Anyway, I had a great weekend. I went to meet some of the ladies for a beer Saturday afternoon to say goodbye to L.A. Mom. Another ex-pat is biting the Paris dust. Normally I would feel sad about this, but this time it's OK because L.A. Mom is about to become SEATTLE MOM. She's moving to Seattle and will be there when I return. We will then push peaceful Pacific Northwesterners out of our way in lines together because that's how we do things now.
Anyway, I started walking towards the usual place where "The Ladies Who Beer" gather when I encountered this --
Gay Pride Extravaganza! How could I have forgotten? I dashed off a text message to the ladies -- "gonna be late, going to party with the gays." Usually I'm crabby at manifestations because they're in my way, but this one was a big, fun, brightly colored party with lots of cheerful men in fishnets. And bras. And occasional tutus.
Sometimes just no pants
I hung around for awhile, waving at the people on the floats and taking pictures, but I eventually wanted my beer with the ladies. The only problem was I had to cross the street to get it -- the only way to beer was to swim through the sea of rainbow flags and piles of glitter. I plunged in and immediately got caught up in a group of people who, at that exact moment, decided it was time to jump up and down. I jumped up and down too. I laughed with people I've never met before. I got confetti in my mouth. It was the most fun I've ever had crossing the street.
i'm goin' in
Coming the day after New York's landmark vote, it was a jubilant time. The crowd was huge, the outpouring of support for the LGBT community overwhelming. It's not legal here for gay couples to marry or adopt children, but that's going to change. France is gonna get there soon.
Gay Frenchies, go get your rights and marry and adopt your babies. You can't mess up marriage or parenting any more than we heteros have, so I really don't see what all the fuss is about.
Al and I spent the day alone Sunday. Virginia Family was kind enough to take our kids for the day, and from what I hear, Lucien was better behaved with them than he ever is with us. Why does he always do that and how do I make it stop?
There was a long line to get inside the museum. As always, lines equal anarchy in France so there was some rule-breaking. Many people jumped out of the main line to go stand in the "group entrance" line. They weren't a group, no matter how badly they wanted to be, and were told they couldn't enter like that but they still didn't budge. This led to a tense French wedge. We will not miss the French wedge when we leave Paris.
We finally got into the building but there was another line to enter the exhibit itself. This is when the Helmet-Haired Grandma From Hell (catchy!) pulled the most blatant line-cut I've ever seen. She just swung her foot around Alex's body and stepped in front of him. Alex is useless in these situations because he starts sputtering indignantly but laughing at the same time, so the only thing he accomplishes is confusing everybody about his feelings.
Then she did it to me. I whipped out my iPhone to capture the glorious moment for the blog. I had to share this information. THIS IS HOW THEY DO IT. They step right in front of you, but they will not look at you. They'll look in the exact opposite direction of you, even if it means pivoting their head around 180 degrees so they're staring directly out over their backs. Line-cutting Frenchies are like those owls with really twisty necks.
If you try to say something polite, you will be ignored. Your only options are to 1.) fistfight or 2.) just take back your space. I chose to take back my space and stuck one of my feet in front of her feet. I couldn't get the other one in there because she was standing an inch from the person in front of her, so I straddled her for a minute and stared at her impressive helmet hair. Her head remained turned away from me, but I could tell from the stiffness of her body she knew I was making my move. It was ON.
We played footsie all the way up to the front of the line and I was winning, WINNING when I realized Alex had fallen behind by several more people. I could tell they'd cut in front of him because they were all intently staring at the ceiling and Alex was hopping around and letting out a guffaw every few seconds. I lost focus. I turned to Alex and said, "What the hell are you doing all the way back there?" and WHOOSH... Helmet Head was past me and into the exhibit. Dammit. Foiled again.
We were hoping the Caillebotte exhibit would be a nice way to beat the heat, but surprisingly, the air conditioning was minimal to none. We thought for sure they'd climate control the place to protect the paintings but nope, screw you, Gustave, and your picture-taking brother, too.
The exhibit is in its final days so if you can, go see it. It's worth it. One brother is a painter, one a photographer, both lived in Haussman's Paris, both were influenced by the same subject material. Their work is grouped by subject and displayed together. It was great exhibit if you like your Caillebottes in pairs -- but it was way too dang hot.
As is often the case in Paris, the museum was just as beautiful as the art. What an incredible building the Musee de somethin' somethin' Jacques somethin' Andre is. (?) It used to be someone's house and I think they had a lot of money. I'm an endless fountain of information.
We had a long metro ride from the museum to our lunch destination. As we approached our stop I said, "OK, Al, it's the next one." When the metro stopped, I hopped off, then spent a few seconds analyzing the exit signs to see which one to take. As the "door closing" siren sounded, I suddenly realized I was all alone. I spun around to see Alex looking at his damn Blackberry, still on the metro. I yelled, "AL?" and he looked up startled, then took a flying leap at the closing doors. Too late, the doors slammed in his face. He looked forlorn and lost as the metro pulled away but I laughed and laughed as I enthusiastically waved bye-bye. Al jumping at those doors was the funniest thing I'd seen in a long time.
Here's Al carrying Lucien home from Virginia Family's place. Our dear friends were kind enough to watch our kids all day AND serve us drinks when we went to pick them up. We are lucky, lucky people to know the people we know.
Blackberries can make you miss your lunch reservation, mes choux,