08 July 2013

I'm Fine. Just Fine.

There are days when I am really fine. 

I'm really very happy and quite content with this little life in France. There are so many pretty little details.

I love the colorful mosaïque of fresh fruit at the morning market - the cherry red, bright yellows, deep aubergines, and fresh greens.

I love the two hour lunch breaks and lazy, grass-tickled bare-feet  that hang just over the edge of a picnic blanket in summer.


I've become more detail orientated, and appreciate the beauty of a well set table, decorated with flowers or pearls, and at least two spoons. Two spoons let me know a pretty dessert will be served - perhaps Un Royal or Une Tropézienne.


It's a beautiful thing.

But there are days when things are just too different, when all I want to do is pull the covers up over my head  and stay there, hidden, all day.

Remember when you were a teenager, and you thought that no one really understood you? Sometimes people actually don't understand me here. Unfortunately, it's not because I'm a pining, self-centered adolescent (though I was at 15). There are many moments when people have no idea what I'm talking about.

Usually though, if they don't get it after the third time I've repeated myself, I just give up - or say it in English and hope for the best. They're probably just not going to get it.

Imagine a country, where people think you're a nutter when you try to explain the concept of PB & sandwiches.

French person: Patricia, Peanut butter wiz jelly on a sondwish (sandwich)? You must be joking. C'est dégoûtant! 

Me: No! It's delicious. I promise. Just try one.

French person: Non, non! Zat is not going in my mowz (mouth)!

Most of the time, these differences and misunderstandings are silly. Superficial little bumps in the road, that make for funny stories later on.

But sometimes it goes a lot deeper than that. 

It's not that one culture is wrong, or that another culture has a better way of doing things. It's just that your entire life you've been a round peg. You were taught in school to be a round peg. Your friends and family are round pegs. You fit quite nicely into the little round hole in the puzzle of America that, you've been growing up to fit into your whole life...

...And then you find yourself in a country full of square pegs. You're trying to shove your round little self into one of those little square holes in the puzzle of France, and it's just not working. You are just so round, and can't quite find a place for yourself into this new puzzle. Not to mention, trying to shove your round self into a little square hole, is both painful and awkward. You just don't fit.

That's how I'm feeling today friends. I'm a round peg.

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