Wednesday, September 24, 2008
An American in Paris
When I was a little girl, An American in Paris was my favorite movie....funny, even when I was five the allure of the city was interesting to me. I danced around the living room like Gene Kelly was right there with me, I borrowed my Mother's perfume bottles and imagined dabbing my neck just like Leslie Caron at the Perfumerie, then breaking into song and dance with perfectly coordinated outfits as to match my curtains and the paint on the walls. If you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about.....Paris is magical, the movie captures it so well.
Even now, after I've grown and experienced quite a bit of the world I'm still in awe of the Parisienne lifestyle.
First off, how in the hell do they get away with eating so much damn bread and they remain to stay so very waifish? That is a miracle. Fuck surviving a plane crash, or that fact that Bumblee Bee's defy the law of physics; French people are a science project in the making. How do they do it?? Not to mention that anytime they open their mouths it's to place a cigarette delicately in it, they're walking smoke machines....line up a few Parisiennes to set the mood as I emerge from a "smoke filled dream" me and my Leslie Caron impression and you have a An American in Paris Part Two. Smash hit I'm sure of it.
Tomorrow I leave Paris for Zurich, Switzerland.....at first, I didn't want to leave. I was too much in love with the baguettes. Was? No, am. Then, after a few days here....I couldn't handle anymore of the intense eye fucking that the men were giving me, so it's time to move on.
No, seriously. I get the whole "city of love" thing, from now on anytime I say the name, "Paris" I'm going to get all hot and bothered. Even the homeless people are kind of hot....in that dirty Johnny Depp way. Parisienne men look at you not just as a moving object, or a person walking down the street but as the star in their own porno, starring YOU and THEM, and they're casting it in their heads all. day. long. Or so I believe.
Most people kept assuming I was French (which made me feel less nerdy than normal), then when I shook my head no, "Italiano?"....not going to lie, I got a few scoffs when I finally fessed up to being American. Though, I kept my head tall....Had they looked a bit closer they would have seen the difference just in mannerisms.
I've been studying the difference between "me," or "us" and Parisienne women.....Parisienne women are much more confident than American women. Much. Any shape, any look, they all own their fierceness. From the littlest puff of a cigarette to the biggest spoonful of chocolate mousse (which is incredible here, by the way) they OWN every moment and decision they make. Regret is something I'm quite sure they don't know the meaning of.
It took me at least a day to not curl inside myself anytime I was faced with the "intense eye contact" that is common in Paris....American's, look away. Look straight ahead. Parisienne's, will run straight into a tree before breaking eye contact first.
As I sat in the cafes through Monmartre, or on the steps of Sacre Coeur; as I skipped (literally) down the Latin Quarter and Saint Germaine Des Pres, I watched them....watched what some may confuse as "pompous" or many American's would confuse them as being "rude" or "stand offish" whatever cold adjective we often come up with....I realized they aren't that at all. They're just OWNING IT. "It" being whatever they want "it" to be. They're proud to be Parisienne and proud to be themselves....now, that's a lesson us American's could definitely use......
So as I leave somewhat reluctantly, I am owning "it"; my awkwardness, my characture features, my indecision, my small breasts, my DAYS, everything, my constant craving for nutella? I'm owning it alllllllll.
WHAT ARE YOU "OWNING" TODAY???