“What happened to you?” all six of you may be asking. I was doing so well, what with those ten thousand word accounts of my vacation that nobody was reading. I jest, of course. My mom and dad were reading them. I’m a real hit with my parents. I was really in the groove with this blogging thing. Then a few things happened that took me away from this little site, some happy and some stupid.
I’ll start with the happy: B moved in to my apartment. I don’t know what I was anxious to tell my family and friends about this development. My parents are old hippies that lived together for the better part of a decade before getting married, so I probably should have anticipated that they would regard this as good news. Half my friends are living in sin, for reasons that range from the deeply romantic to the flatly economic. Yet I still anticipated a chorus of “It’s too soon!” and “Young people these days move in together far too early!” and something about cows and milk and my rapidly degenerating looks. Well, either my looks have already degenerated to the place that everybody thinks I should just take whatever I can get, or B is actually a really terrific guy, because everyone I’ve told about this news has been nothing but congratulatory.
I’ll admit that it’s kind of a big deal for me, as I’ve never lived with anyone before. In fact, in the five years I’ve been living alone, I’ve been the poster child of judgment towards those who rush to cohabitation, projecting all my own fears onto the happy couples around me. Fun, right? To be honest, most of my previous relationships led me to assume that living with someone was going to be a huge pain in the ass. A lot of my relationships were with guys that owned giant Jagermeister posters and left Coors Light cans and dirty dishes around the house, the kind of men who looked at an empty garage or dining room and thought “What a perfect space for a beer pong table!” It had genuinely never occurred to me that living with someone could actually make my life better, or easier, or simply more fun. Living with B does all of those things.
One thing that is especially strange for me is that having him around 24/7 doesn’t annoy me. He left for a few days earlier this week and I spent the whole time moping around my apartment. I’ve realized that I actually like it much better when he is around than when he isn’t, something that might make anyone who has known me for a long time gasp. We’ve been having a really great time getting everything set up for the two of us, including purchasing a giant poster for our bedroom that reads “Après le fait, mais avant le déluge.” Cohabitation is awesome, people.
Now for the stupid stuff. First of all, I decided in B’s brief absence to do one of these juice/raw food detox things that I’m constantly reading about on the internets. I chose the one that Gwyneth Paltrow did on her lifestyle blog GOOP, which I read with rapt fascination week after week. Feel free to strip me of my intellectual street cred immediately. Anyway, it’s basically no red meat, alcohol, sugar, dairy, caffeine, shellfish, wheat products, and nothing in the nightshade family. Basically everything that comprises my totally hedonistic diet. I’d been having some lingering health problems that I won’t bore you with and I hoped that it would help me feel better. The good news: it did! The bad news: I would kill myself if I had to eat like for more than a week. All I could think about was my next disappointing meal. I literally spent the whole week fantasizing about the things I couldn’t eat, to the point where B actually came home to find me rolling around on the couch in a fugue state muttering “pizza.” Anyway, now I’m trying to exercise this horrible thing called “moderation,” which means that I haven’t really been going out to eat very much, given that the French philosophy of cooking tends toward adding more butter until delicious. We’ve also figured out though the process of elimination that I may have developed a late-life allergy to raw tomato skin, a realization that has sent me into a blithering state of mourning for BLTs and caprese salad. At the same time, I’m glad it isn’t something else and better, like cheese or cured meat or booze.
The other stupid thing: I fell down the stairs. I knew that this would happen eventually, what with the three flights of steep, slippery, uneven stairs that I pound up and down daily and my lifelong penchant for clumsiness. I could actually do an entire feature on the stupid injuries I’ve incurred over my lifetime. But I really nailed the stairs when it finally happened. I hadn’t seen B in a few days and was off to meet him at his old apartment. I had bought him a jar of tartufo (white truffle paste) as a gift, which I had in a bag in one hand, I wasn’t holding the railing because I was fumbling with my iPod with the other hand as I began running down the stairs, which happened to be wet because it was raining and my neighbor’s dog is like an animate sponge. I promptly slipped on the top stair and tumbled down an entire flight of twenty stairs, somehow managing to make it around a curve and crashing headfirst into my downstairs neighbor’s front door. I screamed the entire way down, so everyone in my building rushed out of their apartments to see what had happened. While I was really quite hurt, I was so mortified at the small crowd of concerned French people examining my crumpled limbs that I couldn’t do anything but aggressively apologize for the noise. One of my neighbors is apparently a doctor, and he looked me over in case I had a concussion (I bashed my head twice). The biggest casualties seemed to be my now black-and-blue ass, which took a significant percentage of the stairs, and my right arm, which looks like it received an Indian burn from Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1984. My left arm was miraculously unscathed, as I somehow managed to hold it high in the air as I fell so that I wouldn’t break the jar of tartufo. Yes, I’ll go ahead and say it for you: my priorities are probably pretty warped if I managed to protect a jar of mushroom paste over my skull.
I’ve effectively been a rickety mess since I fell, as everything seems to hurt and I’m nothing if not an excellent complainer. I’ve also been enjoying far too much the reaction that strangers have to my terrifying bruises. B and I were at the vegetable market yesterday and I noticed the cashier gawking at my arm as I handed him a bag of lettuce. The cashier immediately shot a hateful gaze at B, who smiled uncomfortably, unaware of his sudden interpellation as an abuser. I almost cracked up. B has since been enjoying telling people that I “fell down the stairs” in scare quotes. Domestic abuse isn’t funny, of course, but it’s helped to lighten the mood while I look like a human punching bag.
Anyway, sorry for being a slacker the past week. There will be new food-related content in the next few weeks, including the inaugural entry in a series called HUNGERDOME (two restaurants enter, one restaurant leaves!). See you soon!