Rainy Day Woman

It’s rained part of almost every day since we’ve been back.  Spring creeps, inexorably, but it’s a slow, soggy slog.  It’d make me feel hopeless, except that the fact that I’m always hoping for the sun to come out does actually leave me in a perpetual state of mild hopefulness.

I’m no longer used to the rain, to the grisaille, that silver drizzle that goes on forever.  Beppo and Zazou spend all day indoors keeping dry by napping on the polar fleece blanket, then burn calories and the midnight oil by chasing each other around the house all night.  These are cats that normally sleep on our beds, and keep approximately the same bedtime hours we do, so you know things are off kilter.

I walk to the post office, hiding the letters under my cardinal red waterproof parka and think about how I’d never be able to wear that jacket in France. Whether or not this is a good thing I cannot decide.  On the one hand, it’s a delicious freedom to be perfectly scruffy in public, when everyone else will be too.  On the other hand, I’ve never felt so chic as when I lived in France, even though we lived in one of the poorest areas in the country, just because French women always make an effort when it comes to looks, and don’t hesitate to show their work, and that too has its own allure.

Today I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen since we came back to the island. She immediately, being partly French herself, gave me three kisses.  I realized then and there that one of the things I miss the most from our French life is those bisous, the ritual kisses that one gives and receives all day long in France.  I loved being surrounded by kisses, and miss them almost as much as the cheeks on which I used to bestow them. On one of my first days back  I automatically tried to kiss a small group of old friends. In general they jumped back hastily, or giggled.  One told me bluntly “we don’t kiss in America.”

We’re living a life where there’s a drought of kisses and it’s pouring down rain. What is wrong with this picture?

Explore posts in the same categories: French Letters Visits America

7 Comments on “Rainy Day Woman”

  1. Conni Says:

    awww, I’ll give you three kisses when I see you next.

  2. charity Says:

    I kiss in America! I had a similar experience my first trip to Europe way back when. The Polish daughter of my mom’s friend was excited to see me and wanted to hold my hand as we walked. I, too, pulled away much to her disappointment and amusement. Now, I would love to walk and hold her hand. Silly Americans.

  3. Brother Mark Says:

    Kiss away, m’dear! Enjoy it! If they don’t like it, it’s their problem, not ours! 🙂

  4. Cindy Says:

    That’s funny because I hug everyone. I admit that I don’t kiss everyone but hugging comes natural. I live here on Bainbridge and we had the best warmest winter we have ever had here. 70 in December! It’s just now in the last two weeks turned into Spring and with it bringing the rain.
    I do miss dressing up just to dress up and I have found myself doing that just to go to a movie or dinner. It feels good and maybe we should start something on Bainbridge Abra. “Just dress up because”.

  5. Debra Lane Says:

    It took me a while to get used to my husbands family who kiss on the lips, but I reserve my kisses (cheek) for really good friends and you will get 3 next time I see you!

  6. geri Says:

    I’ve experienced that too…people here in the PNW are way too comfortable in their isolation for their own good..c’est dommage. Kisses, I would guess, are too direct….try something more passive-aggressive.

  7. Nina Says:

    Sending three kisses, just the way I learned in Belgium!

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