Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm what would happen if Seattle and Paris had a baby

Friends bought us that Seattle magnet over to the left years ago.  When we came to Paris, I made sure the magnet came, too, and found a prominent place on our teeny-tiny refrigerator.  I wanted to make sure we stayed in touch with our Seattle grittiness.

I don't know if it worked.  Is it "gritty" to wear skinny jeans and tie a scarf around your neck that's so large it looks like you're being choked to death by a boa constrictor?

(And yes, the Pierre Herme macaron flavors card will be coming back to Seattle and will find a prominent place on our huge American refrigerator.  We won't want to lose touch with our Paris fanciness.)

Alex is in Seattle and enjoying himself when he's not being intimidated by his new super hard job.  He had dinner at our friends' house, the friends next to the goddamn house we're trying to buy, where he met some of the neighbors. They tried to Skype with me as a group but they were too inebriated and yelling too loudly for me to help them figure it out.

Horny Brit told Alex he needed to get the video thing working so he could see if I was attractive or not, which would determine whether or not he was willing to have an affair with me. Then I think they all wandered off and fell asleep which is probably a good thing.

It's great he's having a good time but in my opinion Alex being in Seattle really sucks.  When left by myself during a stressful and emotionally turbulent time, my brain don't work too good.  Stuff like this keeps happening --

they all look the same after awhile

You can hardly blame me for the vagueness.  It runs rampant in Paris.  Just look at "some kid's" birthday invitation, especially the directions on how to find their apartment once inside the building --

There are no apartment numbers in Paris for reasons I'll never understand, so you must give visitors turn-by-turn directions from the front door.  Sometimes the directions are so convoluted you know you're never going to make it so you just pick any door and make a new friend!

(For those who don't speak the Frenchie talk, the above roughly translates to "you're never gonna find the party so leave the present in the courtyard.")

Alex and I had a meeting over the phone to discuss all "action items" still needing to be addressed for the move.  There are a billion.  It's overwhelming so I took copious notes --

At one point, Alex said, "OK, read me that list, let's see where we are," and I replied, "OK...umm... Sh*t F*ck Balls."  There was a long silence on the other end of the line.  I think Alex was taking a quiet moment to appreciate my sense of humor.

We've been notified of our temporary address in Seattle.  For two months we'll be living in temporary executive housing downtown while we continue humping legs for the keys to the goddamn house.  It's pretty cool we get to live downtown but it also sucks we're not going to have a yard for yet another two months.  At least our temporary apartment complex has a pool and fitness room so the kids and I can get ripped while waiting to play outside.

Our cleaning lady cried today.  Next week will be the last week we need her and she's not handling it well.  She met us way back when, back when I was newly pregnant.  She met Coco a few days after she was born and has been her faithful companion ever since.  They're peas and carrots.  I told her I'd always send her pictures of the kids and keep her updated on what they were doing and she started crying.  It was awful.

I can't believe how much we're going to miss her, but there it is.  She's a wonderful woman and has helped me immeasurably -- cleaning-wise, language-wise, and mental health-wise.  If you live in Paris and are looking for some help, let me know.  We want her to go to a good family who will give her lots of love and attention and scratches behind the ears (sorry, brain crapped out on me again there).

Thank God I bought those gritty sequined ballet flats and that gritty red houndstooth coat with three-quarter sleeves OH MY GOD THEY'RE GONNA LAUGH ME RIGHT OUT OF SEATTLE,


debbie in toronto said...

wow..I normally just always wish I was in Paris but I really do right now cause I'd come over there and hold your hand....you're freaking me out...

I'd be the one crying if I was saying good bye to my cleaning lady...could you convince her to immigrate to Canada?

as I'm typing the pictures of Loosh as a tiny guy keep flashing by on the right hand side...where has the time gone?

Seattle..you better be good to our girl or this posse will rise up.

bonne nuit mon amie....

MJ said...


Annabelle said...


Top ten post here, I'm laughing my guts out. Wishing you the best as "reentry" approaches. And a big thank you. As a fellow American mom in Paris, it is really comforting to be able to relate to your situation. You tell it like it is sista!

MJ said...

ANNABELLE, GODDAMMIT, YOU GONNA MAKE ME CRY... ugh, you people today, seriously...

Nicola said...

Have been following you ever since I knew we were moving to Paris. I am going to miss your life in Paris almost as much as you will! I think of you every time the 'cold police' comment on my baby's bare feet or I buy an enormous bunch of celery. You are the funniest American Mom in Paris!

MJ said...

GODDAMMIT, NICOLA, YOU GONNA... perhaps I should stop reading comments for today.

Thank you, thank you, Nicola. I'm going to miss it, too.

Our Traveling Circus said...

Love the magnet! I found a toddler t-shirt here (Buenos Fucking Aires) and snatched it up for my son. Can't wait to send him to kindergarden in the US in that one.

Good luck and safe travels!

Mandy @ threelittlebaers.blogspot.com

Our Traveling Circus said...

Damn, I can't get this comment to publish. You may see 3 or 4 of them by the time I'm done.

Anyway, I love the magnet. I found a toddler t-shirt here (Buenos Fucking Aires) for my son and snatched it up. I know there will be the perfect time and place for him to wear it.

Good luck with your move and safe travels. That Greedy Hamster sign will keep you safe.

Mandy @ threelittlebaers.blogspot.com

It's Just Me! said...

Paris and Seattle DID have a baby! Little Coco! We can't wait to see her here. BTW - Fra is now completely addicted to Barbapapa (I broke down and showed it to her), so the two of them can disappear into a screen while mommies relax. :-)

Hang in there my dear. This too shall pass.

Michael Strangeways said...

It'll be just like "Carrie"...We ARE all gonna laugh at you.

Then, drop a bucket of pigs blood on your head, causing you to go all mental and burn down the school and kill John Travolta...or, John Curley or Chihuly...some local celebrity.

It'll be fun.

oldgreymare said...

Hang on MJ..
You are almost home.
bet you cry when you land.

maybe with joy
maybe with exhaustion
maybe because you know it is still a few more months of discord and angst
or just maybe because
people will miss you
people are glad to have you back and some
people just cannot wait to see what you write about next..oh that would be me..:D

Anne said...

Hang in there MJ. Stock up on Speculoos, lentils de puy, sel de mer, creme de marron. Eat plenty of baguettes. You will make it through. (And if you're ever on the East Coast, we can reminisce together.)

annafinki said...

hey honey,
we are waiting for you.....bottles of wine are open and the kids are ready to play...it ain't paris but it ain't too bad.
big love,
your new neighbor xoxox

Jenn said...

I'm going to miss you in Paris too, and I cried for Coco's friend the cleaning lady too cause I'm a giant sook. But I figure someone who also knows how to wear sequin ballet flats is going to have plenty more stories to tell me in Seattle.

It's all about me.

Duchesse said...

Hang in there Sweetie, it's almost over:) And yes, it's gonna be hectic with the temporary rental and the new house when you get to Seattle, but easier at the same time thanks to SERVICE and NO LANGUAGE BARRIER!:) Somehow, you'll just settle right into your new/old life as if nothing... and get a ton of great blog fodder doing so;)

So you're not going back at all to your previous house? Has it been sold yet?

And what's taking so long with the other house?

carina@a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut said...

Please tell me you will write about adjusting to life back in Seattle... You must, you must.

Emily in Exile said...

As an american in Paris married to a french guy, I am a little jealous that you get to go home. I've never met you but reading about your adventures in Paris have made living here easier.

I wouldn't have found you without the Paris connection, but with or without it, I would still keep reading. You tell it like it is and make me laugh.

laughingsalmon said...

just click your heels together three times...and you'll have sore heels too...having lived in Seattle...i know you will have much the insanity to report...can't wait to hear that the Loosh has taken the Seattle fridge magnet to school for show-and-tell...8>)

After Fifty said...

Comments are hilarious too!

MJ, you're going to be FINE, believe it.
You have a great sense of humor and life is much easier like that...don't get anxious.
This is the end of a unique experience and it's time to move onto more exciting experiences, I bet you'll miss things (won't you?)about Paris but you're going back home where you have friends and family that love you and are waiting for you with arms open!!!

OK...don't cry now...haha...just have fun with it. You're young, beautiful, loved and talented. What else do you want? (Well, besides that great house in Seattle that you WILL get)

Bec Oakley said...

Between the home improvements and ex-pat re-patting you should have a steady supply of hilarious blog fodder to keep us entertained for years to come. No pressure.

Can't wait to read future bursts of paranoia like "Why are all these people smiling at me on the streets??" and "How come we're the only ones picnicking in front of the space needle waiting for it to start twinkling..."

After Fifty said...

Did you know you're on "The Paris Blog" today???

FishHawk said...

"An American Mom in Paris" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.


Shealagh said...

I stumbled across your blog a year or so ago, and as a Seattleite who spent a long time in Paris and is now back here frequently daydreaming...well, it's tough. But Le Fournil on Eastlake has almost Paris-y bread (run by a French couple!) and Le Panier in Pike Place (it's so terrible when I have to go there and fight tourists...but I learned how to scowl so well in Paris) has pretty good macarons.

If I see you in a Euro Scarf, I'll give you my very best half Parisienne scowl/half Seattle shy smile.

Rachel said...

Without sounding stalker-ish, in which area of Seattle do you live? We're contemplating a move there from Ohio in the next few years and I'm trying to get my bearings of different areas to live out there.

nancy kreitner said...

I'm contemplating packing up my 11 yo and 7 yo twins and living abroad next school year. I homeschool and want to give my children the experience of seeing other places, hearing other languages... You get it. Your blog had me in stitches. I'm tired now, and need a bed but will return for more info and hilarity later. :D

Thank you, from a new friend in Montana


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