I really wanted to write about making Thanksgiving dinner this past Saturday. This was unusual because the “official” Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. is not until November 26th. It was made even more unusual because I prepared the entire meal by myself. Alone. Yikes!
Unusual and, of course, amusing as only AGMA cooking adventures can be.
But I’m having a hard time. I can’t seem to muster up any funny words. My heart continues to be heavy for the people of Paris.
Adventures with the undercooked turkey will have to wait.
Many, many words have been written since evil took flight against innocents in Paris last week. People far more intelligent and gifted have eloquently written about the events of this real life, nightmarish Friday the 13th. I can add no new insights or analysis.
My response is totally from the heart and gut.
I love Paris. I really can’t explain why. Or maybe I can try.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the City of Lights five times in my life. Five times, I’ve been thoroughly enchanted.
One of my favorite movies is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. It totally captures the magical nature of this amazing city. I really want to hang out with Zelda Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Cole Porter… I want to be part of the great Moveable Feast that was/is Paris.
The last time I went to Paris, I sat on the steps that Owen Wilson sat on when he got picked up by the limo at midnight. I waited for about an hour. Nothing. Crap.
But that’s what Paris does to you. It makes you believe that anything is possible and totally captivates your heart.
Granted, some Parisians can be brusk to non-French speakers. But I just flutter my eyelashes and say in my very broken French, “Parlez-vous anglais?” And when they say “No”, I turn on the big Bambi doe eyes and say “Un petit peu?” at which point they shrug and say “A lee-ttle”. They then proceed to speak in flawless English. And become very friendly.
Gotta love Paris.
The people, the food, the history, the wine, the gardens, the beauty… a lifestyle of joy and the celebration of living.
The French have been allies of the U.S. since the beginning of the U.S. They are our oldest friends as a nation and fought along side us in our bid for independence. And many of our finest young men are laid to rest in French cemetaries in Normandy. There is a deep, deep connection between us. A blood bond if you will.
I mean, they gave us the freaking Statue of Liberty for Pete’s sake… That’s like the best BFF gift ever.
So I mourn for Paris, and our French brothers and sisters as only family can mourn. And based on our experience here in the U.S. with 9/11, I know that they will never quite be the same.
But they will endure. And not only endure, but I have a feeling they will not let this evil fundamentally change their love and zest for life. It may even deepen and get more intense.
Gotta love the French.
And I do. So in less than three weeks, I’ll once again be in my mostest favoritest city in the world.
Paris – AGMA’s coming and she can’t wait!
Some of my friends and family think I’m out of my mind. Perhaps, but I wouldn’t dream of changing my plans out of fear or concern for personal safety. If I do that, the bad guys win. In my own small way, I can’t, I won’t, let them win. I think being a tourist in Paris right now is an act of defiance in the face of those who seek to destroy and who know nothing of joy and love and light.
Reality check… Okay – so with terrorists still floating back and forth across boarders, I won’t deny that there is risk. The experts say there will be more attacks. But I think we risk even more if we cower in fear.
AGMA’s getting crusty in her old age.
So I’m getting ready to eat and drink in cafe’s, go to museums, do some running in the Tuileries, and visit the beautiful Christmas Markets. And show my French “family” that this diminutive American AGMA has their back.
Viva la France!