Je suis désolée.

I went and totally skipped out on our Vocab lesson last Friday. Now I could blame the outrageously beautiful Parisian weather (sunny! warm enough for flip flops! Which means we’ll be wearing turtlenecks in July) or attribute the lapse to baby brain. But the truth is, I was just really pumped about scoring a Baby Bjorn thingy at the thrift store for 15 euro!!! CHA-CHING!

Granted, with the crappy exchange rate that’s still something like 500 USD, but no one has to rain on my parade by reminding me. I’d rather relive my glorious thrifty moment and continue patting myself on the back. You see, I just happened to be strolling through a charity thrift shop in the 16th with a friend, perusing the old books and dented silverware, when I saw it: perched on a rack between the dusty Easter hats and two old ladies trying on knockoff Chanel suits, a brand new-looking baby carrier contraption.

Not having purchased any baby items yet (other than RedSox onesies), I thought, Hey! We’re going to need something to lug around this baby human I’m growing! Because I don’t know much about babies, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to just walk on out of my hoo-hah.

So I lurked around a while to see if anyone had just misplaced this Bjorn thing with no tag. And then I grabbed it and sprinted to the cashier before anyone could say it was theirs. And thus I am now the proud proud owner of a Baby Bjorn baby holder. I cannot WAIT to strap Husband up in that thing with a watermelon for practice.

But aside from feeling ecstatic about finding a truly miraculous bon marché and setting up a precedent of not spending precious champagne dollars on my child, I am slightly saddened by what my life has come to: gloating about discount baby carriers.

And for that, I am so so sorry.




Vocab Friday: March Madness!

What, were you expecting brackets? Cheerleaders? An explanation of why I picked Richmond to go to the final four last year? We’ll you’re not going to find anything like that here. This is France, and the only connection they have to the glorious madness that is the NCAA basketball tourney is the half-French Joakim Noah. And he left for the NBA (Zzzzzzzzzzz) years ago.

Nope, I’ll have to resign myself to watching live updates of the first round games and living vicariously through my old office pool until I get can home and hopefully catch the 2nd and 3rd rounds on TV, preferably with a stack of Matchbox mini-burgers in front of me. In the meantime, I’m gearing up for a whole different kind of March Madness– also known as Parisian weather in the springtime.

It starts off innocently enough: suspiciously long streaks of sunshine, a few days that hover in the 50s, a few daffodils poking up through the defrosting ground. But right when you’ve been lulled into thinking it’s OK to leave the umbrella at home BAM! The wind picks up and the sky lets loose with a barrage of hail. Yes, I said hail.

Five minutes later it’s blindingly sunny again, albeit 20 degrees colder. All of a sudden you can see your breath and want nothing more than to seek shelter and a nice bowl of onion soup. But before you can get to the nearest cafe, the wind starts howling again, this time bringing black clouds and a gush of rain.

By the time you make it home, soaking wet and thoroughly confused, the sun is back to mock you. So you hunker down inside, turn up the radiators, and vow not to step foot outside until May. Except that you wake up sweating to death because the temperature has swung completely in the opposite direction, and when you open the windows for relief a swarm of mosquitos blows in along with a cloud of pollen.

And when you ask your French teacher what the hell is going on, all she can muster is “C’est printemps à Paris. Et les moustiques n’existe pas ici.”

That’s springtime in Paris. And oh, mosquitoes don’t exist here.

*     *     *

Here are a few critical words you’ll need to survive here during the madness that is March:

1. la grêle

Pronunciation: la grell

Definition: Hail

2. le vent

Pronunciation: le vehn

Definition: Wind

3. le soleil

Pronunciation: le so-lay

Definition: Sun

4. les nuages

Pronunciation: ley noo-age

Definition: Clouds.

5. les jonquilles

Pronunciation: ley jon-keeyeh

Definition: Daffodils