|Harry Potter defeated by Voldemom|
So he's back there and I'm back here and some stuff happened in the last ten days I'd like to talk about.
First, we had foreign Halloween. If you want to celebrate Halloween in Paris, you'd better band together with a bunch of ex-pats or else you'll look like fools and get doors slammed in your faces. There's safety in strangely dressed numbers.
A large group of MESSAGE folks got together and had a party at the same park as last year, complete with trick-or-treat stations at benches along the perimeter and lots of curious stares from the locals.
This is my Harry Potter with his favorite girl in the world, Virginia Daughter, a.k.a Cinderella:
And this is one mighty pissed-off bee:
This is what ex-pat Halloween looks like:
As with any Parisian park gathering, if any child so much as dipped a toe into the grassy area, we were quickly and sternly reprimanded by a park employee wielding a whistle. There were many whistles during ex-pat Halloween because grass betrayal is a serious offense.
Look at this damn lion:
Virginia Family invited us over for an impromptu dinner the night after Halloween. Sure, it sounded like a casual, last-minute kind of thing but as we will someday learn, nothing is easy-breezy when you have small children underfoot. Their apartment was destroyed within minutes -- but rest assured, the decibel level of the room became unbearable much faster than that.
Virginia Mom served the kids at the kid table first. Virginia daughter immediately folded her hands and sang grace. Lucien, because he is the child of GODLESS HEATHENS, looked perplexed and tilted his head to the side, listening and thinking. When she finished, Loosh nodded solemnly, folded his hands, and sang Rod Stewart.
(I sing, "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" to the kids about twenty times a day. In all seriousness, it makes a halfway decent grace. You should try it sometime if you're keen on those sorts of things.)
It was hard not to spit the delicious beer Virginia Family hauled back from Germany all over their table but I held it in because I figured that would be sacrilege times two. It was BEER from GERMANY, for the love of Rod Stewart!
Alex took Lucien to the park over the weekend. When he came home, he handed me a slip of paper with an email address scrawled across it.
"I found you a couple new friends," he said. "They're in town for a month and their son loves Lucien."
"Cool," I said. "I can handle a month. Anything longer than that and I start to get antsy, looking for greener pastures and other fish and all that."
Alex ignored me and stared straight up at the ceiling. He finally said, "There's more. He may be your first friend to have his own Wikipedia entry."
I caught my breath. "Is it Carrot Top? Please oh please oh please?"
Chris W." He's directed (or written or produced) movies like American Pie, About a Boy, and the second installment of a certain vampire-themed series (the third of which I made a lot of fun here. Thank Rod Stewart he didn't direct the third one, eh?)
I decided to play it cool and not email Chris's wife for a couple days. I didn't want to appear too eager for my playdate with fame. Apparently, fame didn't mind looking too eager for its playdate with MJ -- Chris W.'s wife, Mercedes, emailed me immediately with the subject line "From your soon-to-be American friends." She said adorable things like, "Aren't you happy to know your husband hands out your email to every desperate parent in a public park he comes across?" Then she asked me for advice on where to get groceries and I was like, "oh, HONEY, let me TELL you about the grocery store..."
I met Mercedes and her son the next day at the park. There's not one shred of arrogance about her and she is immensely likable. We talked and laughed while our kids took on the Frenchies, our two little American boys wearing red coats in a sea of Frenchie kid navy blue and black.
Chris W. joined us a little later and he, too, is a likable guy. He'd bought a book on his way over for their son, a book in French about monsters. All the French kids gathered around him as he tried to sound out the words. It was tough to think about them in terms of celebrity because they seemed even more normal than our normal friends. (If you know our friends, that's probably not surprising.)
We sat on a bench where everything I said I "knew" about the French got disproved before our very eyes. I told them we liked that specific park because it was small and never got too rowdy -- just before a group of twenty kids stormed in. I told them Frenchie kids were quiet and expected to behave properly even on playgrounds just before those twenty kids started screaming, kicking ass, and taking names.
I told them Lucien had been in trouble at school recently for making "finger guns" and chasing his friends around yelling, "bang bang." Frenchies don't like gun references at all, I told Chris and Mercedes wisely. Seconds later, three Frenchie kids busted out huge toy guns -- one of them a bright pink plastic machine gun -- and engaged in serious gun battle with our two boys, who ran together and took cover behind a historical statue.
Lucien busted out his finger gun to fight back. I jumped up to reprimand him but then sat back down. I expressed my conflicted feelings to my new famous friends; he's been getting in trouble for this at school but how can I yell at him when everyone else is doing it, too? Chris and Mercedes advised not to take away his finger gun. They thought it would be cruel to leave him defenseless on the battlefield in the middle of what was turning into some heavy Lord of the Flies-type sh*t.
I agreed, then proudly watched my son shoot his way out of some tight spots. He even shielded his new friend several times. That's my boy.
I received an email from Mercedes a couple hours later, saying they really enjoyed watching the dissolution of French society with me on a park bench. She said next time they were headed to the park, they would let us know because they'd love to get together again. The Loosh is back in school now so I don't know how likely it is, but I hope we hang out again before they leave. And not because they're famous, but because they're cool as shit.
That's a wrap!
Beware of the grass betrayal whistle, mes choux,