French Letters Forever
You were right, you were absolutely half-right! Those of you who commented here or emailed me to say “no way, you’re not really giving up on France, pas possible” were, in fact, onto something.
Ever since I wrote here that we were leaving France we’ve been suffering the most terrible fits of existential anxiety. Every day we’ve looked at each other and said “we’re WHAT?” Then for five minutes we’d decide to stay, then half an hour later we’d be leaving once again. And in between times we’d be calling ourselves names, with “pack of weasels” being the most frequently uttered, for being so indecisive and wishy-washy and generally succumbing to cluelessness about our one and only lives.
Jean Claude told us to “do what you really want to do.” Thanks, JC, but knowing what we want to do is actually our problem. We love France. We love America. Since we’re unlikely to be successful in annexing America to France, we’re out of luck on having it all in one place. But really, I do love writing French Letters. And what would French Letters be without France?
Jacqueline said to “live in the moment.” But which moment, when we change our minds every 43.7 seconds? But then we started to ask ourselves, which moments are the happiest? And lately, those moments are here in France, where we blossom and flourish like nobody’s business.
Gérard said “don’t you want to help wineries develop recipes to use with their advertising?” Actually, yes, yes I do, I really, really do, because wineries are in terrible trouble these days, and it’s in all of our best interests that they do well and produce great wine, because what is life without wine?
Maryse said “you’ve invested so much of yourselves into learning the language and culture, why would you leave now, just when you’re really getting comfortable?” Bingo. Did you know that you also say Bingo in French? Well, you do.
And at the end of all our gnashing of teeth (and desire to visit an American dentist) and pulling of hair (plus desire to replenish our supply of Aveda products) and the longings for Thai food cooked by Tum and no one else, and Mexican food cooked by anyone at all who really knows how its done, we realized that yes, we need to go to America. And then, yes, we need to come back.
So, we’ll spend the summer giving bisous on both cheeks, three of them, southern style, to those of you that cross our path. We’ll hang out with our dear sons and their ladies. We’ll stuff ourselves with Tum’s great noodles and everything Mexican, we’ll get our teeth cleaned and our house rented and stock up on clothes that fit, and will fit in, in France.
And then, we’ll come back in the autumn, in time for the start of school. I’m already looking forward to new pens and notebooks and new language challenges to master, to raising a glass with those who share our table, and to giving our new-old friends three kisses each, coming and going, because what is life without bisous? And to writing the first French Letters post that says “nous sommes de retour.” We’re back!