Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Francophilia

I have a serious problem.

A France problem.

A typical French cafe-bar, via Rita Crane's Flickr photostream (with beautiful, thoughtful descriptions)

Most of you know about my love affair with La Belle France, which began in 2006 when I studied abroad in Paris. Click here to read my Paris blog, which is pretty amazing if I can say that about my own writing. I returned from the City of Light and shortly after began dating the man I would marry, but I never forgot my first love. Never.

Moi in front of... well, you know. 2006.

Sometimes I miss Paris so much my heart. literally. hurts. It's a little sick, actually. Whenever I hear about someone else* loving Paris, I become extremely indignant, like I have some sense of ownership over the city. I feel like a jealous lover who has discovered some awful adultery. "You can't love France. She was mine first." ::: clench jaw and fists ::: No really, I recognize that this is not normal behavior.
*Disclaimer: These feelings do not apply to Stephanie, who discovered Paris with me, and Abby, who also studied abroad in France and whose love for the motherland is pure and sincere.
I have shed tears over the fact that I’m losing my grasp on the French language, in which I was conversational – even near fluent – just a short three years ago (“Il y a trois ans,” as I tell fellow Francophiles who ask me when I was last in France).

Well the sickness is worsening, and I have SMU to blame.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was beginning a contemporary art history course this summer. We’re barely out of Realism and I can feel my heart simultaneously breaking and bursting with joy each night I’m in class. I’ll catch myself in the middle of the lecture, sitting on the second row, my chin cupped in both hands, elbows on the table, grinning and looking cow-eyed at mon professeur as she romances me with words like “Courbet,” “Daumier,” “Musée d’Orsay,” and “Déjeuner sur l’herbe.”

Déjeuner sur l’herbe, oil on canvas, 1863

Last night she said, “Those of you who know Paris well know that the book- and print-sellers even line the streets of the city.”

It was all I could do to keep myself from exclaiming, “Oui, je les connais! Les bouquinistes!”

Le sighhhh…

My second trip to Paris, 2006... Making a fool of myself in front of the Louvre.

I’m craving all things French. Carambars, le Métro, watching American movies with French subtitles in St.-Germain-des-Pres, drinking wine out of a baby bottle at Le Refuge des Fondues in Montmartre… I even tried to French braid my hair this morning, with less than spectacular results.


A classmate and I are pondering Monet's genius at his home of Giverny.


Brad’s company is treating us to a Mediterranean cruise in October, and we plan to stay an extra week to explore Morocco, which I have never visited before, or Paris, which has my heart. Morocco sounds sexy and exotic, and I would love to add Africa to the list of continents I have visited… but today I’m leaning toward Paris.

12 comments:

Joslyn said...

being in love with Paris is never a problem! ;-)

hope to see you at the white rock marketing tomorrow.

Miss A said...

Hey! Yes, it is WR local market. come see me!! introduce yourself. I love meeting other bloggers!

Ronda said...

I absolutely LOVE art history! How fun you get to take a weekly class!

lauren said...

Hmmm, I also have a France problem, and well, I think we are in good company! ;)

The Rozell Family said...

hi
you are the winner of my recycled paper bead necklace giveaway. Send me your address and I can mail the necklace ASAP!!!

congrats on winnning!

Dionne said...

How cool about the free trip! I haven't been to Paris or Morocco, so both sound awesome to me!

Dionne said...

Katie, you won the Strikk Giveaway on my blog! Can you please email me your mailing address to spotty_zebra@hotmail.com ?

Thanks!
Dionne

Abby said...

I got on here to look at your new post and I came back to read this again. le sigh, je t'aime Paris. Want any souvenirs? I can't believe I get to go there again and say phrases in french! oh yeah, and be on a honeymoon, lol. :-) Maybe you and I can practice french together? You should take a trip to New Orleans and see if it'll satisfy your craving, just for now, until you can get back over there.

Lulu SQ said...

Good post! There is indeed something about Paris.

Something about la Tour Eiffel.

I didn't realize/remember you studied there, that is awesome!

I used to be very up on my French and now, desperately wanting to learn Spanish I am so confused and get the two mixed up.

C'est la vie though, right?

Anna said...

Oh, France. The music, the art, the language, the bread ... sigh. And, I've only had a very short term relationship. Your separation must be very hard, indeed!

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