Posted by Zen Mama Wannabe | Filed under Books
In another lifetime, I decide to go to Europe upon graduating from college. In another lifetime, I have kept up with my high school French and can follow (understand) a real French conversation – instead of just catching a chance word here or there. In another lifetime, I am not the squeamish vegetarian I am today, and instead enjoy a variety of foods such as foie gras, cassoulet, and andouillette. In another lifetime, while enjoying my exciting Parisian life, I meet a sweet, handsome Frenchman (as wonderful as my American one is today, but one who says my name in that caressing French way that makes me melt every time I hear it) who sweeps me off my feet and adores everything about me (well, almost everything – no one’s perfect – not even in this fantasy of mine).
But alas, this was not the path I chose in THIS lifetime, and although I have no regrets, I do look on a bit longingly at those who ventured where I did not. Which is why I eagerly devoured Elizabeth Bard’s book, “Lunch in Paris – A Love Story with Recipes.” It is a well told recounting by a fellow American who experienced in this lifetime what I did not. I wanted every detail; it was imperative to know if her experience was really what I would want mine to be?
Was it a case for me of the path not taken? No – because there never was a consideration (at the time) for me to do it any differently than I did. I wasn’t interested in traveling the world at age 22 and the call of all things French didn’t ring heavily in my ears. It has only been over time that any/all things French attract me so. When I say my visit to Paris last summer was a real highpoint – a dream come true – it was, only it was a RECENT dream come true. It was certainly NOT a dream I had been carrying around with me for ages.
A motto this Zen Mama Wannabe lives by is a simple one: NO REGRETS. It’s not a hard one to follow if you believe in cause and effect as I do: that each experience was necessary as it leads you to the next. If not for A, then B would not have happened, and so on. It is a belief that all has transpired exactly as it should have – and it is one that brings me peace whenever I look back and think, “Why the heck did I ever do that??”
I am happy with my American life. And when I want/need a little Français (to fulfill this wannabe dream of mine), I find café au lait and profiteroles always help to sooth me over. I do hope a return trip to France is in my future (and sooner rather than later). It will be of course with my American husband and will undoubtedly be for a much shorter period of time than I would truly fancy. I will listen to the chatter around me, not understanding a word, while I struggle to decipher menus (staying far away from meat dishes and animal innards). I will sip wines I have never heard of while the sun is still high in the sky (vacation rules) and enjoy chouquettes that seem to melt in your mouth.
I’m fine with living vicariously through Elizabeth and others – in this lifetime. But if I get another shot (another lifetime – at some other point in time)….well, oh là là!
I received a copy of Lunch in Paris – A Love Story with Recipes through From Left to Write (an online book club made up of over 100 bloggers). For more information, please see http://FromLefttoWrite.com.
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