Lately I’ve been in a Paris sort of mood.
And, as the great Ron Burgundy once said, “in no way is that depressing.”
Two months ago, I stepped foot in Pah-ree for the first time in my life.
My husband says the whole trip was worth it just seeing my face when we climbed the stairs out of the Metro and I took in Paris for the first time. This is what I saw:
A café was to my immediate right, almost on top of the stairs into the Metro station. The Seine River flowed quietly but majestically nearby and led my eyes to Notre Dame. The first stone was laid in that cathedral more than 800 years before my birth.
I’m not going to go on forever about the glories of the City of Light, of which there are many. The best part of it all just might be—especially for an American—getting to see in action people who take time to appreciate the joy(s) in their lives.
The French revel in two, three-hour dinners. Maybe longer, actually. In America, we “grab dinner” and head somewhere else. We’re always headed somewhere else. Bryan and I attempted to have long dinners while we were in Europe…I think we lasted two hours on one occasion. But in France and in many other parts of Europe, this is standard.
I returned to America with the awareness that it’s probably not the movie with friends you’ll remember; it’s probably the dinner you ate with them beforehand.
It’s a lesson I won’t soon forget. Paris lesson No. 2 came Monday night in my own apartment in Pasadena.
On our date night, Bryan and I actually watched a movie, which we almost never do together.
(Bryan is infamous for walking in on the last 20 minutes of his family’s Lord of the Rings marathon and saying, “I think I get the gist of it.” He’s also the only male I know, and maybe the only one ever, that thinks Star Wars is “eh, OK.” Needless to say, we don’t spend a lot of time watching movies.)
We decided on “Midnight in Paris,” and I loved it.
The opening scene shows many of the places Bryan and I saw on our trip to Paris. I love when cities become a character in a movie, especially cities that I have been to and love.
I also loved the warning in this film that we often get so nostalgic for the past (whether in our immediate past or in another era entirely), we lose sight of what’s great in the present.
Sometimes, it can become overwhelming when we realize we are in a tough time in America and around the world. We look at other time periods and wish we could live during that time instead. Or, there’s another time period that just seems cooler than our current one. But, medically speaking, I’d much rather live today than even 50 years ago. I find it, you know, comforting that we live in a time when men (generally) don’t run around killing each other and hanging people’s heads in the town square.
And, I have one word for why I’d rather be alive today than any other era: corsets.
Technology-wise, with a click of the publish button, someone could instantaneously read this blog post in Paris. That’s pretty cool.
So remember, the grass is not always greener in another era. Enjoy where your life is today, because you’ll never be in the exact same place again.
And seriously, take a long dinner with friends.
Thanks for the reminders, Paris. And thanks for being you.