I've been living in France for the past 6 months and have noticed a few peculiarities about the country and its inhabitants.
- A love affair with the accordion. Yes indeedy. The accordion is the instrument of choice for street and metro musicians. For some reason, accordion players also have a very limited repertoire.
- The jogging pants look. I see this as the equivalent of wearing a basketball/football jersey. The pants must be made out of that plasticky material and the bottoms must be tucked into the socks. There has to be a good 2 to 3 inches between the pantleg and the shoe.
- The sports bag as suitcase of choice. When travelling, an inordinate number of french folk pack their belongings in those bags you see hockey players lug around.
- Lingerie shops are EVERYWHERE. There is a reason english speakers use the same word.
- Glasses. A huge segment of the population wears glasses and there are glasses for every type of personality.
- Any meal is better if creme fraiche and lardons are added to it. Yuck.
- The french have a love/hate relationship with america. They aren't shy about telling you why america sucks. However, they want to be just like the media contrived stereotypical american. They love pumas, chucks, levis, carhart, nike, addidas, quicksilver, mcdonalds, mccain frozen food. If something is american they will buy it. But, they hate america. Yeah, and just in case you were wondering, french rap is frequently scary. Oh, and they file the Beastie Boys under heavy metal. Yup.
Where do emotions live?
Recently, a few very tragic events have occured on the periphery of my little world. My immediate and intense reaction to these events took me by surprise. I know that I have the capacity to feel strong emotion, it's just not an everyday occurence. When not in use, where do these emotions hang out? My guess is somewhere dark and cool, the body's equivalent to a medicine cabinet. Because, I've decided that emotions are humans' natural medicine. We have to be able to call upon emotion to soothe the mind.
so last night i was writing in my oh-so-stylin' journal (a habit which ms. h. got me hooked on) and i ended up with more or less the following musing:
friends try to sooth each other's troubled hearts. because they truly care about you, they do everything in their power to help, to mend. friends are, after all, what's important. friends matter, so friends try. they sit beside you, hold your hand, say they love you, and look into your eyes to search for anything they can do to make you hurt less. that's what friends do. your hurt is their hurt. that's what friends do. your triumphs, you joys, your failures, your fears. you share 'em all. and you share it all - the stupid shit along with the important. that's the whole freakin' point. success at the endeavour doesn't come with the result. it comes with the process.
in other words, friendship is an ongoing process, not a card in a roledex. it's being there through the ups & downs, the moves to france, the moves nowhere, the growing up and growing down, the times when you agree and especially the times when you don't, the wins and the losses. its not perfect. no process is. but you try. and that's the point. and it seems like not everyone gets that. in fact, few do.
so as i'm writing all this (in the context of figuring out that someone was not
my friend) i asked myself, "self, how do you know this?" i answered "duh. that's what heidi would do." and so i find myself quite the lucky little bunny.