1.) You hate yourself.
2.) You hate your family and/or want to punish them for something.
I kid, but just a little. It's a fun family outing in theory, and truly, the first forty-five minutes of our visit were delightful. The animals were fun to manhandle and the cheese samples were tasty (once you got past the fact there were no toothpicks and everyone grabbed their own sample out of a bowl with their I-just-touched-farm-animal hands.)
If you don't enjoy petting little bunnies, you are a cold, hard human being
We were enjoying ourselves at the Salon d'Agriculture when out of the blue, everyone else in France decided to join us. When the mobs descended, the Salon was no longer fun. Lucien, thankfully, has great self-preservation skills and wisely spent his time begging to be up on Al's shoulders, clinging to my legs, or searching the crowd for a satisfactory "Plan B" family should he never see us again. Coco stared at butts and crotches all day long, some from extreme close-up as people climbed sideways over her stroller (no joke). Soon after the hordes stormed the exhibition center, all the balloons handed out to kids started to pop, sounding a bit like gunshots every couple minutes or so. The jumps of surprise at these sudden sounds occasionally sent cheese samples into the air.
We stuck it out for awhile but were eventually driven away by the maddening masses. I'm now fairly certain French people don't understand two bodies can't occupy the same space at the same time. They see you, they know you're there, but they still try to move into your exact same space. When they are unable to occupy the space you are occupying, they back up to get some more speed, and try again.
I was incredulous as I experienced "the merging Frenchman" time and again. I wanted to say, "Look, le buddy, my body is in this space. My body is a solid, physical mass. Unless your body is a gas, or a liquid (or maybe some sort of gel?) your body is not going to fit in this space with mine. So stop trying. Stop trying. STOP TRYING.
Merging Frenchman: (head down, butting my person) *bump, bump, bump, bump* "Sacre bleu!"
I have many harrowing tales to tell about the Salon d'Agriculture, but I don't have time to tell them -- we're going away for a long weekend and I am neglecting both the packing and the caring for my children to write this blog -- and if I don't mention the lady in the post office before I go, my head will explode.
...but first look at this emo horse, with his hair in his eyes and his sadness.
I ordered some shoes online recently. I selected the option to have them delivered directly to the post office because I've been out of the apartment a bunch recently. On Monday, I got an email notifying me they were at the post office, and attached to the message was a handy little printable with my name and package number on it. I just had to go pick them up, put them on my feet, and enjoy! Sounds easy, non??
Lucien and I walked into the post office with the handy printable at the ready. I told the lady behind the counter I was there to pick up a package. She opened a book to look for my name, said my name wasn't there so the package wasn't there, and told me goodbye. She did all this without looking at me.
I held out my handy printable and suggested she was probably looking in the wrong book. I hadn't missed the package at home -- I'd chosen to have it sent directly to the post office. (It's a different book. I know these things. I've spent two plus years in this joint.)
She didn't appreciate my help. She glared at me and said something about a problem with the computer. Without the computer, she couldn't locate my package in the system, so I needed to try again another day. The expression on her face was a little something I like to call "unabashed hatred."
I extended my handy printable once again, this time with slightly shaking hand. It stated clearly my package was in the building, in the back room just ten steps away. My package did not need to be "located in the system." All she needed to do was walk in the back room and it would appear. Post office magic.
Her voice rose. She gestured angrily, "computer computer somethin' somethin','" then she looked past me and waved the next customer forward. She'd moved on with her life, but I continued to stand there, and that made her very angry. After a few words to her new customer, she broke off mid-sentence, turned to me with an incredulous look and said loudly, "I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU'RE STILL HERE. YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING."
Damn! I got served and don't know why! I lost most of my French at that moment, but recovered enough to say, "I understand the words, but I don't understand the problem, and I don't understand why you're so angry." She slammed some papers on her desk and walked away, but not in the direction of my shoes. She didn't come back. Then everyone in line glared at me because I made the mean lady go away forever.
As we walked away from the counter, Lucien frowned and muttered, "We should probably go tell a policeman because that lady really yelled at us."
I returned the next day, with Lucien and Coco. I wanted to show them you must face your fears, even if your fears are dumb, like a fear of picking something up at the post office. I looked up a few extra words in my French dictionary before we left, just in case.
Mean lady wasn't there. The people working were people I've dealt with before and they have always been helpful and kind. I showed them my handy printable, the lady opened the correct book, walked into the back room, and handed me my shoes five seconds later. No computer necessary.
Then I took the kids to a nearby park to run around and celebrate, because I had new shoes and it was a beautiful day.
This is Coco eating her very first handful of sand
This is the box that caused all the fuss
OK. We're outta here, leaving the city for a bit, escaping the madness. And seemingly just in time, because someone in the building is doing something with noxious chemicals, without bothering to tell anyone else who lives here. We are slowly being engulfed by fumes, and are now living with the windows wide open in February.
YOU OBVIOUSLY DON'T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.
Huzzah, that's me,