Going All Out

Yesterday, I ate a breakfast of debaucherous content. French toast with Mascarpone cheese and blueberries. I feel like more words in that sentence should have been capitalized as that was the title of the menu item, but I am feeling way too sluggish after eating that to go back and fix them. After indulging in such an unhealthy breakfast, and satisfying both my sweet and my fat tooth, one would think my resolve would be much better throughout the rest of the day and I would spend the afternoon juicing carrots, lettuce, and chomping on kohlrabi greens, but NO….I decided to fully embrace a day full of unhealthiness. For me that consists of a bit of chocolate and some raisins after dinner, a glass of champagne, and a light infliction of sunburn on my face, arms and legs, before said dinner.

I used to be pristine with my dietary habits, my exercise schedule, my use of commas and semi colons, and my sock drawer. But somewhere along the lines,  I have tried to embrace the fact that one must just try to live life, and acknowledge that try-as-I-may, there will not always be an organic kale juice in my hand and a ten pound weight in my other.

After attempting every technique under the sun, The-Actively-Pursuing-Perfection technique, the I-Quit-Trying-And-You-Should-Too Method, and the Once-Weekly-Sinning Theory (this one was only after the Once-Daily-Sinning Regime got out of hand), I’ve noticed that this is also how human beings tend to be in many other areas of their life as well. There are often these patterns we can observe as people go about their careers, strive for tidiness in their homes, keep their cars repaired, and try to keep their beer bellies at bay.

The Actively Pursuing Perfection Technique

This is not for the weak at heart, these people continuously strive to keep things clean, green, and going at a constantly perfect rate. I see them wandering about in their perfectly ironed shirts, their smooth skin glistening, and their ever-radiant smiles shining through with each and every social interaction. Don’t these people ever break for a sip of water? Or for that matter, a coffee? I believe living this way comes with the active philosophy that you must never give up, and understanding that life is always going to be hard work in order to achieve. 95% of the time just doesn’t cut it and would thereby completely blow this entire method to bits and pieces. I justify my own personal failures by saying this is the old way and it’s better to win some / lose some. But in reality, I look to these people (like my Dad and other “O” blood types) and drool at their perfection and ability to maintain it for the long haul.

I Quit Trying

These people not only have let themselves go, they also want you to join them so they can feel better about their messy home, their ever-expanding waistlines, and their six missing teeth. Ok, so I am being a bit harsh –I can definitely understand where they are coming from, one can only work so hard in life before it just gets way too annoying and easier to give up altogether. I am not quite sure what lies behind the life philosophy associated with this style of action. What do these people find to be life’s ultimate purpose? Our reason for being?  And why so resistant to just a little bit of a good thing? Will they eventually awaken?! Perhaps they have it right and it’s everyone else that has it wrong….maybe they know the truth that we will all just turn back into aliens anyway, Burt’s Bees lotion and non-toxic laundry soap or not, but until this is proven, I’m avoiding competing with their intake level of French Fries and Yellow #5.


Every Now and Then, and Never Too Much

Variety is the spice of life, right? Why maintain perfection when you could be inserting small bits of criminal activity and other forms of self-punishment to your daily or weekly regime? This tactic is all about keeping up appearances for a certain percentage of time and then allowing yourself a (set) time to “play” or to break your own rules. A subtle and light binging and purging. Does this account for the softness of the jaw line, the emptiness of the wallet, and the excess of recyclables going into the garbage cans across America? Perhaps today you don’t fix the tractor because you’re best friend just flew in from Timbuctoo to visit, or you set aside your strict diet and indulge in some pancakes that Nana just made you with love and fried in duck fat. Is this really sinning or is it striking a healthy balance? Even if you do feel like crap for a day after you spend the entire day lounging on your back porch or watching television in your pajamas, think of how good you also feel when you spend a day with your hands in the soil planting your organic vegetable garden, running a half marathon, laughing with your mother as you catch up over the telephone, making your bed with the utmost care, and doing all your laundry and folding it too. Even though secretly, I am dying to be perfect and live with neatly trimmed fingernails and iron straight hair every day all day, I know that I will never be able to get dirty and lie in a puddle of mud if I adhere to such a strict approach. So….in the name of balance, health, and less wrinkles….

Time for a 20 mile jog to work off yesterday’s mishaps….

~ Emily ~

 

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Why I Didn’t Get the Job

If you’ve ever picked up a shovel and dug holes to plant a radish, if you’ve ever considered throwing your briefcase into the ocean while aboard a ferry, and if you’ve ever sat in Easy Pose thinking it was the best moment of your life, this post is for you:

I was very excited to land in the Charlotte Douglas Airport (surprisingly, alive I might add; the turbulent flight led me to believe the last words I would ever hear would be, “Brace. Brace. Brace.” and I am by no means exaggerating) last Sunday. My agenda book was already packed full of appointments, meetings, people to see and places to go, and of course: a job interview. Wow, am I really back to this place? Where I need to start thinking about job searching again!? I thought I was done that when I turned 15 and got a job at the Pizza Barn in Jaffrey. From then on out, I feel it should have been business connections galore, networking overload, and pretty lilacs and roses until I climbed the ladder to CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Apparently, that is the ladder (as well as the latter) that I walked underneath, rather than climbing, because I like to defy bad superstition, before entering the working world. I have never had one of those high-powered jobs that young people brag about to their old college dorm buddies or that Mr. Money bags reminisces about with his friends around a poker table. Nor could I ever see myself strutting down Wall Street in NYC (unless I was joining Occupiers) or carrying a brief case, or worse…wearing a pin-striped pant suit!

Occupy Raleigh, anyone?

Monday arrives. I have all the energy and vivacity one would hope to have before a job interview. My thoughts were singing, “I’ve GOT THIS.” I’ve filled out the online application which was a soul-searching and minorly enlightening experience as they asked me (11) AWESOME questions such as:

1. What is a goal you are proud to have accomplished personal/career/otherwise?

2. How have you elevated another person from mediocrity to greatness?

3. What is the theme song of your life?

The company was my ideal environment, yoga clothing, emphasis on education, like-minded people dancing about; I could see myself doing handstands in the workplace and kicking customers downward dogs into shape. What’s not to love?

I drive to the job interview location, giving myself an ample and hearty HOUR to arrive on time; it was a group interview from 5-6pm. The only problem with allotting an hour was that it ended up taking WAY LONGER. I got lost slightly (even though I have been there a million point five times), and I hit every red light. Try 75 minutes. Pretty sure rule number one in the job-seeking world is to arrive to the interview on time and dressed, or at least wearing pants. Since I was creeping up on an entire 20 minutes of lateness, I decided to turn around and call it a day. Oh well, at least it forced me to wash my hair for the first time in a month and wear something other than stretch pants and a Kentucky Wildcats sweatshirt; I was for once sporting a really cute outfit sure to turn heads and land me a job that would make my momma proud.

It ended up being a very good thing that I didn’t go to that interview, as later I dug up some dirt on the company that would make it a not-so-ideal place to be representing. I mean some serious DIRT involving lying, murder, and sexual exploitation. Not exactly three things I would like to be lingering behind my name badge.

Now I sit here and ponder how and why people get “real” jobs, do we really want to be working for someone else? Do I have a choice considering my lack of independent wealth? I’ve already worked 27 jobs in my lifetime and just thinking about another makes me want to retire. Tropical island, here I come. I personally can keep so incredibly busy without working that I don’t honestly know how people have time to live their own lives and someone else’s too! This particular paragraph has sent my mind whirling in a million directions that delves into my past and childhood and all the emotional turmoil I have endured, but I don’t care to digress or exploit the innocent, so I shall just continue talking about how much I don’t want to work. Actually, I love to work and stay busy, I just don’t feel like spending all day working and feeling like I am not working which is usually what happens when I go about the typical “work” day. I would way rather do more important things with my time, like comment on and observe the human species in their natural habitat, read up on how to decently French kiss (even though I would just be reading the book that I WROTE on the topic), and get my nails done for free at salons across the world.

When I am not working for myself, or in a field / position that is meaningful, I feel like I am digging an early grave, selling my soul to the Devil himself, giving myself forehead wrinkles, and denying my true identity. When did reality consist of the mentality that we have to spend our lives slaving away only to unravel completely during our days off? I think there must be some sort of balance to strike. Perhaps now, with the freedom I have been recently granted…I can discover what this means. Meanwhile, I have one person yelling in my ear that I need to “GET A JOB!” and another telling me to sit, back, relax and enjoy watching the many buses of opportunity go by before deciding which one to jump on. My inner nymph is reminding me of “persistence” and “balance”. I like her advice best. Now how to follow it…. 

What’s my ultimate career goal? All that I am certain of is that it ends with organic vegetables, a flexible schedule to accommodate my two hour daily siestas, and some yoga….is that too much to ask!?

Where do you see YOURSELF in ten years?

Are you where you thought you would be when you last answered that question?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have some serious work to accomplish around the house: cleaning, organizing, and cooking my way to becoming the perfect daughter my parents always wished I would be.

~ Emily ~

Yankees and Purple Socks

My friend Lizzie and I met up in Boston this past weekend and decided venture out to paint the city green, give them all a taste of our insane Saturday night dance moves, and feel the overall freedom of our youthful womanhood (oxymoron?).

We begin our people-watching, search for adventure extravaganza at a jazz bar that scammed us into paying for nine tickets, when there were only two of us. Somehow, we fell for it. But thankfully, due to our VIP memberships, we could roam the entire toilet-smelling club at our leisure. Though even then, we were stopped several times to ensure that we had paid doubly. 

Lizzie and I both enjoy talking to, staring at, and patronizing fellow members of our race, so with both of our troublesome tendencies at play, we got our fair share of dirty looks at a club as we were trying to explain our reasons for cutting to the front of the line (which wrapped around the entire block, for no apparent reason other than to make people cold and wait).

Lizzie: “Um, I’m meeting a friend, we have a friend in there.” (insert voice influction here)
Bouncer Dude: Silence (had we not been in the city, we would’ve heard crickets)
Lizzie: Best befallen expression I’ve ever witnessed
Doorman: Expression of zero sympathy

Thinking perhaps her lying skills were rusty, or maybe he just misunderstood her perfect English, I decided to give it another go. It was a possibility, in my idealistic mind, that he could have forgotten what just went down with Lizzie and let us in NOW.

Emily: “Uh, yes, excuse me sir, we just really want to dance.”

I realize, looking back, that I did not express my self enough in this sentence. What I should have said was, “I wanna get in there, shake my fingers and my toes like it’s 1929. Only if it were 1929, I would probably be depressed like the rest of the country and burning my dollar bills for warmth. But I am trying to keep this short and to the point in case your previous denial is recanted in my favor.”

Bouncer Dude: Silence

So, after two strikes with the first two pitches, we nab a cab, and move on. To where we are sure to be embraced….The Ritz Carlton. Where apparently, the Yankees were making an appearance. Neither Lizzie nor I know who any of the Yankees players are so when one of them literally came and hit us on the head, we just thought it was some guy with oversized thighs being mean. We sipped our 15 dollar cocktails and watched men and women of all sizes, shapes, and colors enjoy their evening.  Our thesis questions being respectively, “What is an evening out to these people?” “Who are the people in our neighborhood?”

The only caveat to the people being various shapes and sizes was that everyone looked THE SAME. What on earth is happening these days? Are we all morphing into Face Lift Barbie and Florida Tan Ken?? Is this just the way it is in a city? The woman all looked like their makeup was done using the same picture as a guide as the last girl. The diet appeared to be that of an active Amazonian jungle dweller, and the hair, the clothes, the overall appearances….Lizzie and I were speechless with chatter.

I fell into a deep existential, primordial, apocalyptic slime…perhaps this drinking and going out and dressing up business is that of the “old way” and soon we will all be forced to truly connect and mind meld with one another in a real, primal, down-to-earth-less-alien abducted kind of way. Or maybe the “old way” was when we all went out and actually connected with each other and this “new way” involves my iPhone buzzing in my pocket every five seconds and subluxations in my spine from sitting at a bar with my laptop and Skyping the people I wish I was with from across the world. I always thought the purpose of a night out with your friends was to find those magnetic bonds and strengthen them. To put a string of super glue from one heart to another, and be real and expressive with one another. I think I am missing something. Oh that’s right, there are my dentures right there. These people appear to be looking for something else. But what? What are we looking for, people?! My question melts into the deafening roar of the crowd…

Lizzie’s theory is far more complex and better thought out, she thinks that women are beginning to conform to a societal “norm” so that they can present themselves as what men are seeking, an easy object that will do whatever he wants. This is because women are giving away their power and prowess in society.

Watching these people in comings, and goings, and social interactions was a small pitter patter of a sampling of where our society is headed. I would have to do a few more studies to be certain. I like to believe things do not go from bad to worse. I imagine, had I been not following the crowd myself that night, I would’ve found a herd that is dancing to the beat of a drum more compatible with my own.

Numb yourself. Dumb yourself. But whatever you do, don’t be yourself. There are some grains to munch on that are not wholesome and most certainly meant to be gone against.

My challenge to you is to stay awake. Though I imagine if you are reading this you’re probably already there, or halfway there…or living on a prayer.

Party Tricks

I am a party girl; I love throwing, attending, and crashing the various social gatherings of the human species put on to celebrate that which is celebration-worthy and honorably honor the enthusiasms taking place in other people’s lives. This summer I have some family reunions to attend that I am looking forward to, and because I have no other events on the calendar, I am going to put an ad in the paper “Free Know-it-All Party Guest” to try to get myself invited to some more champagne-uncorkings  –cookouts, baby showers, kid’s birthdays, stag parties, and such. I think I will leave out my qualifications as an angelic being, I don’t think I will get the kind of savory characters I want responding, nor find myself in venues with tastefully folded napkins.

From the overly festive Christmas party which ended with an abrupt paramedic appearance, to the hot tub party in the Alps that turned into a sour vinegar party, all the way to the high-class exchange of Harvard professors and real estate agents, I’ve been able to be the fly on the wall at my fair share of parties this past winter season. I am poised and ready, privy to take note of all the strange interactions and party fouls which take place at these events. Capturing each moment with my mental pen and paper,  I usually find myself dropping eaves left and right and picking up people’s social cues when they leave them by the pool table; my goal is to observe everyone having a good time, while simultaneously monitoring that they are not spilling expensive caviar on their favorite Brooks Brothers’ shirt. Here is a small profile of what parties are like these days, and a glimpse into the lives of some of the fine folks I have clashed personalities and beer glasses most recently.

The Odd Party Guest (OPG)
You WILL find one of these at every party. It’s usually that person whom all of the other party-goers are talking about, raising quietly their eyebrows and then their glasses to avoid getting caught in a semi-awkward conversation with him. These folks come in many forms (even lurking behind the mask of a host or hostess) and are to be dealt with gingerly. Some hints to identifying this unique species:

They wore an entirely inappropriate outfit for the season or occasion. (Mermaid costumes at a funeral reception…prom dresses for your 5 year old’s birthday party….and head-to-toe khaki outfits fit for an African safari to your employee holiday h’orderves party….you get the idea)
They are borderline violent in their insistence on pig-tailed and dressed poodle, Mumie Foofa Princess Peepee, being allowed on the guest list.
They constantly gravitate towards the stinkiest foods at the party like egg salads, herring, cheese, etc and they are also usually the type who have not discovered the age-old formula of personal space.
Some of my observations of the OPG’s is that they may possess a strange propensity towards following other guests around  the house, even getting dangerously close to entering restrooms with them when clearly not being invited to do so. Other OPG’s simply latch onto the general uncomfortable staring technique, casting their gaze unabashedly in the direction of whomever they have deemed an appropriate target. They are stealth, they are boisterous, they are overly smiley, and they have interesting smelling breath. Nearly every party, unless you’re partying solo, has a walking oddity.

The I-Know-Who-You-Know Game
Back when Twister and Yahtzee were popular, we probably had no need for this game; however, nowadays every event worth hitting the presses involves a game of social web exchange. The rules of play are intricate. You say a name, I tell you if I know the person, perhaps I will describe how I know them, what they wore at the last opera, and then we might talk about them behind their back. It’s all fun and games until people’s ears start ringing. The game is a bonding tool that took the place of superglue, hookahs, and bong pipes long ago. Boy, is it handy. It weaves a nice path into the gossip channel, if your guests have a common interest in social updates, or it can be a way to reminisce about how they were in the same place at the same time in 1994. It also looks quite impressive, and establishes a basis for power and poise when people have arabesqued on the same balance beam as Mary Lou Retton, meditated with the Dalai Lama, and sipped from a goblet at a table with the Queen of Lesotho. Providing your guests with hours of thrill, laughter, and unbridled competition, this game requires no additional parts nor set up and is virtually free for the taking. I would definitely recommend playing it at your next bash.

Getting Your Guests to Go Home at Appropriate Times
Fortunately, at all the parties I have hosted, I’ve had my own personal back up system for alerting my guests as to when it’s time to call it quits. I either start loading the dishwasher, change into my nightie and begin my cucumber facial, or start dancing on the table. Any of these three tactics have proven successful for me, even in the most dire of circumstances. However, should you not be so lucky as to own a dishwasher, you’re hosting a pajama party and therefore already wearing your night nights, and your table dancing moves are actually legit, you will need to wrestle with the proper way to usher party-goers out the door in a way that is tactful and gracious. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is actually no solution to this common and treacherous problem; even if you cannot stay awake past ten o’clock, your guests can, and it’s rude to send them home while they are awake. My suggestion is to kick yourself several times for hosting the party in the first place, and stop running tomorrow’s to-do list through your head. With these feats accomplished, you can settle down, pull up a chair next to stinky breath party-goer, relax, and fall asleep while talking to people. That’s a sure-fire way to get the hooplah to go elsewhere.

In case you missed the deep existential meaning of this blog, I will tie it all together for you. Next time you find yourself in a stuffy room surrounded by a group of rich barracudas drinking champagne that cost more than your last plastic surgery, or blowing air into one of those noise makers at a baby shower, keep your eyes open to the world around you and you will find, it can be quite rewarding. The proof is in the pudding (and hopefully also in the vodka), people-watching can be intellectually stimulating, rejuvenating, depressing, empowering, and even at times, elating. If your life involves sleeping through various events and even entire days, try staying awake with me and finding the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the human race. This opportunity is invitation-only.

The End of the Introduction.


One. SVP

If I were the type of person who were EVER out of words, at this moment, I would be completely speechless. Unfortunately for the rest of humankind, that never happens to me so I will probably hit 1,000 words in a matter of seconds.

Tomorrow I leave France. It’s a little bizarre actually…it feels like I have been here for much longer. I would say a year if I had to put a timestamp on this whole experience! It also feels like, if need be, I would know what to do to get my act together and survive here. In retrospect, I am definitely guilty of treating this like a temporary home, a vacation spot (minus the vacation). I came, I learned, I partook, I indulged, and now my fun, pain, trials, record-spinning nights out, and faux French smiles are coming to an end. Yesterday, as I was bidding all (two of) my Chamonix / Argentiere “friends” farewell, I couldn’t help but feel a secretly silently wonderful elation about seeing my friendly friends. My USA friends. I have been doing so many pushups in order to ensure the hugging process is going to be painful for everyone! I am going to get my former boss, the chiropractor some $$$ PATIENTS!!! $$$
 

We went to a dinner party last night, a truly true British dinner party with 9 million courses,  including bread and cheese, dessert, and I can’t even remember what else because after I got full… my brain started to slowly ooze ice cream and celery soup (yes, I got funny looks, but I couldn’t help it!). We didn’t even start the ordeal until 9pm, by which time I had already taken my dentures out and had to put them back in! The dinner party taught me how you’re supposed to course meals, how to fold napkins, and overall, how to behave at a dinner party. I guess I learned this a little late….
 Tonight as my final plat de resistance, I made a jolly giant green chicken curry (not to be confused with opening a can of Jolly Green Giant), cauliflower hummus, and a salad — I practiced my new coursing skills with fervor. I guess now I can go and serve the Queen of England or the Duchess of Timbuctoo or someone of equal standing.

The other exciting thing that happened today, was a “surprise” bestowed upon me by Julie. Little does she know, I am psychic and nothing surprises me. Actually, truth be told, it’s very hard to surprise me because I am an accidentally-pro-eavesdropper and I always end up hearing something that clues me in on the goings on. But on this glorious occasion, it was nice to know I was getting a massage this afternoon because I made sure to shave my legs for the first time since arriving here. Wow, actually, something must have changed inside my soul; I feel like I can’t even joke as grotesquely as I used to without saying that it’s a joke. That was a joke about the legs. Maybe I am becoming more lady like! Sarah this is for you: I think that was the SECOND BEST massage I have ever had in my LIFE (Yours being the first)! Kristy, the masseuse and I talked about all sorts of things (not during the massage, I would never allow that during my relaxation!) what it’s like coming from elsewhere (she is from Australia) and living here, the mutual understandingness was absolutely divine.

Ok, all this jibber jabber being said, I think I am in an A-OK / good place. Feeling ready to come back to the homeland; not like I am running away (my tax return money never came so I couldn’t have escaped early if I tried!). My mission is complete. The last bag of trash to the poobelle, the chalet cleaned top to bottom, the frig stocked full of things for these fine little ladies to pick through with their fingers when hungry, my nerves at all time high, and I have everything I came here with, plus a little more to share.

What lies around the next bend is a mystery to me….feels a little bit like Christmas did as a child when I knew my parents had put a stocking on the end of my bed and I felt as though it was my adolescent duty to try to sleep until 6am before tearing it to pieces. Although granted, I always know my Christmas presents cause I just dig through my parents stuff, and know all their email passwords (er….I mean, I can hear their thoughts).

I scoot my spectacles to the end of my nose and suppose that this blog, (along with my time in a foreign film starring ME) has come to an end. It’s a good thing this last post is so lame, I wouldn’t want you to get addicted to my exquisitely woven English and perfect diction. I suppose my next venture will be to write about how boring brunettes are, or about how happy I am to be wearing something other than a whale blubber parka in everyday life. How the Chinese body clock changed my life, why to invest in baby eels off the coast of Maine rather than gold, how to Feng-Shui your coat closet…the options are just endless…I can mind read you (read mind you) and so I know your fingers are poised and ready to hit, “subscribe”.

OK, I’m going to brush my teeth.
Au revoir, bon journee! Bonne nuit! Bon Soiree!

xx

— Emily —

P.S. Proof that you never stop learning something new. Today I got the magical epiphany (after three months of being here) that S.V.P on signs is an abbreviation for “Si’l Vous Plait”. I love rocket science, it blows me away!

P.P.S. I just won the word record for maximum parenthetical statements in a single blog entry!

3, and 2! Darkness and Light

Friday night, when I said I had to wake up ultra early, I did not mean 4am. And when I said, “I can’t wait for the Farmer’s Market tomorrow.” I did not mean for my words to be literally taken that I need six hours to do my hair and makeup before it starts. But, I suppose this lovely insomnia is my body’s way of pretending I am already back in the States, pre-adjusting itself to a time zone shift, and of course enjoying as much as possible of the being awake experience that there is to offer. If this keeps up, I might start getting addicted to my Ambien again, I mean, er…Valerian root. There is only so much heavy metal music one can head bang too in the morning without waking folks up, so I can’t even get in a good workout in the wee hours. Random factoid: I learned everything I know about leg warmers from Jane Fonda.

Fortunately, being wide awake in the dark let me have a glimpse of the Full Moon– apparently a Pink Moon which I think means moss should start growing on the North side of trees and crocuses will start blooming.

Julie asked me over dinner Friday night, insert a pouty face here as that is what she was making, “Emily, how do you feel about going home?” All of the sudden, every blood vessel in my body was racing millions of miles per hour, I was coasting down a hill that most people dare only ski or skateboard down with my bare feet, and I had to toss my pom-poms under the table at my feet so no one could see the cheerleading paraphernalia. I was standing on stage with the spot light upon me, and I had not recited a single line! Before I could answer, Drinkwater (Polly’s last name, and she is wrinkle-free, so I imagine she does a lot of living up to her name) pipes in, “Are you kidding, she is so excited!!” I felt the need to explain and cover myself, “I’m just really going to be happy to do my own laundry.” Silently, I had a moment for soul-searching, why AM I so excited to go back home? I’m in France for goodness gracious sake bodacious, and I’ve had a good run, right?

So throughout the day yesterday, and last night, (all of this musing kept me SO busy I couldn’t write a blog before falling asleep) I thought about the things I am excited about in getting back to as I go home. I also thought about the grand purpose of this entire trip. I do that with every trip, be it to the grocery store or to Timbuctoo on a surfboard. In fact, I made it my mission yesterday to meet someone that would help shine a light on the giant hierarchical reasoning of this venture. Have the heavens opened up and cast light onto a noble mission for my life? Have I reached enlightenment and suddenly have all the wisdom I need to open up my own “Help You With Your Problems Because I Now Have None” center? I’m ready for some answers!  Something happened here. That’s for sure, but I can’t put my finger on WHAT it is yet.

One of the hilarious my-aged people with whom I got to spend time last night (The Butter Family –Charlotte 18 (see picture at left), Olivia 23, and Tom 26 –whom I met at yesterdays shi-shi hors d’oeuvres party) tossed me a sentence later that night as we were having sips in town, that I will not soon forget, “When you get back, you’ll suddenly realize the entire point of this whole three months. It will all become crystal clear.” I don’t know why I put quotes around things that I cannot remember the exact wording for to save my life. Anyhow, she said it SO out-of-the-blue, SO off-the-cuff, and completely out-of-context….so I KNEW these were words specifically FOR ME. Although I can remember before coming here the things people “predicted” for me: “You will find your soul.” “You will change shapes.”…there were many more!

I digress, here are the things I am really excited about going back to:

1. People speaking English. I know, I know, I should cut the French people some slack. This land is their land, this land isn’t my land. But I will be happy to just go somewhere and order easy breezy without having to worry about offending you because I am refusing to speak, and simultaneously bring America to shame with embarrassment, by speaking French. I also want to be able to understand when people try to order me various items while out and about, so I do not end up with an entire bottle of gin, a plate of escargot, or a fried piece of cheese atop a loaf of bread soaked in wine.

2. Kale. Kale is a two fold pleasure. First I will be happy to munch happily on the iron-laden greens that have always helped me stay vegetarian. And secondly, I will be happy to have my body feeling good and “normal” again. Do you think Kale works as an ab sculptor?? I am just anxious for my body and eating habits to flourish back into abundance as they reach once again the full potential I know exists.

3. Doing My Own Laundry. Enough said. But I may as well say, I am allergic to most laundry detergent, including that of the lady that does our wash. Having lesions all over your skin is really great if you’re trying to become BFF”s with an epidemiologist, and have free topical ointments for life, but I would rather pass and not have my undergarments drying on someone’s front porch for all of France to see my underpants. Call me OCD, but Hyett does not fold my towels properly and look what happened to my turquoise leggings: 

4. Freedom. I am looking forward to not have to ask to go somewhere, to be able to sleep and wake whenever I darn well please, not to be required to eat late (ie. at 9pm) and to feel more safe and sure of my surroundings and self. I belong amongst the wildflowers for SURE. 

5. How Chalet Say It….HUGS! I got one in Germany, and I’ve had a couple great “dead fish hugs” scattered here and there to get me through the time here, but I will be happy to get a hug so big and give a hug so enormous that both parties fear the threat of affixation.

I am sure there are things I will look back upon and miss…like being able to eat entire bulbs of raw garlic without worrying about social alienation, drooling over and coveting all of the clothes I can’t afford if I want to brush my teeth this month, and having every glass of wine being world’s BEST glass; I’ll also miss that smell of 72 stinky skiers crammed into the bus, and probably some beautiful landscapes to boot. But, at least now I know of all the hot spots when I come here on vacation, and I have one more day to enjoy it all.

The End. The Beginning. 

— Emily —

Four. Too Tired to Write More.

I think I am the most exhausted being on planet Earth right now. Maybe it was all the people-watching downtown today, or the dodging being hit with fireworks at the bus station; or perhaps it was rolling so many rice paper appetizers with mint sauce and plum jelly that wore me out. Whatever the case may be….I am looking forward to tomorrow. The Farmer’s Market! The sheer unpredictability of the whole day! And, oh the floor scrubbing and meal preparation, how I live to partake in thee. Oh wait, I have to get up ULTRA early tomorrow because the Real Housewives of Martha’s Vineyard are meeting the mountains of Chamonix at 8am which means…breakfast at 7!! Does my alarm even wake up that early? I’ll have to see. It better not wake me up in the middle of a dream, those are precious.

Today raced past me. So fast in fact that the only thing I really recall about are the extraordinary conversations that were laced throughout it. People all over the world uniting across the strange and unseen waves of the internet, people in Chamonix embracing each other with their words, connecting with a pure, unbridled desire to share in language. Personally, because I have gotten a bunch of weird stares talking to myself more often than not, my day was incredibly silent, but I somehow managed to find an abundance of conversations (verbal and nonverbal) to eavesdrop on…. making it all just sail on by. I may have even given myself a few lines of conversation, such as, “Emily, best to walk around the muck, not through it.” And, “Damn, Emily, this grocery bag is heavier than a grown child with a full diaper…next time, buy fewer lemons!”

The RHWMV (none of whom are actually married, nor housewives) had a wonderful day of skiing, spa-ing, looking at fancy soaps and oils, eating duck liver pate, and then indulging in conversations about wrinkles, men, and various illegal substances over dinner and wine. There were many other strange and unusual bonding rituals which transpired, although I’ve been Ya-Ya secresied and I cannot reveal them to you…the HW’s would never forgive me!

While they did this I cleaned, napped, walked, observed, talked with my fingers (not just my middle one), and cooked and then cleaned all over again.

I also figured out, after 87 days here, how to build a roaring fire.

My 5 minute debut came at dinner when I got to blurt out my life story, sing my song and dance, and balance my spoon on my nose. Then I tromped off to California King Size bed where I am sitting typing this, listening to what the rain is speaking to me, and observing the size of my arm muscles to see if I can write my next blog on why blogging is good for your biceps. I actually DO see a big difference from when I first started writing….I think there is some scientific evidence to this!

I really have such a fascinating life. I know you’re thinking the same thing. I have no doubt in my mind that tomorrow is going to hold a world of possibilities for each and everyone of you! (And since I am reading this proofreading for once, I guess that includes me as well!)

Sleep well, and for most of you: Enjoy the rest of your GOOD Friday!
–Emily–