12/7/14

Living nightmare and Culture weights

I have the same nightmare over and over. Eloise and I are at Primary Children's Medical Center, and I'm rushing through the labyrinthine hallways trying to make an appointment. We are always late, and never make it to the appointment...
This week will require nerves of steel. Eloise and I are heading back there, for quite a long haul. Last Christmas was dark for us, and the fact that I will have to be in that hospital, worried about Eloise, during Christmastime (and my birthday!) again for another round feels deeply unfair.

But that's not what I'm in the mood to write about. My dear friend Alison sent this text to me just the other day, concerning her sweet four-year-old:
"Yesterday Bea was playing with an Eiffel Tower trinket and she asked me if it was yours - for real! I don't know when that idea entered her head but I loved it. She must have heard me say something. I told her that in general the Eiffel Tower belongs to you. :)"

Also recently, my mom and I were trying on clothes at Old Navy late one evening. A girl is never too old to ask her mom for fashion advice, so I showed her the outfit I was trying on. She said I looked 'very French.'
I thought to myself, There is no way I can look French. I am trying on clothes at OLD NAVY in OREM, UTAH. Clothes on SALE, even. So it must simply be the 'aura' I present that makes others respond, "French!" I've had some fun lately making mental lists weighing my choices and actions, whether they would be considered more American or French. Results:
On the French side:
  • I make fresh baguettes from scratch 2-3 a week. I eat them with brie and blackberry jam, thick-cut deli ham and muenster, or pear butter and goat cheese. Its routine for my kids.
  • I spend 45 minutes a day driving the car to a school in another district because I want my girls to speak French.
  • I go to my local grocery 3 times a week, for fresh fruits and vegetables. Including vegetables like leeks. I usually come home with fresh flowers.
  • I shop locally, in small independent stores. I don't venture to Walmart. In fact, all my Christmas presents were either made by hand by local artisans, purchased at local shops, or I've sewn it myself.
  • I adore lingerie, and I'm quite picky about it. Read: classy, not sleazy :) I wear it every night. 
  • I have a Master's Degree in the History of Art, specializing in tapestries. Much too impractical for most Americans...
  • I researched my thesis here
For the American:
  • My sense of humor. I doubt any European laughs themselves silly over this SNL sketch: https://screen.yahoo.com/googly-eyes-gardener-000000217.html
  • There aren't many things from my childhood that survived all the moves we made growing up, but I kept my baseball mitt. I love playing catch, with my great old mitt. 
  • I am way too enthusiastic about my passions to pass as French. 
  • I don't judge people by the way they look, and I'm not rude to people. But I'm pretty sure that's a Mormon thing, not an American thing.
  • Along that vein, I have four children, and I'm a stay-at-home mom. Definitely LDS. 
  • I don't like Nikolas Sarkozy or Carla Bruni, or Marine le Pen. But from what I read there aren't a lot of French who love Sarkozy, and most Americans don't know much about politics in their own country, let alone another!
  • I don't drink or smoke, and I love Diet Coke.
  • I have a huge, happy yellow labrador, and throwing the ball for him is a big stress reliever for me. So is snuggling into his soft fur in the evening!
I named my firstborn Josephine after both Jo March in Little Women, and after Josephine Bonaparte, which I think is fairly revealing. I'd like to think I hold onto the best of all cultures I encounter, and in the end its all just me!

1 comment:

  1. Now I have cravings for baguettes... seriously, I will probably go seek out recipes on Pinterest unless you have a favorite you'd like to send me. ;) I also need to discover pear butter, apparently!

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