So Bug’s here, which means…well, my husband is here, with me in Paris. Paris is an amazing place. And I haven’t been posting much. We’ll leave it at that.
But today is Sunday and at home, he and I have a Sunday ritual – send the boys downstairs to Grandma and Grandpa’s house at 7am for pancakes, and we catch up and get a few minutes of adult time without children. Anyone who has kids knows that it’s almost impossible to have a conversation sometimes without a small voice chiming in or a hand tugging on your leg, needing help. Bug usually makes me a huge breakfast (because he’s convinced I don’t ever eat enough) of eggs, potatoes, and chard. Sometimes, he’ll get fancy and serve it to me in bed, but usually I sit at the table while he cooks and I more or less rattle off random thoughts.
Our routine today was a bit different: we slept till one or so, and then starving, ventured out to find food. The neighborhood where my apartment is is full of cafes and bistros. Some good, some not. We randomly chose, and promptly set about confusing the poor waiter. He asked if we wanted brunch or lunch. I told him brunch, because that’s Bug’s favorite meal. He checked his watch and clucked his tongue, so I said, “And can I have a salad?” in French. He nodded, brought back a menu, and left us alone.
My husband tries very hard to understand and copy what I say in French, and he’s getting better, but when I let him order by himself, we end up with…well, not what we wanted. The brunch menu was multi-course and fixed, and somehow we ended up with one meal to share between the two of us. It was odd. The waiter would bring one dish and give it to Bug, clear it, and then bring the next course to me.
I also never got my salad, but at that point, I figured the waiter had laughed at us so much that if I asked for anything else, we’d end up with spit in our food. Still it was good, and that’s what matters, right?
After brunch/lunch/OMGwhatdidIjusteat we set out to find me some new clothes. Since being in Paris, I’ve dropped three pant sizes and my clothes are literally falling off me. This is the benefit of having to trek up and down five flights of stairs everyday, and from walking absolutely everywhere. Plus, since I can’t eat bread or things like that, I haven’t been overindulging in pastries and generally yumminess. I wanted jeans, and found a Levi store (gotta support the San Franciscocompanies) and picked up some shoes across the street.
We never finished shopping because I had a panic attack. I don’t think that’s something I’ve ever mentioned here before, but when I become overwhelmed (like being in a VERY crowded place) or highly stressed, I feel heat rush up my back and into my neck, my throat goes dry and feels likes it’s constricting, my heart burns, my brain races madly, and I more or less have to get out of where ever I am RIGHT THAT VERY MINUTE or I will die. It’s horrible because I feel like I have no control over it. I do have medicine for anxiety, but I didn’t have any with me. Thankfully, Bug realized I was going into meltdown mode and helped me outside. He found a nice, quiet place for me to sit and have water while we waited for my attack to pass. This one wasn’t too bad. Sometimes, with the bad ones, I feel the need to walk and walk and walk. As if the rhythm of my footsteps can somehow calm my racing heart and mind. But not today. Today, I was able to pull out of it quickly.
Before I forget, this has been Gay Pride weekend in Paris and our neighborhood seems like it’s the French version of the Castro. The parties have been endless and streets have been packed at night. But the next day, you would never know the street looked like this a few hours earlier:
Normally, they look like this:
Oh! We went apartment hunting and narrowed it down to two places. I’m staying here until September 20th at a minimum, but my lease is up on July 20th. Plus, Bug is bringing the boys over on August 20th for a month, so we need something bigger than my one-bedroom. Hopefully, tomorrow or Tuesday, we’ll make a decision and have one less “business” type decision to think about.
And this is for my lovely agent, Kathleen. A reminder that I can’t just play in Paris, I actually have to open my manuscript and get to work.