Check out the social life on MJ. Last night, five Americans and two Australians descended upon the Latin Quarter and made themselves much, much more obvious than their fellow diners. My FIRST -- yes, FIRST -- ladies night in seven months of Parisian living happened yesterday and I am on FIRE with sociability.
These hilarious women have tales to tell. One is living in a tiny studio apartment with her husband and son who has the energy of approximately ten Luciens. She's looking a little wild-eyed. One had a French teacher who blatantly told her he hated her -- yep, in those words -- during one of their lessons.
And in a tantalizing cultural mystery, one sweet-as-can-be American offended her French sister-in-law to the point of family rupture and still has no idea what happened. She asked her sister-in-law to bring a meat dish and an avocado to a family dinner; the SIL threw a fit and hasn't spoken to her since. We're not really sure what sort of faux pas was committed, either, but we're suspecting it was the avocado that put her over the edge.
This is another view. Notice all benches near the Americans have been vacated and all benches at the other end of the park are occupied. Yep. We made that happen.
A man selling roses passed through the restaurant, targeting all the tables with lovey-dovey couples seated at them and, for some reason, continually coming back to ours. The no-nonsense Australian mama finally said (how I wish I could communicate an Australian accent through typing, but alas), "Believe it or not, we are NOT a legion of foreign lesbians keen on buying each other roses."
The reason for the get together was to send yet another super cool lady back to her home in Boston with well wishes and kisses on right cheek, left cheek. But in a joyous revelation, at least three of the ladies at that table will be here as long as I am. Salvation. I love my Al and the Loosh but I've missed hanging out with women. It's a great thing, cackling in the corner, making fun of our kids and husbands and lives in general, comparing cultural horror stories and collectively mooning over the perfection of Christopher Reeve in Somewhere in Time (Don't find the penny! Oh for the love of God, Richard, don't find the penny!)
I had a baby doctor appointment this morning so sat here cheerfully waiting.... and waiting.... and waiting for the babysitter. I finally called the little unreliable twit and was greeted with a confused and sleepy, "Oh hi -- do you still need me to babysit this Friday morning?" When I told her it WAS Friday morning, the apologies and swear words tumbled out of her mouth in a torrent and my heart sank down to my toes.
Because honestly, who really wants to experience a "baby exam" with their kid in the room? The one other time I was forced to bring Lucien for lack of options, he spent the entire time instructing me to put my clothes back on, suspiciously asking the doctor, "Heeey, what are you doing over there?" and getting crumbs all over the doctor's spotless office thanks to my not-well-thought-out strategy to distract him with pain au chocolat.
So ugh. I quickly threw some clothes on the Loosh and headed for the metro. At the doctor's office I apologized, explained my babysitter had flaked, and had no time to figure out something else to do with him. The doctor said it was fine and plopped Lucien in the receptionist's lap. She looked scared. Lucien looked terrified.
At each visit, when I first sit down in his office and we're exchanging pleasantries, he walks over to a closet and pulls out a huge stack of files, tossing the ones on top aside until he finds mine. There is not a computer to be seen. It seems a little disorganized but so far he hasn't confused me with the patient who needs a hysterectomy pronto so all is well.
And in my other favorite part about his office, his "Do not interrupt. Examination in progress." sign is usually laying on the floor, inside his office. So regularly, as I'm up on the ole table, midwives or doctors or salespeople pop their heads in the door to ask a question. Now to the French, this is not a big deal. But I'm not French so to me it's weirdness.
Coming out of the appointment, I saw Lucien had worked his magic on the receptionist and she was smitten. That kid can really turn it on when need be.
Friends, mon chou,