotten home safe and had a great time. I tried to keep the conversation going, but he was fairly unresponsive, and remained that way in the following days. I figured he was taking time to digest, and that the best thing to do was to give him some space. But around Thursday, my heart couldn’t take the silence for much longer, and after a public breakdown I had to email him. “We obviously have a significant history,” I wrote. “And the wonderful time we had together last week left me wondering if we’re getting back into it, or if I should expect not to see you again.” Keep reading »
It all happened so quickly. And was over just as fast.
At 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, I found myself unexpectedly waiting at the Gare du Nord, my heart beating out of my chest and my head spinning like crazy. It was only 12 hours ago that my ex-love, Alex, had come back into my life, and it took only a fistful of Euros and a three-hour train ride to close the distance—both metaphorical and physical—between us.
Strangely, it had been almost a year since Alex and I saw each other last. We’d struck up a blog romance last year and had such a profound connection that we had crossed the Atlantic a few times to see each other. Keep reading »
Christmas Day I woke up in an unfamiliar bed with a pounding headache. The hell? Where the eff am I? Then it all came rushing back: glass after glass of champagne at a boat cabaret on the Canal de la Villette singing along to Judy Garland songs. Most random Christmas Eve ever.
I snorted out loud—well, this would have to be the first time I woke up in a stranger’s bed and didn’t do something I regretted.
I closed my eyes again, trying to re-piece the evening. Where did it all start? Oh right, new friend Emily had invited me to this concert, and we’d had dinner at her apartment beforehand where we commenced with a bottle of champagne and a delicious squash/spinach/pasta dish she’d made. Then off to the boat where we were treated to free booze because her friends were the ones who put on the act.
At the end, it had been like an awkward but good third date … Keep reading »
The French are crazy about Christmas. It was sometime after Halloween that I gradually began to see a sprig of holly here and there. My cousin, an ex-pat married to a Frenchman, hypothesizes that the Christmas Craze occurs because they have no Thanksgiving, and, therefore, nothing else in between to look forward to.
Now that it’s just a few days away, the entire city feels like it’s celebrating. The winding streets of the Latin Quarter are lit up with twinkly lights, the windows of the department stores have been transformed into lavish, glittery displays, and on just about every corner you’ll get a whiff of a hearty, nutty smell—street vendors roasting chestnuts. And the food. Oh my God. The food. I spent about a half-hour browsing the new Christmas section in my grocery store, fingering packages of foie gras, caviar, and pâté. Marzipan shaped like cherries. Pale green pistachio macaroons. Sugary marrons glacés.
Being a Jew, I’ve never really celebrated Christmas, but the idea is highly appealing to me. It feels warm and festive, and more about love and the feeling of being home. It was because of this that I was initially terrified of Christmas’ arrival—a painful reminder that I’m not exactly in my dream life yet. To follow Mindy Kaling’s relatable “Scripting a Fantasy of a Family” essay that ran in the Sunday Times, my ideal holiday season would look something like this …
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Like they say, two steps forward, one step back.
This week has been a lesson in relationship building. What I’ve learned: you do need to get out of your comfort zone, but sometimes you have to cut your losses and stay put.
It seemed like the fates had answered my prayers for some more social intrigue when last week an email landed in my inbox. An admirer! A French one! With XY chromosomes! Keep reading »