Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
|Soggy St Patrick's Day walk in Seattle, a few springs ago...|
Inspiration was lacking a few days ago, but it is slowly coming back.
Junior was out sailing this month, and I have been enjoying quality time at home, following my own schedule; getting projects completed; preparing for fall... Most importantly, I have been catching up with my friends, while relaxing with a bottle of rosé... or two.
Today was a special day. I drove to Seattle and met my friend M-T and her husband Dan. You may remember them from last year's most excellent adventure in New York city.
|M-T and Dan: Trop mignons! (too cute)|
Once again, cher blog, I owe you a heartfelt "Merci," for giving so many wonderful new friends over the last three years.
Because M-T's parents were French, but she was raised in the United States, she is the ideal cultural ambassador for both countries. She understands French quirks. She masters American idiosyncrasies. She also speaks both languages fluently. This makes her a very *cool* lady. It does not hurt that she and her husband are opera connoisseurs. They are spending a few days in Seattle and will be attending four (!) Wagnerian operas (and as M-T reminded me patiently over lunch, it is Beethoven, not Wagner, who was "the deaf guy...") M-T and Dan promised to take me to the Opera in New York city during my next visit. They feared I might not be able to fully enjoy sitting through four, five, or - I kid you not! - SIX hours of Wagner, so they suggested starting with a lighter repertoire, maybe Bizet's Carmen... I could tell I scored serious points when I immediately started humming the famous Carmen aria, Habanera. That evening in New York city, when I join my friends, I will likely feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman!
|Just like this French Girl, except taller and with bigger teeth!|
Oui, this was a fun day: In the heart of a big city (so long, suburbia!) with great people, in a favorite [French] restaurant - bien sûr.
A bientôt, M-T and Dan. Enjoy the rest of your week in the Emerald City.
|Yep, that's what Kir Royal will do to you after a couple of glasses, little ladies!|
When I came home, I started thinking about my other friends. Mes ami(e)s. I have already written a story about them. Do you remember?
The most perceptive of my readers have noticed things have been a bit rocky in my life this year. Thank you for your messages of friendship and support, and for the encouragement. You have made a difference.
Near or far, old or new, in person, over the phone or in writing, they have all been here for me. That makes me a very lucky French Girl. So tonight, in the peaceful house, the old dog lying down at my feet; the black cat curled up on my desk; Junior's room awaiting his return, I have decided to pay tribute to mes ami(e)s - while sharing some favorite quotes of mine (yours, too, maybe?) about friendship.
It's the friends you can call up at 4:00am that matter.
-- Marlene Dietrich.
Very true, Marlene. Nothing like a night owl who responds to your emails, comforts you and warms you up when you are feeling lonely, or you decide to vent after midnight!
Your friends know how crazy you are
and still choose to be seen in public with you. (anon.)
"There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other,
and knocking out a twelve foot mountain troll is one of them."
-- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
... and spending an evening attempting to paint a Van Gogh inspired rendition of the Eiffel Tower (when there isn't an artistic bone in your body, and your old French art teacher used to pull his hair out, dumbfounded at your creations) definitely beats knocking out a mountain troll, right?
But good friends also urge you to push your limits, and get out of your comfort zone, and you follow them... because you know they won't let you do stupid/fun/crazy things alone!
|Get up and dance, French Girl, and don't forget that paint brush!|
There is nothing better than a friend,
unless it is a friend with chocolate.
-- Charles Dickens.
I beg to differ, Monsieur Dickens. There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with... Mora's Dulce de Leche ice cream (and I don't care how much it costs to have shipped to my doorstep from a local island!)
|Four pints: A day's supply???|
"I don't feel very much like Pooh today," said Pooh.
"There, there," said Piglet. "I'll bring you tea and honey until you do."
-- A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
My friends know I do not care for tea and honey. Kir Royal or Cosmopolitans, on the other hand...
My friends never fail to celebrate my birthday. I do not care for big hooplas, but whatever the occasion (or the location,) they all show up, sur leur 31 (dressed to the nines,) because, you know, what would Coco say?
... and even if I have been feeling low, I quickly rise to the occasion and start smiling again. Never a dull moment avec mes ami(e)s.
A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good egg,
even though he knows you are slightly cracked.
I am cracked. And my friends generously understand - and tolerate - all my [French] quirks and obsessions: Coco Chanel, France, Dulce de Leche or caramel-flavored anything (see above,) the constant movie references, and more.
Merci, mes ami(e)s. I appreciate each and every one of you and will survive the Year of Unpleasantness with you all by my side.
Friends, not all of you are featured in this story, at least not in pictures.
I am thinking about you and sending big hugs your way.