I’m a sucker. I’m a sucker for stories about Paris. Actually France. But most of them come via Paris (and really I’m a big city girl so what’s not to love about it). After all, I’m in London because my initial plans to be in Paris didn’t work out. And in the end, my plan to be in closer proximity has really worked out best for me.
In my life, I’ve spent a lot of my time consuming all things french. When I was in New York, I began scouring blogs written by former American women that had similar goals as myself. While working at my last job, where the plan to move was hatched, I nearly stalked an employee who had made the decision to move to Paris. I had hardly ever spoken to her but once, I knew we had this one desire in common, I trumpet up reasons to speak to her. I also visited Paris once a year – three years in a row – from New York (and on the salary I was making, you’d know how impressive that was).
Since moving to London, I haven’t been as consumed. Instead, I’ve found living in London nearly as enjoyable as I probably would have living in Paris. Plus I’ve been lucky enough to visit it often. So much so, that Burs and I have decided that our next trip to France has to be anywhere else other than Paris.
But then one day, you walk into a bookstore and BOOM a book catches your eye and my love, nah obsession, is spurred up again. Since I can’t currently have the living the gay Pariee lifestyle, I’ll return to reading other women’s experiences. I love to take in Paris by way of other Americans who have been blessed to be transplanted there themselves.
Right now, I’m living the experience through Pamela Druckerman, the author of French Children Don’t Throw Food (parenting secrets from Paris). Now, if it seems strange to you that I would be reading this book, it should. I don’t have small children (the lil one is a tween and if she threw food, she would be beyond help at this point). And am still unsure if and when, that’s an experience I want to take on. But the book sang out to me the moment I read Paris on the front cover.
Mainly because during my last trip to Paris, Burs and I talked about moving there to start our family. Sure, it was our imagination out of control (it has always been understood that we’ll be staying in London until Lil Burs in done with school) but we simple couldn’t help it. Watching pram after pram roll on by or hearing cute little voices speak in shaky but adorable french had us weak in the knees. Who wouldn’t want to raise their kids there?!?
Now back in reality, I figured the least I could do was live through the experiences of another; I picked up the book and made a beeline for check-out. And this needs to be said – I haven’t been able to put the book down since I cracked it open which is crazy because I’m suppose to be reading other things for writing friends but I can’t put the book down (Dreannan I will get to that thing soon, promise).
Druckerman writes in the sort of self-depreciating way that has become the norm for these sort of advice giving books. Luckily, it’s a style that I love; mocking oneself while learning from others experiences. Plus, it’s added bonus is that it is taking place in Paris. (It’s the same reason why I read French Women Don’t Get Fat. Though the advice on only drinking champagne instead of mixed drinks was well worth the $12 bucks spent.)
Sure, she’s not writing colorful prose about how amazing the streets are or the best places to get fresh baguettes but her experiences of working out how to raise her daughter in a land not her own, while learning the language, meeting like minded people and deciphering the ways of the land. Are topics that I find I can completely relate to. And it’s help reignite that complete desire to be in Paris again. Even with kids. This women is amazing!
Largely it’s because, apparently, the entire city of Paris prescribes to the same ideology I have of how kids should be raised. Who knew?!? But the incentives given to families who have babies is so plentiful, how can you resist?*
Or, this all, could simple be stemming from the fact that it’s been over a year since I’ve been to Paris. And am going through withdrawal. Seriously, all I do is crave being there now. I went out and followed two french women walking along, just to see if I could understand their conversation. (And yes, gleefully I could.) Then today, Lovefilms gifted me Midnight in Paris. Now I’m gleefully waiting for night fall so I can cuddle up in bed and sink into dreams of strolling along with a baguette in one hand and key to my own chalet in the other. In the end, my dream of living in Paris never dies…it just slumbers for a while.
*Well, you can resist because there’s a baby now in your Paris dream. In my Paris dream – I sleep late, sit in parks to read and drink wine while picking up a pen to write amazing stories that others will devour. It really isn’t the sort of life for a child. Though the Crèche does make it a great deal more appealing*