Friday, July 22, 2005

Bah-humbug to love, bah-humbug to Francophilia.





Yesterday, I planned to go to Versailles. As I am sure, everyone already knows, it is the famous, opulent home of Louis XIV (the sun king). He modeled it after Vaux-le-Vicomte and spent twenty years making sure it was better and bigger in every way. I have never been and as much as I wanted to go, not really looking to going by myself. I had had the opportunity to go with a group of kids from school (but at the time I had had my fill of over-priviledge Americans intent on eating at a MacDonald's in every European city they go to [sadly, I'm not joking), but opted to hit the Musée D'Orsay and the Musée Rodin that day instead.

Well, today, for reasons beyond my comprehension I was not able to make it out to the Chateau today (hopefully tomorrow-- knock on marble, as the french say [according to them, it's much more clever b/c marble is harder than wood...whatever.).

So, I picnic'd in the Luxembourg Garden--so beautiful-- and started HP #5 in french. Shakespeare and Co. still hasn't received the US Scholastic edition! It was a lovely afternoon and I got an odd-shaped sun burn on my left arm and right leg (don't ask).


I feel the need, at this point, to offer a bit of a disclaimer. I am not a francophile. Unlike most of my peers (among those in the States and those abroad in France), I am not a lover of all things French. I do not swoon at the accent, watch old films set in Paris with hopes of someday buying a trenchcoat and a thick pair of heels to tour the city in. I am not passionate about the culture or the people. So many friends and family members continued to remind me (before I left) that I was single-- but not to worry b/c I was going to get over here and meet a hot, greasy frenchman.

Well, whooo-fucking-hooo! Finally, a reason to study abroad. And here I was content to simply learn the language during my time here. What the hell was I thinking.

You see, there are so many girls, women-- even men, who see this city/culture/country as this magical place where-- if only they could get there, it really would be just like the movies. Pretentious Americans who hide behind their knowledge of wines and wine culture, fashion, cuisine, ect. have renounced the barbarism that is the North American lifestyle because they feel it's somehow much better here. It is not that these things do not interest me or are beyond my comprehension. Not at all, in fact I rather enjoy all of the aforementioned nuances of French life. However, I do not derive any sort of power from my knowledge of them nor do I feel somehow more accultured or refined by it. And I am not passionate about them-- or anything else French for that matter.

I chose to study French by default. It's a long story that starts with me as an agri-business major (hoping to one day become a resource lobbyist "friend to both the environment and the farmer") and ends with me simply wanting to graduate before I turn 30 with some kind of degree. Well, here I am. I have been given-- you know what, scratch that, I have worked my ass off to get here. It's a great opportunity (and thank you to those who've helped out along the way), but I am not here to change my life (perspective, maybe learn some lessons? Yes), or to find a mate. This was not ever my hope, and remains far from it. I am content to be single at present. It's true, there are times when taking care of business would be much more fun with someone else, and touring the continent would feel a little less far away from home if I had a companion, but when did I suddenly become surrounded by cretins who believe a woman's worth begins and ends with her spouse (and the number of children they produce). Is it so scandalous, I ask you, that at 24 I am single (and by this, I mean both unmarried and--scandal!: unattached) and not looking to become involved with someone?
From time to time, I am reprimanded by my father for not being feminine enough (read: whore-ish [my dad's idea of beauty is very different from my own). He wonders if I am gay (he doesn't share with me stories about his personal life and I refuse to offer up ones about mine just to appease his homophobia and ancient concepts of femininity). Who knows, maybe someday, I will bend to a different standard. But, until then, I. AM. NOT. LOOKING. STOP. PESTERING. ME. ABOUT. IT.*

And that takes care of the ranting portion of today's post.

Elsewhere on Serena Abroad.com today, I added a couple links to other blogs. Be sure to stop by "Disgusting Girl I Work With." I spent three solid hours crying and peeing and falling off my chair. Madman is hysterical and offered some much needed comic relief after a particularly disappointing phone call home.

*If you are a family member or friend who is lucky to receive one of those very expensive phone call-thingys from me after not hearing from me in weeks (or possibly months), don't-- I repeat-- do not let the first words out of your mouth be: "So, are you seeing anyone?" or "Have you met any cute guys?"

3 Comments:

Blogger Serena said...

Another long, tedious post. Whew!

11:47 PM  
Blogger madman said...

Well--are you seeing anyone? I like your blog--it sounds like you are having more fun than I!

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Eric Andrew said...

Parents suck. I agree. I almost got in a heated conversation with one of mine since being here in France, I told him I did not want to have this conversation over the phone...so I guess we will have a talk when i get back. Who knows...see you soon. I think we will have to do the movie Saturday if we are at Disney on Friday...

3:13 PM  

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