Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Magic latte

Alex took the kids out Saturday morning and returned home bearing Starbucks lattes.  I haven't had a Starbucks latte since living in Paris, which is the way it should be. 

Still, I smiled big when Al handed it to me because I knew that smell.  Memories started to stir.  I took a sip and whoooooooosh..... back to Seattle I went. The magic latte transported me to another time and place -- namely Starbucks on 15th Avenue where I used to hipsterwatch and flip through The Stranger, taking extra time to read Savage Love, the raunchy sex advice column.  

I had a similar teleportation experience not too long ago with Goldfish crackers.  The taste of Goldfish crackers took me back to the floor of our Seattle kitchen.  I used to sit there with a much smaller Lucien and devour the entire fifty-pound box we bought at Costco earlier that day.  At the time of purchase, we said, "Oh, this will last us a good long time" but HA! -- that's the lie of Costco.

One more. This morning, out of the blue, Alex started streaming NPR on his laptop.   I heard the familiar horns of the "All Things Considered" theme and ran into the kitchen whooping with delight.  Alex, too, had a rapturous look on his face.  We both yelled, "I remember that!"  We were back in our house again -- our "fixer" -- where we spent many, many weekends drinking coffee, listening to NPR, and covering every square inch of our bodies with drywall dust.  Lucien would be lost for hours under the home improvement rubble.  He didn't mind, and developed a taste for latex paint. 

We've lived two different kinds of lives in the past handful of years.  We love them both.  I wonder what kinds of things will smack me in the face with Paris when I'm back in Seattle?  What will make me smile, or make my heart hurt?  Bakery smells?  The sound of espresso machines, or scooter wheels on pavement?  An intricately tied scarf on a beautiful person?  Will I see a watery little mound of dog poo on the sidewalk and drop to my knees wailing, "Oh, it was so beautiful, life was so BEAUTIFUL..."


Will Angry Birds tear my heart in two?
(that's my daughter playing.  she's terrible at it.)

We shall see, I guess.  But not for awhile yet.

We had a great thunderstorm roll through town Sunday night.  Al and I were giddy from the DANGER.

Nothin' to see here, just rain and darkness...

Ka-POW!

A Frenchman dialed the wrong number and ended up leaving a long, sultry voicemail message on my phone.  He thanked me profusely for "a memorable day."  Alex and I listened to it at least twenty times while we were watching the storm.  We came up with lots of theories as to what was so memorable about their day.  It most certainly involved marshmallow fluff, a blowtorch, and a llama.

I understand people dial wrong numbers, but I don't understand how he still thought I was his lady friend when he heard my outgoing voicemail message -- it's Lucien singing "Happy Birthday" in English.  I guess Mr Frenchman was just too dazzled by our sexy day to notice.

I also feel sad for his lady friend, who is probably sitting around wondering why that asshole never called.

A magic latte, Goldfish crackers, and a picture of lightning?  What the hell is wrong with me today?  OK, this post was dumb but I don't have time to do a better job.  We're leaving in a couple days for a four-day weekend* so this dumb post is going to be up for a nice long time.  You'll really have a chance to savor it.  Come back for a second or third read -- I think you'll find many layers of depth.  Have a good week everybody.

*We're going to Belgium, where we will eat waffles and stare at each other, I guess, since it's going to rain the whole time.

Starbucks lattes really aren't very good.  I know this now, and the world looks different,
MJ

12 comments:

debbie in toronto said...

ahhh..Starbucks...

I speak for your posse when I say that this is just the kind of post we love...full of silly things..observations and lightning....we are simple folk.

have a good weekend amongest the Belguims....waffles and Specaloos..

for sure you'll have things to tell us when you are back.

enjoy...

Mrs. Howard said...

Ahh Costco. Just received my Costco card yesterday and I can't wait to get my hands on those discounted humungoid barrels of mayonnaise.

MJ said...

Debbie, Mrs. Howard, I can always count on you to jump on in right away. I love that about you. Don't ever change. BFF 4-ever. -MJ

debbie in toronto said...

hey ..beats working MJ....

LOL

ParisBuckeye said...

One month into our return to the US, so far I have been set off by Speculoos (oddly called Biscoff here, chevre and the opening scenes during the French Open coverage.

Duchesse said...

Raining cats and dogs in Spain too! Good thing I´m here to study and not to play!

I´m with Debs: love the silly posts:) And I can relate: there are things I miss from home... Last week, for instance, I watched HGTV shows on Youtube every night and God, did it feel good! And I miss my BIG fridge (our fridge in The Hague is a beer fridge with a slit for a freezer). And Costco also! (Loved buying books at Costco´s... and giant peanut butter jars!;)

Enjoy Belgium despite the rain (in any case, it´s always raining there)... cuz who cares about rain when you have more than 300 types of beers to choose from?!:)

welltraveled said...

You are so wonderfully amusing

emmabovary said...

When I've had to spend long spells back in the USA, the smell of diesel fuel and cigarettes would bring on my Paris heartache.

And there was this one tunnel part of Geary Street in San Francisco which is lit exactly like the tunnel running under the Place de l'Alma (where Princess Diana met her maker) which would trigger a Paris memory as well.

Steve said...

@emmabovary said...
And there was this one tunnel part of Geary Street in San Francisco which is lit exactly like the tunnel running under the Place de l'Alma which would trigger a Paris memory as well.

Amazing how memories can make ugly things, beautiful :-)

Tigress said...

What else did the Frenchman say?? :O

I've only been to Paris once, and there aren't many things that remind me of it, living in a small New England town. On an especially nostalgic day, the local park may remind me of the Buttes Chaumont because of the forest-y feel, but even that pales in comparison... My dream is to go to university in Paris, take advantage of the proximity of other European countries, experience the cutting edge of art. This blog is a real inspiration :)

AM said...

Love these posts...makes me feel like my life is normal!

laughingsalmon said...

I'm beyond the kids stage now...but your delightful blog has given me some real LOL...Glad to know the same insanity survives from one generation to the next...One country to another...

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