Tag Archives: friendship

The Most Important Things

Obama just got re-elected.

I just had my first afternoon out (after a year!) with a new-ish lady friend, complete with swimming, shopping, a cup of coffee and tons of gossip (in French!).

Assad is refusing to leave Syria, but not before Cameron decided to let the world know that he would grant him safe passage through the UK.

My mother-in-law slipped on a teensy bit of grease she missed on Sunday 20 minutes before 18 members of the family arrived for a big lunch she’d planned…she broke her right shoulder and is virtually incapacitated and completely annoyed.

The French government is set to legalize gay marriage, and there’s all this talk now about what that will mean about gay adoption (which remains illegal for the time being).

I finally found a doctor I like here.

U.S. American politicians are finally talking seriously – if neither loudly nor often enough – about climate change.

One of my besties is preggers (after a long time wanting it).

At any given point in time, we’re part of about thirty thousand degrees of involvement within the various communities around us, and sometimes it’s damn hard to figure out which ones are the most important.

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London Musings Vol. III: On not mixing well.

You know that saying about oil and water?  It’s true.  Put them in a covered jar and shake.  The oil will separate.  It will find itself again.  It will not get lost in the water.  It will not drown.  It will rise up.

Allow me to ramble a bit.

I needed a bathing suit.

Firstly, I realize this is weird – it’s not April, it’s September.  But I’ve decided to give up jogging for the winter and start swimming because Le Puy has this beautiful new public swimming pool and because I have a terrible phobia of running once the ground’s gone icy owing to that injury I wrote about in my last post.  Still with me?  Good.

So I needed a bathing suit.  The problem of course, is that it’s late September in London and finding a bathing suit swimming costume is not an easy endeavor by any stretch of the imagination.  Off to Oxford Circus I went.

For anyone unfamiliar with London Town, let me explain:  Oxford Circus is the shopoholic’s equivalent of a highway underpass.  That is to say, it’s where they go to get high.  There are approximately one million shops along this street, from Bangladeshi sari shops to High Street chain stores to haute couture.  One can buy Swarovski crystals or sweatshop-produced luggage or perfume or a cheap dress or a very expensive one, indeed.  It is also home to a very large Marks & Spencers, from whence I sought to find a suit – which I did.

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On Friendship, Part II

Confession time:  I spent many years of my life significantly hooked on socializing.  When I’d fill out one of those forms that asked what my hobbies were, I’d sincerely consider writing, “Hanging out with friends.” Never did it, but that’s really got to be my favorite thing to do.

The truth is, most of the people I grew up calling friends have long since left my life, some by chance, others by design – sometimes on my part, others on theirs, still others by mutual agreement.  I think that’s probably the case with most people.  And those who have remained in my heart have not, by and large, remained in my hometown (Anaheim, CA).  Some moved north – Ojai, Humboldt, Eugene; some went east – New Brunswick, Raleigh; while others have remained on the move, here for two years, there for three.

I’m part of that last bit, I guess, as is Chris.  Since we’ve not settled in any particular place, we’ve had the bonus of picking up friends along the way as well as the loss of saying goodbye perhaps a little more often than we’d have liked.

I almost always cry when I say goodbye.  It’s just something I’m not very good at.

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On Friendship. Or, You missed me!

There’s this saying in English that goes something like, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”  Chris never particularly liked it – he’s always like, “Look, here’s the cake, and I’m eating it, so I’ve had it and I’m eating it!” and I’m like, “But you don’t have it anymore…” and he’s like, “But I had it,” and I’m like, “Yeah – you don’t get this expression, do you?”

I, on the other hand, have always really clung to it as one of the few really and truly grown-up things I get.  I don’t, for the record, stand by or even too closely to such classics as, “That’s just the way things are,” or, “Life isn’t fair.”  Those are dumb.  But the cake thing I get.

So it goes:  living abroad has its many wonderful qualities, but there are lots of things one loses in the decision.  I do love the oomph it gives to living: learning new customs, hearing a different language, learning that language, learning that the customs make a lot more sense when one has the language, etc.  There’s also the different food, architecture, weather, currency, music, and just general way of going about life.  And while it can be a bit tiresome after a while, I’m so unaccustomed to the norms of my place of origin by now (it’s been a few years, after all), I think I’ve become more accustomed to the not-knowing.  On the other hand, particularly in my late-early thirties, particularly in a place where my native language is not widely spoken, making new friends has become a right pain in the arse.  So much so, I haven’t really done it for a number of years.

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