here’s what someone on a message board had to say about the gold chip lacking-ness of american credit cards:
“…[y]ou need the chip – it’s 2008 ! 😀 This is a French invention patented by Roland Moreno in 1974. Since 1992, the chip has been used on all bank cards here… not only in France .. all over Europe. You’re gonna find it on ID Cards, healthcare cards, phone cards, etc, etc… This is no 1980s 😛 ”
this was all i could think about as i spent two hours soaking, hand scrubbing, rinsing, wringing out, and hanging a tiny load of my clothes on a drying rack yesterday. (guess how i feel about british washing machines now.) my hands are raw, and i won’t have dry socks for, like, two days, and this cat is bragging about how high-tech france is? gtfohwtbs.
^ if i knock this over, will i be tumble drying? ^
i’ve started to wonder if feeling negative about oneself becomes what one projects…and, consequently, what one receives back from the universe. the days leading up to my arrival in paris, and the subsequent sucky days that followed, were chock full (chock-a-block, to my british folks) of negativity. that is, it was projected toward me, and i internalized it. i felt/feel low in the self worth department for having left my husband and gone off on what some see as a spree of decadence. (decadence, by the way, never involves having to hand wash one’s clothes in a bathroom sink.)
the month in maui, i was told, was understandable—taking time to deal with things and such—but my continuing to travel has now been described as “mind boggling.” i’m going to explain myself briefly here not because i think i owe an explanation but because i need to air this out for my own self valuation and for the sake of the rest of my time in europe. a bit of a spiritual colonic, if you will. (gawd, what is it with me and talking to you about my bowels?)
my husband is a wonderful person. smart, hilariously funny, talented, and generous. he has many admirable qualities and is gregarious and easy to like. however, he also has some ways that are in opposition with my values, ways which, i eventually learned, he had no intention of changing. we fought and scraped bitterly over the issue right up to the last minute. so when, at the 11th hour, i was asked if i wanted to call off the wedding, i replied honestly: yes. and so it was agreed. we were to start making the awkward calls in the morning.
as awful as i knew it would be, i still felt more relieved than i ever had before. however, when morning arrived, he had changed his mind. calling it off wasn’t what he wanted. he wanted us to be together, to get married, the whole bit.
that wasn’t what i wanted.
this is where i am indeed at fault. despite his love, despite his profound, impassioned decree at that moment, i needed to be honest and say that my feelings from the night before hadn’t changed. God, that’s a hard thing to do, don’t you think? especially because it’s not that i didn’t love him. that i don’t still love him. but incompatible is incompatible. i was aware of this, and yet i still allowed the show to go on because i loved him and didn’t want to hurt him. and because i wasn’t strong enough to trust my gut and walk out on my own. i took the the easier road, and i feel to blame for that.
so okay. i own that. i made a mistake. now, how long should i beat myself up for it? it’s not like the marriage was easy. it’s not like i didn’t go several rounds with myself every month or so. it’s not like leaving in june wasn’t one of the hardest things i’ve ever had to do. granted, i could have gotten that over with three years earlier and saved everybody a lot of time and grief, but i didn’t. sometimes we’re just not strong enough to do what needs to be done. so now i’m stronger and i’m dealing with today and with all the ways in which i lost myself during the marriage. i’m walking out into the world and blinking into its brightness. it was important for me to reclaim myself, my life, and my happiness this way, whether other people understand it or not.
now, though my current preference for paris is to hide in amélie’s room with a crate of pâturages yogurt in saveur noix de coco, i know a little something about taking the easy road. that said, i have to get back on the horse, go back out into the city, and meet some (english-speaking) people. i might not have everyone i’d like cheering me on in this endeavor, but i’ve got myself. i’ve got me, dammit. and “me” is someone that people in general often don’t realize how important it is to have.
^ preach, nina! ^