Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paris was never forever

This one's gonna hurt, posse.  It is time.


People keep asking us if we're happy to leave Paris.  The answer is no, we're not happy to leave Paris -- in fact, we're quite devastated about it -- but at the same time we're ready to leave Paris.  Paris could never be forever for us; it takes too much energy, mental and physical, to live here, and we are quite sloth-like by nature.


But we're going to miss it.  My God, we're going to miss it.





 This is where we lived.  42 rue Dauphine. 

 photo by Chloe Lodge

Someday there will be a plaque next to this front door telling awestruck tourists I lived there.  
Or maybe not.

 
This was Lucien's school



This was "my" cafe on rue de Buci.  Cafe de Paris.



This was the supermarket from hell on rue de Seine

If you come to Paris and happen by these places, blow them a kiss for me.  Even the grocery store.  I've come to peace with that place -- it helped my skin thicken like no other and that is truly a gift.

 photo by Chloe Lodge

 photo by Chloe Lodge


 Photo by Chloe Lodge

 
goddamn tiny elevator
photo by Chloe Lodge


photo by Chloe Lodge

Thank you, posse.  Thank you for sticking with me through three years of making a jerk of myself and being sick and getting yelled at and learning French and traveling and seeing penises and having unanticipated babies named Coco and struggling through the French system with a loud kid named Lucien.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support; there were many days it made all the difference between laughing and crying.

 photo by Chloe Lodge

 photo by Chloe Lodge

photo by Chloe Lodge

photo by Chloe Lodge

 photo by Chloe Lodge

I'm going to post here again when we get back to Seattle, just to let you know I am once again an American mom in America.  I'm also going to start a new blog in Seattle but I imagine since many of you were here for stories of Paris, I'm going to lose most of you.  To those who are moving on to the other bazillion Paris bloggers, thank you for sharing the ride.  You made it so much more fun.  To those who are coming with me, prepare yourselves.  I am going to make fun of Americans and spy on my supermodel neighbor.  If we ever get the goddamn house, that is.

I'll start the Seattle blog as soon as I find my way out of Costco.  I hear it's big and scary!

 photo by Chloe Lodge

So there it is.  Three years gone.  Holy motherf*ckin' balls (one final swear, for old time's sake).




Merci, Paris.  And thank you, thank you, thank you, posse.   

 how perfect is it she's screaming her head off for the heart-wrenching goodbye bow?


I was An American Mom in Paris and it changed everything.
Au revoir, mes choux...
Mindy

85 comments:

Carrie said...

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! My husband and I lived very near where you were for a year and you hit the nail on the head..."it takes too much energy, mental and physical, to live here, and we are quite sloth-like by nature." We left as well, utterly grateful for the experience but thoroughly beaten by our local grocery store.

I wish you all the best of luck in Seattle and can't wait for the new blog. You're a fabulous writer, I'd read you anywhere.

GPErickson said...

I'm sure I'm not alone, I came because this was a blog about Paris. I'll be staying because I can't wait to see what happens next. Good luck at Costco!

After Fifty said...

WON-DER-FUL!!!
You're not losing me as a reader MJ, I'm following you because it was not only Paris that captivated me in your blog.

Have a fantastic return and just say à bientôt and not au revoir to Paris...you'll be back and she'll be an old friend this time.

Amazing pics to document your amazing adventure. Now I can see the many places you've mentioned so many times.

The whole thing has been UNFORGETTABLE!

Thank you very much for this fun and unique ride.
Syl

PS "See you" in Seattle!

Patoo said...

MJ - although i'm a recent addition to this fanclub, I am sorely going to miss your witty posts about Paris. HOWEVER, you are far too funny and interesting a writer to abandon just because you're moving stateside, so i'll look for you in your new blog space soon! Bonne chance!

debbie in toronto said...

MJ...MJ...well you won't lose me..I'll be there reading about Seattle..the rain...Costco ..whatever..you guys are like a great book and you have to find out how it all ends...

for some stupid reason I've just teared up and can't write anything more profound...

have a safe trip...stay sane.

and thank you on behalf of your posse for the pictures of all your haunts..so clever..I'll be sure to walk by them the next time I'm in the hood...

bon travel mon amie! bisoux!

and thanks for one more penis mention..Duchess will love that.

julia said...

i just had one year of the three... but i´ll promise to pass by all those places ... maybe put the plaque myself!

i am looking forward to reading about your new adventures!

merci :)

Marie said...

We will miss you. Let us know here where your new blog is, the one where you compare everything in Seattle to Paris.... ;-)

Mrs. Howard said...

*sniff* What the whoohaw, what the hell am I sad about? You're gonna be Stateside now! Whoot!

I'm sad the Paris Arc of your story is over, but excited that a new one is about to begin. Your blog kept me sniggering furtively behind my hands at work *front desk too!* and now as fulltime layabout wife I can enjoy reading it for as long and loudly as I want. I swear I'll get a job after the holidays. *nervous laughter*

Sara said...

MJ, people might have started reading your blog because they wanted to read about Paris, but once here they came back because you're funny and an awesome writer and that is why the will continue to read whatever you write about. Safe travels and welcome home!

MJ said...

Thank you all. Really. That's all I can muster right now. Big motherf*ckin' hugs!

Anonymous said...

Best wishes in Seattle! I'm glad you're going to continue blogging, as there have been days that laughing at some of your escapades made all the difference in my day. Welcome back to the USA!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for many laughs.

C. Joy said...

I only learned of your blog a month or so ago (thank OLDGREYMARE). I read and follow for your humor, you've been in Paris - now you are moving on. I read your Paris blog knowing full well it's not really that glamourous. I've been to Paris - one evening I saw a man peeing on a building near the Metro at Gare de l'Est (sorry about the directions - but it's been a while) I've seen the same thing in Fort Worth (in the Stockyards during the Pioneer Days celebrations) - honestly there was not much difference. Both were drunk and both in their own way said "Pardon me Ma'am." (I have witnesses if you need them.) Our lives are what we make them, you make life funny. BEware of the big stores - they sort of creeped me out -and still do- and I've been back in the States for a decade now. God bless you new adventures.

Anonymous said...

MJ: You'll always have Paris, it'll always be in your heart. And you can come back for a visit every now and then, to enjoy some of the things you love about Paris and not have to deal with the daily irritations. Thanks for sharing your stories, it's been great fun reading your blog. Can't wait to hear about your new adventures in Seattle. All the best to you and your family.

Patricia H

zannelaw said...

I'm sticking with you and your irreverence. Wish you were going to be MY neighbor!

Lauren said...

aw, i don't know you personally but this made me tear up. i will definitely follow you to Seattle!! bon voyage!!

StayingPositive said...

First of all? Costco is FREAKING AWESOME. Just saying. Plus now you'll have space to store 8,524 rolls of really nice and fluffy American toilet paper. There are bonuses to non-apartment living.

We miss you. Already. Both of us StayingPostives are StayingPositive 'cause that's how we roll, but seriously. You are going to be missed. Can't wait to hear about your new adventures.

One piece of advice? Drink heavily on the plane. People are going to be pissed because you have kids, they might as well be pissed because you're happy and you have kids.

Bon voyage my friend.

g said...

part of your silent posse....i remember the call to arms at your great beginnings to form said posse and quiet i may be in the comment section...be sure i will be following...best of everything to all of you

The Sweetest Days said...

Well wouldn't you know that I just found you, so, it looks like things will work out just about right. I'm ready for the new beginning!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you personally, but stumbled upon your blog over a year ago and have been hooked ever since. I literally just choked up reading this post! Thanks for entertaining the masses with your hysterical stories. What a great family you have. Looking forward to following the adventure in Seattle.

Bienvenue chez French Girl in Seattle... said...

Well, since you published TWO posts today, I already said my goodbyes on the first one, but what the hell, I will say it again: I will be happy to meet you here in Seattle once you have settled in. You will be the cool one because you will leave on the "right" side of the lake, not in boring suburbia, like Moi. This, at least, should help you re-adjust to your new/old life! A bientot. Bonnes Fetes! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

MJ said...

I'm still lovin' all of you! And still here on our balcony at our hotel on Boulevard Saint Germain waving at all the cars. Am I pathetic? Meh...don't care...

Yann said...

Oh my doG! Chloe's pix are gorgeous. I'm really moved. It's like saying goodbye to very close friends. F*ck I hate goodbyes! Don't forget France, don't forget us. Gros bisous.
Yann

BTW Carrefour Market near my place (in Lyon) sucks too...

MJ said...

Yann -- I'll be shocked if I can stay away from Paris for a year. Dumb city really gets under your skin.

Again, thanks to everyone. I'm still awake yelling at cars on Boulevard Saint Germain. Whoot whoot!

Yann said...

I can't wait to read "A former french mama back in Seattle".

After Fifty said...

Hahahaha MJ, never a dull moment with you!
Enjoy dear
Syl

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

I will miss your tales of Paris, but this Seattle girl is more than happy to hear your stories of our own version of crazy. And wonderfulness, too :) Safe travels! And I agree with StayingPositive: drink up!

adrianne said...

tears. in. my. eyes.

and I didn't even live there.

debbie in toronto said...

omg love that you are waving at cars on the balcony....love that.


bon voyage nutcase

MJ said...

It's just what I do, Debbie! I'm an animal!

StayingPositive said...

Keep yelling Girl!

StayingPositive said...

Kudos to Chloe Lodge by the way, her pictures are wonderful!

MJ said...

WHOOOOOOO!

m.e. said...

I can't remember how I came across your blog, but I've been reading since earlier this year. I love your humor and can't wait to hear all about life in Seattle. I can already tell there will be some great stories about the new house!

Yann said...

Ok everybody. I want all of you reading this to open your windows, lean out and scream at cars. A real homage to MJ.

MJ said...

Yann -- WHOOOOO.

Rachel said...

i've been feeling sentimental about your departure from paris throughout your last several posts. but now i'm officially feeling very sentimental...near tears now, in fact. it's been such a pleasure to see paris through your eyes/words/stories/adventures. thank you for sharing three years of your life with all of us! and, though i do love paris, i also very much love your writing and seattle, so.... i'm sticking around! have a safe journey back to seattle. can't wait to hear all about it!

Macsmail said...

MJ - like several have already said, I too started reading your blog because it was about Paris, but I continued to read because I loved your humor and stories.

I will follow your blog to the West Coast and look forward to all your adventures!

Thank you for including us all in your adventures in Paris, I know it must have been difficult at times to keep writing but we appreciate the effort you made. I have enjoyed it immensely and know others have as well!

Best of luck to you, I hope the travel gods smile down on you!

~Melanie

Nicola said...

Au Revoir! I am going to miss you being in Paris but I will come 'visit' in Seattle to read more about the story of your life.

Bon courage! Nicky

Anonymous said...

Way to go out in style, MJ. I wouldn't have expected less. And the photos are wonderful.
Susan
ps I am closing my blinds in Seattle

Lisa said...

NOOOOO! I share in your devastation. I have truly enjoyed your blog. It wasn't just the Paris stuff, it was your writing and your sense of humor. I will follow you to Seattle, especially if you get the GDhouse and spy on your super model neighbor. Best of luck on re-entry, it can be bumpy. I will miss Paris too!

Lee I said...

Snuffle. I've enjoyed the ride and can't wait to hear about Loosh teaching classroom decorum to his American classmates.

jo said...

Ah, MJ, you know I will keep reading your blog once you are back stateside. You are much bigger than Paris. Who else can make me snort coffee through my nose! You have a rare gift ~ you can make people laugh at your stories, but you can also make them care about people they've never met. I look at all these comments from people who you've touched with your writing and I know they will follow you wherever you choose to blog from. Thanks for including us in your life for the past 3 years. Have a safe trip home. You rock, girl.
Jo

Joni said...

Well, crap. I'm all teary-eyed. I've so loved reading your blog and will miss your Paris stories. But! You can't get rid of me so fast. I'm totally stalking, er, following you and looking forward to reading how Seattle will be treating you and your incredibly beautiful family.

All the best and see ya on the flip side!

Anne said...

Pitch perfect as usual. Loved every minute of it. From my Washington to yours.

April said...

I am going to miss the American Mom in Paris. Your blog and the antics of your family have brightened my day! You really do have a way with words and are so talented. Looking forward to the American Mom formally in Paris, but back in Seattle.

Coco makes the BEST faces.

Tuan said...

I wish to honor this last post by linking it to my FB pages. Safe travels back to Seattle. I'm confident that you'll find a way to reinvent your blog once back to the States. Love. Tuan

Susan said...

I only spent a month in Paris last summer and I felt the exact same way....and that was only 30 days...can't imagine 3 years. But I guess that is just what Paris does to you. Makes you fall in love with it and ready to leave it all at the same time. Looking forward to your new blog.

Lora said...

You can't get rid of us that easy. You make me laugh out loud with every post. Sometimes just when I really need a good laugh. Great pictures in this post - love the finale!!

NRenee said...

Just delurking to say...I came for stories about Paris, but I stayed for you, your wonderful writing, and your darling family. Your next steps will be equally as interesting, I'm sure!

sam said...

Delurking to say, best of luck back home. The re-entry really kicked my a$$ last year. Hope it's easier on you guys. At the least the small folk have swings to look forward to!

I think I got to your blog after we left Paris, but I've constantly hit myself in the head asking why did I hang out with that awesome lady more? Look us up if your ever down in SF.

Best,
Sam, formerly of the 14eme.

JLT said...

MJ,

Boo hoo. I'm so sad you’re leaving Paris but I'm excited that you'll soon be back in the Emerald City, and blogging about your favorite city! I wish we could have met up in Paris this past summer but I would love to get together for coffee in Seattle. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog and appreciate your humor and sharing your family and adventures with us. :)

Cheers,
Jeanne

debway said...

I'm so sad that you are leaving just as my journey is beginning. I have loved reading your blog - getting caught up on the first years, and then following along the last 6 months. I have so loved your irreverent sense of humor - so like my own - and all your insights. You have given me hope that I will survive my upcoming stint in France. I only wish our stays here could have overlapped. I wish you the very best back in Seattle and really am crossing everything I (& my family) have that you get the house you want!

Safe Journeys!

Debway

oldgreymare said...

MJ

I am hanging on to the tail of your coat and you cannot shake me off. We're all along for the ride missy, so get fired up to hit us with the new American life.
<3
xx
z

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memories, MJ.

Duchesse said...

It's the end of an era... Will sure miss your Paris blog, but will move on to its Seattle counterpart as soon as you're all settled in...:) And I'm buying your Paris memoirs:)

It was a privilege to meet you in Paris and I hope we'll meet there again someday... or in some other exotic locale:)

Have a safe journey back.

Hugs

Duchesse xoxo:)

Duchesse said...

To Debbie:

"and thanks for one more penis mention..Duchess will love that."

So true, my friend:)

Alice said...

It has been a pleasure :) All the best in Seattle - I will stay tuned :)

Jenn said...

I came for the Paris but stayed because of you. I can't wait to hear of the crazy adventures of Coco the Conqueror in Seattle, but I'll truly miss your insight into all things Frenchie.

Plus, on a selfish note, I figure there'll be less Croatian man-candy now that the flights are more than an afternoon coffee length away.

Sion @ paris (im)perfect said...

Just wanted to wish you luck, MJ. You are hilarious and I don't think you'll be losing many readers. I'll be interested to read about your re-entry. Heck, I live in Paris so I don't need more Paris stories. Repatriation: bring it on!

Courage.

Lesley UK said...

I'm so pleased you will still be blogging when you get back to Seattle. You've givem me so much pleasure with your accounts of Paris living. I hope you and your lovely family will be happy and healthy in your new home. Blessings from the UK

laughingsalmon said...

So where do we get our "American Mom In Paris" t-shirts?...We are here for you...Think "Insane Clown Posse" juggalos...Paris' lose is Seattle's gain...I can well imagine the "AMIP" tour..."And this is where MJ had her major meltdown...again"...Yup...I came for the Paris connection...I stayed for the dead brilliant funny...

Sulky kitten said...

I'm sad you're leaving, BUT very happy that you're continuing to blog from Seattle! Hope you all have a safe trip back home and also that you get that house!

Anonymous said...

Cryin' at my g*ddamn desk at work - thanks for NUTHIN!
I hope you have a safe trip back and look forward to the Seattle blog.

Charlotte said...

I sit here about to go home and drive my husband to the airport - he's moving to Paris the day you leave. The baby and I will follow in a couple weeks. It's been so hard to leave we have to have faith that it's worth it. It looks like it will be.
The other choice was Oregon, so we'll be following your adventures in Seattle.

Lynn said...

I'm sticking with you in Seattle. I've never been there and it will nice to see it through your eyes. Hope you get the house.

crousesulli said...

Awesome last blog to Paris, LOVE the photos! Can't wait to read about your goddam house adventures, if you ever get it :) I had my kids run out and wave at cars but our neighbors gave us weird looks since we live on a cul-de-sac. Oh well.

bevgrey said...

I want to thank you for including us in your life in Paris and add my name to the list of people who are not dumping you because you left Paris. You are one of the funniest, frankest bloggers out there and I can't wait to see what Lucien gets up to in an American school. (Just because I can no longer have a vicarious life in Paris doesn't mean I'm going to let you disappear.)

Viennese Girl Vreni said...

I´ve been following your blog only for some months but never wrote a comment before... I fell immediately in love with your family, and I was envious of you living in my favourite city - despite all the difficult experiences and bad things about Paris. "My feelings in pictures" nearly made me cry. I don´t know how I would manage to say adieu to Paris after living there for such a long time, I´m so sad at every departure... I hope you will treasure all the beautiful things and return to Paris as often as you want to. I will miss your Parisian stories, but I will follow your steps in Seattle.
All the best to the four of you!

Bec Oakley said...

OMG! I blinked and you were gone!

I think you're a figment of our imaginations, a shared hallucination of a totally cool chick living the hell out of a hilarious life with a completely awesome family. Your blog is actually written by seventeen writers in a comedy sweatshop above a Starbucks in LA.

Nonetheless, WE WILL MISS YOU. That's a collective 'we', not a royal 'we'. Although I'm sure if the queen ever met you, she'd miss the hell out of you too.

Safe travels!

Kevin said...

MJ,
You and your posse – we’ll always have Paris. I just want to say thank you for all the time you devoted to your blog and for sharing so much of yourself and your family with us. As I conveyed in my email to you in January, you’re a terrific writer with a great sense of humor and with that wicked little edge that keeps things interesting. I wish all the best to you and your family with your Seattle re-entry. I’ll look forward to spending more lunch breaks with your new blog.
Most sincerely, Kevin

Laurel said...

dammit MJ , you just made me cry in the office!

Those Chloe Lodge pictures are THE best souvenir ever.

Hope you get the house and see you in Paris next year. We know you won't be be back :D

emmabovary said...

You have been a delight to read. I've consistently agreed with every witty observation you've make about Parisians and their arcane systems. I will miss your Paris blog and look forward to your new musings.

Happy landings!

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

*weeeeeeeoooooooooooo*
(you need the reference for this one: http://youtu.be/0JElywbkSbY esp. the first part)

That's about all I can manage right now as I'm sad. :(

(as she continues to go on writing a book in your comments... lol)

I went by 42 rue Dauphine today to see if by chance the vacuum shit was in the mailbox. No go, so either you guys have it with you, or it's AWOL somewhere, in Paris. LOL. Anyway, the sad news was that A) you guys weren't there, and B) they already took your name off the damn box. I had to scoot out of there, quick. It made me sad knowing you weren't there.

I walked around your neighborhood a little and said "hey" for you, though.

Thank you for your blog. Thank you so much for your perspective on life in Paris. I'm going to be melodramatic here and say a big "I love you" to you, but really, I do. I fell in love with your kids, too, babysitting them. Not Al -- he's already taken (hahahaha -- but as *your* man, I love him, too :D). Thank you for being real and thank you for being really wonderful.

I'm going to miss you craploads, chick. So yeah, please dish on the Seattle stuff because what I really came here to read about was not so much your adventures in Paris, but about the unique YOU having adventures in Paris. I will love your adventures in Seattle, too.

Hope to see you again soon, MJ.
xoxo
Karin

chrissoup said...

I found you because you were in Paris. I'm going to stay with you because you are a terrific writer, and I want to see what happens next!

Bon voyage, et à bientôt.
Chris in San Carlos, California

Davicious said...

Au revoir American Mom/MJ! We're down in the South if you ever want to visit. :)

DaVicious

NC Buckeye said...

Thank you thank you for this blog. I arrived in Paris just before you and it was a lifesaver to know I wasn't alone in loving and hating it. You helped me laugh at the asshats on the metro and get a grip when grocery store anxiety overcame me.
I feel for you. What you're going through now and what's coming. We've been back stateside for 6 months after 3 years in Paris. It really sucks but then it does get better. It'll take longer for Lucien. You have friends who have gone before so I'm sure you'll have an understanding support system, but I'll be sending lots of positive vibes your way anyway.
We'll be here, eagerly awaiting to hear what happens next...

Jenni B. said...

You're not losing this reader! Your writing is why I returned every week, and I JUST said to my husband, I hope she writes about returning to the States. I gots to know what happens with the house, and Lucien's joy when he find lots of other loud kids at American school. Bravo, and, a bientot!

Anonymous said...

I've so enjoyed your Paris blog! I follow a lot of blogs of Paris expats but yours has always stood out because of your humor. I have a Paris story too and was going to email you but I'm just some random person. lol Thank you for sharing your Paris experience with us. You can count on me to be a reader of your new blog...I hope you'll post a link so I can add you to my reader.

ellecee2010 at gmail dot com

Luxembourgermeister said...

What can I say that my fellow posse members haven't said? It has taken me awhile to work up the courage to read the final post and it didn't disappoint. Can't wait to continue to read the adventures of MJ & Co. Thank you for being an inspiration.

crescentkatie said...

Beautiful ending to a beautiful experience. Seattle welcomes you back with open arms. I hope to take you out for a cocktail sometime soon once you get settled.

Jadie said...

Great ride, and many thanks for humping us along with you these last three years. One major question: where on earth in Seattle are you going to find a hair person who will give you that amazing, euro look?! And where on earth in Seattle are you going to find clothes that make you look as gorgeous as in these latest pictures?! Oh, dear, mon chou..

Zwizzler said...

I discovered your blog earlier this year and have thoroughly enjoyed your Paris shenanigans! I am sad to see your Paris blog end but I am looking forward to reading all about Seattle! Bon Courage!

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

MJ, I cannot add to the wonderful, heartfelt comments above but to say fabulous send-off to Paris!

I will most certainly follow you in Seattle and was wondering if you knew Veronique and could meet up with her.

My very best wishes for you and Al and for "re-entry" to the Loosh. Coco can always start her modeling career - hah!

Your blog was initially interesting for the location, but the reason to return for every post was your way of writing and the stories of just being a mom. I look forward to the Seattle adventures!

Bises,
Genie

Anonymous said...

Hi MJ! I followed your blog almost from the beginning and loved your insight and stories. We recently ended our expat stay in Paris after 4 years and you really describe the feelings well. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that on my last day in Paris, I mapped my last run to include your old haunts since they were Paris monuments in my mind but I had never actually seen them in person. Thanks for your blog and for making that area come alive in such a vivid way... I always feel like Paris is full of ghosts of expat friends who have since moved away and even though we have never met, I got that same feeling running around your old 'hood. Thanks again for sharing your stories and good luck in Seattle (before Paris our family lived in the Eastside for 3 years).

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