Rainy Valentine

by

My plans were effectively shot in the foot with the weather being cold, rainy, and generally blech.  I did not want to walk anywhere today.  Go anywhere today.  Or do anything today.

Frankly, I am astounded I got out of the house.

Yet, out I went.

I struggled a little this morning with my routine and I just gave up the idea that I had it all figured out, I obviously did not, I forgot to dry my hair after the shower–I came downstairs and was like, did I forget something?  Uh, yes, to dry your hair, I realized as the water dripped down my back as I was getting dressed.

I was discombobulated for no particular reason.

I let myself take it easy and instead of rushing about to get to a spot by noon, I switched gears and headed elsewhere.

And got just what I needed.

Plus coffee at a new cafe with new friends.

I shared about my move and marveled at the response I got from the women about what I was doing.  Much applause, much admiration, much, much, much.

It was astoundingly self-affirming.

The best kind of Valentines Day gift, acknowledging that I am doing a damn good job with my life and where I am at.  The weariness wore off and despite the chill of the day, I did indeed do a little walking.  I was going to go to a museum, taking a ferris wheel ride in this weather was absoulutely out, but I found myself drifting towards the warmth of a cafe.

I walked through an unknown neighborhood, which as it turns out had a vast amount of galleries with some absolutely amazing art.  I saw Chagall’s and Picasso’s and sculptures and gorgeous window displays.

Skull and Butterflies

Skull and Butterflies

I wandered onto Rue Faubourg St. Honore.

I did window shopping.

No other kind of shopping was going to be happening for me in this neighborhood, but it was fun to walk through it none the less.

I did not feel less than.

The coffee with the ladies had really helped.  I had thought, what do I have in common with these women?

Really?

Look at how they are dressed and look at the jewelry they are wearing and listen to the things they are….

Wait, they are saying the same things I am, it’s just outside stuff.  The stuff they have is just different from the stuff I have.  We are all equal.  I may not have a golden square-cut 3 carat diamond surrounded by pave diamonds on a platinum band.

Nope.

However, I believe that the woman I was talking to would have given it over in a minute to have done some of the things I was talking about.

“I want so much to write a book,” she said over her 9.50 Euro teeny tiny salad, “it just terrifies me though, I cannot write.  I just cannot.”

I can no longer argue for my own limitations.

I can write.

I do write.

I get to read and write and walk and spin my umbrella in the rain and on the occasion when it’s a special day and I am living in faith and I believe that it is ok to treat myself to a little special bit of Paris, I can go to Odette & Aime for steak tartar.

Odette & Aime

Odette & Aime

I can have a seat on the cozy banquette and regard the rainy day from the warm of the cafe.

I can read a book.

I can daydream.

I can observe.

Lunch date

Lunch date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ate a delicious ‘bouef de tartar’ and melted into the seat and enjoyed every bite and did not freak out that I did not have enough.  I haven’t bought myself a meal in Paris in over a month, I can afford to enjoy my life.  I am allowed.  I would have done it for anyone else.

Every time I balked at being nice to myself today, I thought back to about seven and a half years ago when I was told to take myself on a date.  I had no clue what to do and she said, if it was Valentines Day what would you do for the person you were dating.

Oh.

Well, I would do this, and this, and this, and that, and then this.

She smiled, “excellent, now go do those things for yourself.”

What would I do if I was on a date with a romantic partner in Paris?

Well, I would go for a walk.  Paris is known for being a good walking city.

Check.

I would have a leisurely lunch, I would definitely have steak tartar as it is one of my favorites.  I would skip dessert, but I would, yes, please, I would have a hot latte.

Un cafe creme, s’il vous plait.

cafe creme

cafe creme

And I would get some flowers for the person.

I had walked past the flower shop and perversely did not go in and buy anything.  I had almost walked past the cafe too, if truth be told.

You don’t deserve it, an evil little voice whispered.

Fuck off.

I do too.

I got a message from a lady bug and that rather sealed the deal, what would I tell her?

Go buy the damn flowers.

I did.

I went back and picked out some very pretty white roses and some deep magenta and violet gerber daisies.

Les Fleurs

Les Fleurs

It was really sweet to be in the flower shop too, surrounded by people in love, or lust, or like, all gathered together getting flowers for those in their lives.  I stood happily in line holding my purchase and was mightily impressed with the care the woman took to make my bouquet pretty, sheathed in pink tissue, rearranged, shed of the plastic they had been bunched in, swaddled finally in brown paper and tied with a ribbon.

There would have been a time where I would have said, “don’t bother, they’re just for me.”

Please, bother, they are for me.

I loved walking back up the hill with my bouquet of flowers.  I felt loved and taken care of, full of good food and good humor.

Topping it off?

I got a card today.

On Valentines Day!

I got a card.

CArd

Card

Granted it was a thank you card, but it still felt like I got a load of love right when I needed it.  That is what this day is about, letting the love in.

Thank You

Thank You

 

No, thank you.

A mille bisous from Paris with love.

 

 

 

 

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