Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My So-Called Glamorous Life


(happier times at the Places des Vosges)

We expat Paris-dwellers are perceived to have the ultimate good life.

Our friends and family back home fantasize about us spending our days strolling on the banks of the Seine as cherry blossoms rain down upon our heads. We head back to our exquisitely-appointed apartments, all of which come with a view of the Eiffel Tower, Louis XV furniture, and a bottle of champagne chilling in a silver bucket.

No matter what bad things befall us - broken limbs, swine flu, car accidents - the mere fact that we live in Paris makes it all better. By virtue of living here, our lives of suffused with glamour.

It probably won’t help matters, but I’ve decided to create a “glamour scale” to make an objective assessment of the glamour level of my days. With this scale, I will attempt the convey the truth of my life in Paris.

The scale goes from 0-10, with "10" being the equivalent of me having a strawberry-and-champagne brunch on top of the Eiffel Tower during Fashion Week with the world's top models, Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and -- let's see -- Johnny Depp, who keeps lavishing me with an embarrassing amount of attention.

At the other end of the scale, a 0 on the glamour equals... well, let's take a look at Monday.

***

On Monday, after my son’s violin lesson (glamour scale: 5)

I took the kids to the playground at the Place des Vosges (glamour scale: 7)

After a half-hour of pleasant play in this lovely 17th century square (glamour scale: 7)

My 20-month old ran away from the sandbox and I had to chase after him (glamour scale: 4)

While I caught up with him, I see my 3.5 year old standing in the sandbox, looking around for me (glamour scale: 4)

As I urge 20-month old back to the sandbox, I see 3.5 year old drop his pants (glamour scale: 2)

I scoop up baby and race back to the sandbox, screaming “Noo! Nooooo!” (glamour scale: 0)

I arrive as he’s just finished peeing into the sandbox at Place des Vosges (glamour scale: 0)

All the other parents are staring at us in disbelief? disgust? as I pull up my confused little boy’s pants and gently scold him (glamour scale: -10)

I grab the kids’ shovel and bucket, scoop up the pee-soaked sand, and toss it into the grass (glamour scale: -15)

I defiantly let the kids continue to play, determined not to slink off in shame (glamour scale: 1)

After a respectable amount of time has passed (5 minutes), I throw the kids and their toys in the stroller and peel out of there -- heading to the anonymity of the rides at St. Paul. (glamour scale: 5)

Total Glamour Score: 0.8333333

So there you have it. This is my so-called glamorous life.

8 comments:

Lost In Cheeseland said...

Oh my goodness, this is too funny! I hope you share this with all of your friends back in the States. Perfect representation of misunderstood glamour :)

Fanny said...

LOL Lovin' the glamour scale :)

parisimperfect said...

This is genius! So funny. Also, that picture up top is adorable! Must help with the non-glamorous parts to know you have a super cute kid :)

paris parfait said...

Ha ha ha ha ha! Even so, friends and family at home will still think whatever you have to go through isn't so bad, because you're in Paris. I lived in Paris for ten years and every single person I know was convinced I was living a life of complete glamour and indulgence. Even when I wrote about the bureaucracy and challenges of life in Paris, it was still, "Yeah, but you're in Paris!" :)

Holly said...

LOL Love it! The fact is parenting is not a very glamorous job. As for the French & their dirty looks... you handled it just right!!

Barb said...

@Lindsey - Hah! I'm going to link this to my FB page...that'll get the message across!

@Fanny - glad you enjoyed. thanks for commenting!

@Sion - aww, thanks! The cuteness factor definitely helps!

Barb said...

@paris_parfait - You're right - it's a losing battle. And the bureaucracy here ...don't get me started....

@Holly - thanks for the support! I was so mortified but damned if I'd show it!

Leah Marie Brown said...

LOL! Brilliant! I love this post even though it shatters my illusion of living the uber-glam life in Paris! (Does this mean Johnny Depp isn't hanging around your flat, showering you with compliments?)