This past year, I’ve been infusing my spirit with all things French–romancing myself, if you will. It all started when the tax bill came and dashed my hopes of taking a vacation. I haven’t taken a vacation anywhere in years. So yeah, I had been having fun looking at quaint Airbnbs in Montreal and envisioning myself riding a bicycle with a baguette in my basket, sundress and all, and husband riding happily beside.
I can be a pouty person sometimes. So when the disappointment of reality set in, I felt that inclination to sulk surfacing, and rather than let it take hold, I told myself I wasn’t going to go there. I would romance myself instead, all year long. I would wear a sundress around the house in the dead of winter if the mood struck! I downloaded language learning apps. I purchased $5 cafe curtains and an $8 lamp shaped like the Eiffel Tower, turning my kitchen into my very own bistro. I realized that I had the good fortune of having a French bakery within walking distance from my house. So I would go there and enjoy a morning croissant and coffee. And I would sit on a park bench and enjoy the view of my 15 year old dog strolling through a field of yellow daffodils.
Some evenings I would light a candle on the back porch, put the ‘French Cooking’ music station on Pandora and invite my husband to relax with me over a bottle of wine. With all of these actions, I felt little sparks in my soul start to flicker, realizing I had the power to create the mood I was seeking in my life, even if vacations were out of reach. This didn’t become an obsession. It was just a series of small actions spaced out over time which brought me little joys.
The most fun moment occurred on a beautifully sunny day. I told my husband to set up a card table in the back yard and put on some music. “I’m gonna go down to the corner store and buy a bottle of wine, then I’ll be back and make us a tapas plate.” We didn’t really have much food in the house, so I decided I was going to put together a tapas plate of foods that could be found at the convenience store. When I brought the elegant platter out to my husband, who was waiting in the backyard as instructed, he laughed. And I laughed too. Because my “fancy tapas plate” consisted of cheese and crackers, beef jerky, and Pringles. But the presentation was stellar. And as we “wined and dined” in the comfort of our own backyard, this was one of the happiest moments of my life.
I guess I realized that I’m pretty easy to please, and I’d like to keep it that way. One thing I have yet to do to complete my “year of all things French” is to greet a friend with a kiss on the cheek, or three kisses rather! So if you happen to read this blog post and then randomly bump into me around town, I hope your cheeks are ready!