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This Square Peg.

Happily Not Fitting In Since 1978.

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French

Blogvember #9: Meanwhile, in Paris…

…she has given me life. Liiiiife. 

Ride your vélo in those awesome heels, my lovely Parisienne. Rock your style. 

I love this. Happy Wednesday. 

Ma Maison et Mon Travail.

Went really French on you, didn’t I? But you’re used to that. Translated, it means my house and my job. Because, dear readers, after a month in my new surroundings, I’m happy to announce that I was recently hired at a new job and recently moved into my brand new apartment. We will pause for celebration.

Needless to say, I was anxious about these two things. Initially, I was staying with a kind, hospitable friend who allowed me to rent a room in her home while I figured out where I was going and what I was doing. My plan wasn’t to stay with her for eternity, so there was that particular anxiety. The kindness of others is always welcomed, but I also didn’t intend on overstaying my welcome. Secondly, since Idris hasn’t yet arrived with our marriage license and the key to our villa, your Square Peg needed a job.

The good things: a recruiting firm that I contacted early in the year, once I firmly decided on moving, was still quite open to helping me. Also: my car afforded me the chance, on days I wasn’t interviewing, to drive around and visit apartment complexes in the area. So after a few weeks of interviews and conversations with potential employers, and visiting an inordinate amount of complexes, and lots and lots of prayer…

Enter ma maison and mon travail. Again, let us celebrate.

Ma maison. I live in a nice, simple 1 bedroom place in a Dallas suburb. (I would be more specific, but…nope.) It’s quiet, save for a Chihuahua that occasionally has something to say, but he’s largely silent. As far as furniture, I have a bed and a very comfortable armchair. So you can imagine all the Pinterest decor boards currently overflowing with all the ideas I have for the remainders of furnishings and decorating to come. I’m a simple Square Peg: I basically want ma maison to look like Paris on a weekday. Lovely, uncomplicated, filled with croissants. Updates and photos will come.

Ma travail. It’s my third day at this new environment (a direct hire via that recruiting firm, yay), so everything is still minty and fresh and new. Nevertheless, my colleagues have been great so far and I’m acclimating well. Of course, the same Norse gods that secretly lived in my cubicle at the old OK Corral and blew icicles in the air apparently followed me here (search under “cold” to learn about my inability to stay warm; according to my mother, this is why), which resulted in purchasing a space heater and walking these halls draped in my usual scarf. But c’est la vie. I’m hopeful for this new professional path.

So here we are. Living on my own once again (it’s been twelve years since I had my very own place) and starting fresh with new employment. Onwards and upwards…

Oh, you want to celebrate again? Let’s.

Geneviève.

That’s the name I’ve given my wig.

SN: wigs are like sliced bread when it comes to my eternal love and devotion. I can slap a wig cap over my two-strand twists that I didn’t feel like taking out–which is exactly what’s going on as we e-speak–and transform my entire look for the day. Pretty cool, no?

Anyway, this morning, I decided that my new wig needed a name. And why not? I name all the other inanimate objects in my life. Cars (Kelly Kapowski Corolla for my first car and um, Idris for my current vehicle), pens, etc. After mulling it over and realized that this particular wig is classy and smooth, I named her Geneviève. Yep, with the French spelling and pronunciation. The name Genevieve (American style) has always slayed me; I went to school with a Genevieve and was struck with wonder by her interesting name. Years later, when I wrote The Cruelty Papers, a short story that kind of transformed things for me as a writer, the protagonist was named–you guessed it–Genevieve. But the story doesn’t end there. When I first went to Europe in 2004, my lovely hostess and friend Clara and I were talking about baby names one afternoon, as we sat in a park in Geneva, Switzerland. (Sounds like a dream, no? Looking back, sometimes it seems like it was.) It was a random conversation for sure; at the time, she and her hubby didn’t have children and weren’t planning on having them (that changed some years later) and I loved discussing creative baby names but had no plans on birthing any (that hasn’t changed lol). Anyway, I told her about my love for the name Genevieve.

Clara: Ah, Geneviève. (Gen-e-vee-ève)
Me (gaping at her and drooling): I love the way you say it.
Clara (smiling): Yes, it’s the French way.

Indeed.

Bid a bonjour to Geneviève, won’t you?

The last pic on the far right is from today, as we e-speak.

Happy Friyay, y’all, and bon weekend.

Gen3

Meanwhile, in Paris: To All the Crêpes I’ve Loved Before…

…bow before your benevolent mistress.

crepeParis

It was inevitable that I, a faithful lover of crêpes since my aunt introduced me to them when I was about six years old, would enjoy one of my favorite desserts in the country of its birth. I ate it in seconds, pausing only for one of my girls to snap this photo of me. (Can we talk about her marvelous photo, by the way? Capturing that lovely Eiffel and the breathtaking moon all in one fell swoop? I still hold my breath when I look at this picture.)

A few things:

  • Inside the crêpe was warm Nutella chocolate. So basically all of my dreams coming true and life being given.
  • You’ll notice my one gloved hand. It was chilly that evening, but I certainly had to eat my beloved delicacy with a free, naked hand. Enter the quirky compromise.
  • See that joy in my eyes? This is what crêpes do.

All right, that’s my cue to stop before I start penning sonnets.

Want to tell me everything about your favorite dessert? Make it good and yummy. 

Meanwhile, in Paris…

Parisienne4
Image courtesy of Pinterest, which was courtesy of Vicki Archer, who I am now following on Pinterest..

I think this Parisienne embodies my future life in the City of Lights. In every way you can think of.

Bursting with a thousand words, and I agree with every letter.

Happy Friday, and bon weekend, mes amis.

Meanwhile, (back) in Paris…

…we did a photo shoot in the City of Lights during our trip. One of my girls is developing a travel site and wanted some shots of the three of us gallivanting around the city. Here are three of my favorite shots (honestly, all of the photos are my favorite); I’ll share more as we merrily go along here on This Square Peg.

paris20161

Groupphoto1

groupphoto2

So here’s the thing:

  1. It was freezing that morning. That statement deserves italics: it was freezing that morning. As you can see, we didn’t have jackets, scarves, or gloves on in these photos, and we also wore our fancy shoes to and from le metro and on the streets. So yeah: cold, cranky, and craving a pair of flats. At least that was me.
  2. But I eventually appreciated, in line with the above, that such is the life of ladies who want lovely photos. My girls reminded me more than once about all those episodes of America’s Next Top Model I watched back in the day: you suffer for beauty and you smize while doing it. To get that dreamy light you see in the photos and to capture our chocolate selves in this amazing city, being cold/cranky/craving flats was worth it. And it really was. When we finally got back home and rubbed Aspercreme on our poor feet and limbs, we whooped with delight about the whole experience.
  3. My friends really are amazing. They didn’t have to ask me to join the photo (and real talk: I was minutes from going right back home on le metro when that cold air hit me) but they did. And I have these amazing pictorial memories to show for it.
  4. Our photographer was everything you imagine photogs to be: creative, intent on capturing awesome shots each and every time, and very comfortable with ordering us to “smile at each other!” over and over again. He was a delight.
  5. Parisians love seeing three women walking around the city as they pose for photos. We received more than a few smiles, curious stares in our direction, and a thumbs up from a funkily dressed lady who passed us by on the sidewalk.

It really was fun. As this Friday wears on and I find myself feeling slightly blue/down/not myself, it’s nice to reminisce and find a smile on my face as I recall that morning.

Have a lovely weekend, all.

Meanwhile, in Paris…

…I don’t know what it is about Parisian doors.

Maybe it’s the promise of all the macarons that await me inside?

Could it be the handsome homme who awaits me inside, armed with the yummy crepes that he made me for brunch?

Or maybe it’s the lovely architecture of the les portes themselves, so artistic and majestic and ready to be captured on film so they can be adored long after I have reluctantly departed from them?

One can only guess. During my February trip to Paris, I took a few photos of said doors. Here are some of them.

Frenchdoor1

Frenchdoor2

Frenchdoor3

Meanwhile, in Paris…Round-Up #3 (Drama at Versailles!)

What drama, you ask?

Nothing. But while touring the majestic palace one morning during our trip, I gazed at the staircase shown below…

StaircaseParis

…and imagined an opulently dressed daughter of a marquis fleeing down the stairs in order to avoid meeting the ancient, pockmarked duke her parents had betrothed her to. I saw the fear and panic on her face as she descended in haste, heard her rapid breathing, and I got lost in my little imagined play as a swell of fellow tourists passed me by.

Again, I’m a writer. It’s what we do.

Can you see it, too? The better question: what do you see when you look at this staircase? Tell, tell…

Meanwhile, in Paris…Round-Up #2 (L’Homme at Pont Neuf)

So we know the Parisians exude a disaffected level of coolness that drips all over the cobble-stoned streets as they nonchalantly move past your wide, touristy eyes. Throw in their natural ability to look like images right out of the latest copy of a French fashion magazine. That said, during our trip, the disaffected, fashionable cool was all around us. Case in point: as my friends and I made our way across Pont Neuf, the famed bridge (per Wikipedia, it’s the “oldest standing bridge across the river Seine”), one of my girls caught sight of a guy adjacent to us. He was ostensibly headed to work. He was wearing a suit. He was glancing down at his phone. All the things we see on a daily basis, whatever city we inhabit.

But there was just something about this homme.

Owing to the fact that I have ninja photography skills (it comes from commuting to work and seeing a variety of things that, if not captured on a camera, would hardly be believed), I snapped a quick photo of him. Please feast your eyes below, won’t you?

ParisCool

Look at that ensemble. Look at it.  Look at his scarf. His tie. His briefcase. Look at all the blue. Oh, the effortlessness of it all. Perhaps beauty–and/or French cool–is in the eye of the beholder, but all three of us beheld him and thought the same, exact thing: there’s just something about Guillaume. (I gave him a name. I’m a writer. It’s what I do.) After snapping my ninja photo, we continued on our way, discussing just what it was about him that captured our attention so. In the end, it was basically that drip drip of French je ne sais quoi. No complaints here.

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