|apparently picasso was unaware of the no-cry rule: la femme qui pleure, was painted during the master's stint in the city of light.|
tom hanks said, "there's no crying in baseball." but he didn't say anything about an outdoor flower market, which is where i was just reduced to tears in front of bunches of roses, tulips, and snickering parisian shop girls.
of course, they had no idea my emotions had little to do with being scolded in french for "allowing" my dog to pee on a bucket of tulips. it was simply the breaking point of many seemingly insignificant setbacks, the most recent of which was fretting over my husband's leaving at 4 am today to fly to barcelona by way of amsterdam, subsequently getting lost while driving to his hotel, then calling me from god knows where to act as his GPS, and in one final insult, the poor guy having his rental car transmission go kaput in the middle of nowhere. this, on the heels of being scolded by and harrumphed at by a nasty french taxi driver for committing the crime of reaching into my suitcase in the way back of his vehicle. this on the heels of being chided by a cashier for not knowing the precise way to queue up for a magazine purchase. and i've already told you about my attack on the serge lutens counter at le bon marche. and so it goes.
please understand. i intend no gay-paree bashing. au contraire. i make every attempt to ply my high-school french; to be polite and unobtrusive; to fit in as best i can. and aside from these minor annoyances, we've been treated with respect and charm, especially by our one and only French (and European, for that matter) friend, Jean-Louis, who has been an absolute delight. it is my fervent desire to meet many more like him.
i'm chalking this up to gaining experience, empathy, and perspective in a way i never could at home. it's not easy being green. it's even harder being verte. but i'll keep trying. and i'm sure i'll keep learning.
in the meantime, i'll stop and smell the roses, not pee on them. and while i'm at it, i'll follow a fellow expat's 3 P's of getting by in a foreign country: patience, perserverance, personality. and to those, i will add one more: pinot grigio!
à votre santé!