Dinner conversation

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I hate to admit it, but I went outside yesterday for the first time since Monday. Gui's mom was coming over for dinner and I knew I would be getting everything ready from about noon because I'm kind of neurotic like that. Leaving the apartment was like coming outside after being swathed in a cocoon for a few days, curious but unsure of what the world would be like now. It reminded me of that movie, I Am Legend, when Will Smith has to stay in hiding all night long until the sun comes back up. Locking the door of the apartment, I felt hopeful that I'd be greeted by warm temps and flip-flop-wearing pedestrians. But, I wasn't. The first guy I ran into was wearing one of those Russian-style fur hats with ear flaps and an ankle-length coat. My hands immediately began to freeze, but I shoved them in my pocket, put my head down and trudged along to Franprix. It was about 10 degrees colder in the store, and my hands went completely numb as I tried to get everything on my list. Neither asparagus nor strawberries were available (madness!), so I had to come up with a new side and dessert dish for the evening. I settled on a salad and moelleux au chocolat (small molten lava cakes).

Everything managed to fall into place for the evening, and I think I'm getting better at hosting dinner. In the past, I always felt a bit of pressure to serve things the "French way," but I'm loosening up a bit more and realizing it's fine to be different. We broke in some new Mikasa glassware we got for Christmas, and dined well on roasted chicken, salade composée, gratin savoyarde, and a nice red wine. I decided that I really enjoy dinners like this - at a dinner table and with proper dinnerware - as Gui and I tend to be more casual when we're getting our grub on (read: eating on a serving tray in front of the TV).

While I was preparing the gravy, Gui let his mom know that we're seriously considering moving to Austin in a year or so. It's something we discussed during our last trip and we've been talking about it since. I'd always known that we'd move back to the States someday, but it was a surprise to hear Gui tell me he'd like to move there soon - like in a year. Of course, I'm ecstatic about the idea, but there's still loads of stuff to work out before we make any concrete plans. It's difficult for me to think about Gui leaving his family and friends because I know how hard it's been for me. Despite his overwhelming reassurances, I still feel like he'd really miss his home, and I don't want him to have any regrets or disappointments once we leave. I could tell his mom was sad when he mentioned it, a little surprised and slightly disappointed. It's hard not to feel like I'm taking her baby away from her.

But, we have a lot of time to work everything out and make some final decisions. These past couple of weeks, though, I've really enjoyed being back in Paris. Sure, Winter in Paris blows, but I've still managed to stay light-hearted and optimistic even through the dreariest days. I know that Spring and Summer are around the corner, and despite having been properly seduced by the charm of my hometown, I'll admit that I'm a little worried that Paris might win me over yet.


Texas Espresso said...

oh man. that is one of the hardest things about being bi-continental. sigh I always feel some guilt about taking my Italian away from his family too. And the same thing applies when thinking about moving to Italy. it sucks but what do you do?

Suly said...

we are going through the same thing right now, but on a much smaller scale. both mark and i love austin and really consider it our home, but his family is all in cali. also, san francisco is such a beautiful city and has a lot to offer. we are completely torn, and there isn't even language/culture shock for us! part of me feels like moving back to tx would be "giving up" on the life we could have out here in ca but i really miss the simplicity and comfort that austin offers us. that, and breakfast tacos of course.

Ksam said...

Ahh, so THAT'S why you were making that fabulous-sounding dinner last night!

And wait til you see Paris in the summer - that's what really won me over!! (Or maybe everything is just better after 5 years in Bretagne, lol).

Emily Marie said...

Let me know when you get started on the paperwork for Gui...I need to get on that as well and have no idea where to begin!

misplaced texan said...

Tx Espresso: It's true, it's something we knew we'd have to face getting into the relationship, but it still doesn't make it any easier.

Suly: Gah, breakfast tacos!! I felt the same way while we were living in Long Beach. It's such an amazing place, but it was never Austin. I think it had more to do with not having our friends around than anything. Hopefully we get to visit y'all before you decide to head back to Austin - if you do!

Ksam: I was here last summer and I remember Paris being so fabulous (although a little stinky in the metro and on the bus), but I haven't spent an entire spring here yet, and I'm dreaming of how picnics in the grass and breezy warm weather will seduce me into staying here. ;)

Emily: We've got the paperwork printed out, but from what others have said and from what we've read, it doesn't take too much time once you get it all sent into the embassy. We're waiting until we have a date or month set to leave before filing everything. But, I'll keep you posted. :)

Notes from Noël said...

Wow! What huge life decisions you have to make! I enjoy life in Paris everyday (yes..even if it's cold and rainy) because I know that my time is limited here. After Paris, who knows where we'll end up.

It must be especially hard because Austin is such a wonderful town. We lived near in The Woodlands (near Houston) for several years and it was way too hot and humid for me! We were lucky to be able to visit Austin a couple of times and actually fell in love with the town, weather, mountains, lakes etc.

Enjoy your time wherever you are because life goes by way too quickly!

Susan in Lille said...

Good job on the dinner! It's funny, I am excited to move back to Texas this year, but I'm a little nervous too. I know that things won't be like they were because now I have known another home for a while. Not to mention the whole "I got married" thing. I hope you get to move back for a while and it works out for both of you!

BTW - I hope you don't mind...I put a link to your blog on mine because I like it so much! I always feel like I should let the author know just in case you don't want to be "out there".

Jim M said...

This is another misplaced Texas couple visiting Paris for my wife's birthday. We left DFW in the aftermath of an ice storm and it has at least been dry here although colder than we would have liked.

We love coming here (Paris) though, and there are no lines and things are not crowded at this time of year. Just have to dress very warmly.

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