Born in the USA.
I know what you’re saying: she constantly complains about the lack of culture here, she leaves the country every chance she gets, and she even forgot about memorial day this year. Not to mention, the only two flags in her possession are French, completely inconsequential today, and British, the very people we are supposed to be celebrating our independence from. But hey, I like baseball. And I am occasionally caught saying nice things about this country like, “I am really impressed with how many hamburgers that guy just shoved in his mouth” or “wow, and to think, that Nazi rally would have totally been shut down - amazing to see the 1st amendment in action” or “let’s put on some John Cougar Mellencamp and jump off the house.” So for all of you skeptics out there, I am in fact proud to be american. Ok now let’s go to France.
Bird poop = Justice (a logical fallacy to live by)
The events are as follows:
There I was, walking along Canal St. Martin with Phoebe, my english friend - two completely unassuming girls just admiring the beauty of autumn in Paris. We decided to sit along the canal (this might have had something to do with the fact that at that very moment, meters away from where we chose to sit, two obscenely good looking men were passing through one of the canal’s lock systems on their gorgeous mahogany detailed boat). As I sat, I put both my hands behind me for support - naturally. When I brought them back around for gosh knows what reason, they both had bird poop on them. In the exact same place.
Now, I’ve never been shit on before. Metaphorically, maybe, but never actually. I know it’s said to be good luck - probably because there is no redeeming quality whatsoever in being shit on, so someone came up with one to make us unfortunate souls feel better… needless to say I was skeptical. Actually, I found out it actually depends on the kind of bird that produced the “poop” as to whether or not it’s lucky, but that is neither here nor there (assuming there are no condors or albatrosses living in the foliage of Canal St. Martin). But who am I to deny lady luck?
Well, I continued my Sunday night as I usually would - met some people and went to a friend’s house for an apéro. We talk, we drink, we socialize - and then we get a text saying our friend has gotten into the album release party for Justice. She tells us to come, and we are in a taxi within seconds explaining to the driver the gravity of the situation. We figured he understood as he blew every red light on the way there (or maybe that’s just a Parisian thing..) As we drive up, we see a line of about 2000 people wrapped around the tiny block of Faubourg du Temple. He drops us off at the entrance, we walk shamelessly to the front of the line and begin a 20 minute battle to the door. Over and over we hear the number of people they are letting in- and it’s being reduced by the minute. Everyone else hears too, and the mêlée begins. Good thing I’m with two tough norwegian chicks.
Then Ivan shows up. Now, Ivan is a model from Croatia - and he has a look that screams “I’m famous, it’s ok, let me in.” He walks up to the front, completely disregarding the metal barriers and beefy bouncers, and straight to the men holding the VIP list. Words are exchanged, they all turn and look at me, and simultaneously the gate opens and we begin to trickle in like water. I’m the first one of us through - then Anne - then Maria. I turn around, see all the poor souls with the crushed looks in their eyes as the gates close behind us. I want to feel bad - but there’s no time for that. Justice goes on in 10 minutes.. and we’re in.
I know it sucks to be pooped on by a bird, believe me, it happened to me twice in one day. And I know the old wives tale of it bringing good luck is a tool employed to reduce embarrassment and disgust. But I’ll be damned if the next time Kaskade or Daft Punk pass through town I’m not sitting under a tree full of birds.
It is a beautiful moment when you figure out exactly what you want. Even more beautiful will be the moment I get it.
You can’t win them all.
Not very often do I meet someone who’s very presence is intoxicating. While ‘belles rencontres’ are indeed more commonplace in France, the chances are still very much against encountering someone from Paris with an American mother who grew up in your rival suburb of Chicago. You even cancelled your ticket to Cannes that morning on a whim.. changed it to Sunday for no real apparent reason, only to later find out about a party you could then attend. And he walked you halfway across Paris at 5 am, listening to stories of your Parisian fantasy, and enchanting you with stories of his Parisian reality. Am I surprised? Not really.. I gave up believing in coincidences a long time ago.
But he’s a sox fan.
“Marrying a cardinals fan would be tolerable, but a sox fan, unforgivable.” Ok mother, I’ll find another one.
Around the World
March 19: Chicago
March 31: Salt Lake City/Washington D.C.
April 6: Salt Lake City
April 17: New York City
May 3: Graduation
May 4: Graduation Party
May 5: Road trip to Chicago
May 8: Dublin
May 9: London
May 11: Paris
May 18: Alex’s Final Show
May 19: Grenoble
May 21: Cannes/Nice
May 24: Paris
May 29: Chicago
July 24: New York
July 27: Boom, Belgium
August - Croatia, Italia, Portugal, Suisse
September - Paris
Watching Cinderella before bed, and a mouse runs across my floor, cautiously approaches my bed, tilts his head up, and looks me in the eye. If that’s not ironic, I don’t know what is. Maybe if I start watching ratatouille he’ll teach me how to cook. Or I could just call the exterminator cause now that the shock of irony is wearing off, the disgust is settling in.