My "I miss Paris" moments come in short bursts, more nostalgia and fondness than pain, and usually happen when I see a picture of our former Parisian lives. I sobbed uncontrollably while looking at Paris pictures the other day but then realized it wasn't because I missed Paris, it was because I was listening to Bon Iver. (Those fellas make hauntingly sad music that could make you mourn the end of your root canal, if you happened to be listening to Bon Iver during your root canal, which, by the way, congrats on your cool-ass dentist.)
Surprisingly, Alex misses Paris a lot more than I do. I think it's because he didn't say goodbye properly. He worked like mad up to the last second then boop! just got on the airplane. As for me, I had a mourning process, or as others might call it a "losing her dang fool mind" process.
I was so emotionally unstable those last couple months, I didn't eat much and lost over ten pounds. I drank a lot, smoked a lot (I don't smoke) and went out pretty much every single night because I couldn't stand to be stuck in the apartment. If no one was available to go out, I went out by myself. I met some great people that way, including a fun group of Moroccan fashion designers.
Several nights found me crouching in narrow Parisian streets texting my Texas sister. "What the hell am I doing?" I would ask. "You're going batshit crazy; live it up and text me in the morning," she replied.
Some of the comment posse were online with me, commenting in real time, on our last night in Paris as I stood on the balcony of our hotel room and hollered at the cars below on Boulevard Saint Germain. I named all the people on motorcycles after people I loved in Paris, then yelled goodbye at them. "Au revoir, Madame Kickmyass, au revoir Boutique Man, au revoir Hot Thing One and Two" (who, by the way, are now my Facebook friends; they are lost without mama).
I think that's "Wild-Eyed Australian Mom" down there...
I named a large burly man on a large burly motorcycle "Virginia Mom." As he peeled out in front of our hotel window, I yelled "Bye-bye, gigantic Virginia Mom!" and laughed and laughed but then cried.
It wasn't my most emotionally stable time but dammit, I said goodbye. I fell apart but I left it all there. Alex didn't do that; he was in bed every night at a reasonable hour, ate well, exercised, drank only respectable amounts of alcohol but now he's Mr. Sad Face. Let that be a lesson to us all.
Hey, good news. We will no longer be without a home when the executive housing people kick us out at the end of the month. We found a house. It's a tiny little cottage but it's in the right neighborhood and it's furnished so we can all sit down at the same time -- on furniture, even! There's a tenant living in the studio apartment in the basement which is unfortunate for him. After a few weeks (days? hours?) of living with us, he may re-think his place in the world. I'll take him some crappy croissants to apologize for us being so damn us.
I called a cab company a couple days ago to reserve a taxi. I told the guy I needed the cab at 7:30 a.m. the next day. He said, "Are you going to the airport?" and I said, "Nope, I'm going to the deserted parking lot of Northgate Mall with my two small children while it's still dark outside." Immediately after I said those words, I thought, "dang, he's probably already called the cops."
But there was nothing shady about going to a mall parking lot hours before the mall opened. Sure, the kids and I looked a little weird standing by the curb holding two car seats over our heads to block the rain, but it all made sense when this sucker pulled up --
We bought my Mom's old car in Colorado and had it shipped here on one of those car carrier things that somehow manages to keep a dozen shimmying cars on top while flying down the highway at high speed.
Our first stop in the brand new car was Seattle Public Schools where we enrolled the Loosh in the American school system. I was promptly told by an imbecile at Enrollment Services I couldn't enroll Lucien in kindergarten because he'd never been in kindergarten before. Chew on that for a minute, I'll wait...
I asked to speak to someone a lot smarter. The supervisor came over and, of course, said Lucien could be enrolled in kindergarten because, well, HE'S A KINDERGARTENER. The supervisor looked worried, perhaps wondering how many other kindergarteners had been turned away by the rogue Enrollment Services officer and sent out into the Seattle streets without any arts and crafts.
We got him enrolled in a great school thanks to our new tiny cottage rental address. And today, the Loosh had his first day of American Kindergarten. He looked like this when I dropped him off --
His lunch is in the Frenchie Barbapapa bag. He insisted.
I'll get into the differences between the French and American school systems next time. There's some stuff I need to process first.
In a heartbreaking moment this morning, Alex declared his Frenchie clothing "not practical for Seattle" and put on a t-shirt with a polar fleece vest, jeans, and work boots. My God, one rainstorm and the guy gives up on fashion. I, however, am holding on. The red houndstooth coat is ten pounds heavier when soaking wet but I look fabulous.
Now go live it up and text me in the morning,