Roots and wings

(warning: spell check is not working properly and I'm going LESS sleep than normal)
We actually made it home! After four weeks in the USA, we landed in Paris yesterday morning.
With no surprise whatsoever we pissed off a passport agent straight away.
Seeing as Brandon has already added more pages
to his passport and now currently has two passports because of so many stamps, he asked that his passport not be stamped.
She inspects it, picks up her stamp and CHING, it is stamped.
"You are not French".
No shit sherlock, but that card inside of there shows we are for the next five years
and we DO pay French taxes.
Oddly enough we did not even have to start the exchange of how wrong she was
on our residence status, her coworker was more than ready to battle her.
My how I love to watch a good heated discussion at 8:30 in the morning. We walked away.
Two and a half hours later we would arrive home.
Yes, I said two and a half hours.
I give the driver our address and off we go. As we near Paris our driver opts not to take the highway.
I love that trick. I love the complete irritation on Brandon's face even more. NO he is not shy about his feelings either. That is even better.
After driving through every Paris side street our driver stops at our destination.
Which in fact, was NOT our destination.
He took us to rue Messier.
I said, "rue Sebastien Mercier".
He said, "with your accent I did not understand you".
This coming from the rotten toothed North African immigrant,
who's French accent is far from spot on.
Yes, we are back.
Oddly enough, I actually got a kick out of this whole morning, it was comical, irritating and comforting all the same.
On the way home I watched Sweet Home Alabama.

I LOVE that movie!
Where am I going with this?
Well, in that clip she says,"I really like New York, but this fits too".
The response from her ex-husband is:
"You can't have roots and wings at the same time".
To which she replies, "Then how about I winter down here?"
I think that whole exchange fits exactly how I feel at this point in my life.
I love my USA roots and at the same time I like to spread my wings and experience the discomfort and excitement of new things.
Being back in the States feels good.
Being surrounded by family feels amazingly comfortable, like being wrapped in the warmest blanket ever. Growing up I took my BIG crazy family for granted. After living abroad, I now appreciate them SO much more. I now know what it is like to be pulled between two countries.
I can honestly say that I have a love/hate relationship with both countries.
I actually missed the uptightness of the French.
Yes, I said it.
I love how they use such great table manners.
I love how they start each meal with a glass of champagne and a "first bite", versus an enormous fried onion dipped in creamy pink sauce. Notice I did not say chips and queso, because I'm certain I will love that for the rest of my life.
I appreciate how they get dressed to leave the house verses wearing their pajamas and house slippers all day. USA what is the deal with wearing house slippers out of the house? They are called "house" slippers for a reason.
To wear in the house!!!
I'm also going to say this, flannel pajama bottoms do not make a fashion statement outside of the home. They scream white trash.
A year ago when I thought of a restaurant in the States I loved the thought of all the loud people eating and all that glorious space between the tables. This year I was struck by the fact of just how LOUD it was. It's like eating in a rock concert with everyone trying to talk over the band.
Let's talk noise level on a plane. Yes, I have been known to ponder why the French take a word puzzle and book with them everywhere they go. I now appreciate that too. Ever taken a flight out of Vegas? Loudest flights on the face of the earth. College kids stinky and loud, oh wait, that was Brandon and I in college, my past is coming back to haunt me. I wish I could say I was not that BAD, but I was.
Now fast forward a few, years later and I prefer to sit next to the French man with his newspaper and word puzzle.
I'm getting old.
You know what I'm missing already from the USA?
Friendly faces and people who use common place manners such as the words, excuse me and sorry. A lady ran into Aidan at the airport and shot me a go to hell look. I shot one back. Amazing how quickly city instincts kick back in.


Kim McCaslin Schlieker said...

Wise words, my friend!! I think it may be a metaphor for raising our kids. They need roots but we have to let them have wings.

Kerrie said...

Wonderful post Peggy, I loved the slide show and you are right. Remember the discussion with the woman in Macy's? Cracks me up. Miss you all. Hope you get your fill of the flight and return to your roots before long purely for selfish reasons.
The Smith's

Carol said...

Beautifully said...and spelled correctly!

From the My little Paris blog, I see there is a sale at Hermes...gonna run right over?

Love you,


Jeremy said...

Peggy - you are describing your trip to Wal Mart in Idaho... no shit people were wearing pajamas and house shoes out in public. Post Falls WM was just about the same. Screw France.

Peggy Rice said...

Carol-I saw that, and thought I better save my marriage and deleted it. How I do love to window lick there!
Jeremy-you would be correct, but oddly enough I saw a few in Vegas too. Little girls standing out in front of nail shops smoking while they waited for their nails to dry in their PJ pants...so much to say.