Oh did I interrupt you from your googling? Are you searching how to make conversation with people at parties? Or, how to get invited to parties? Or how to hang out with other people besides your immediate family? Oh you’re not? Me neither. Yeah. No way. I’m definitely not googling that. I’m googling articles about ancient poetry, how to take care of my luxury convertible and ideas for preventing too many people falling in love with me. Oh you’re googling, “vegan bagels.” Oh. Yeah. That makes sense too.
Anyway. I have been thinking a lot lately. Je pense. . . beaucoup. Like my mind is just full of quarante thoughts. Some of them are French thoughts and some of them are English thoughts. Well, mostly they are English thoughts. Mostly, I’ve been thinking about my identity. It’s changed a lot in the past couple years. Three years ago I would have said I was a “gregarious, typical, yet interesting American” and “the kind of person you immediately trust with your bank account numbers.” Now, I don’t know. I feel like I am:
- kind of a hermit.
- fake French
What does it mean to take on an identity that is not your own? It’s like I have immigrated to France without leaving America. Is that strange? I mean when I do actually leave my 8 x 8 office, I go to parties and events with mostly French people. Often they speak a lot of French. The other day there was another American there and I was really excited. I kind of wanted her to form a club with me called “Americans who are Somewhat French.” I don’t know if she would have wanted to join this club. It would probably depend a lot of on if there were snacks or activities in the club. If there was like a game of petanque every Sunday, I bet she would have wanted to join. If the club was mostly just a Facebook group where I posted inspirational French sayings, then maybe she would have said she was really busy.
As much as this is not the political climate for elitist ideals, I am constantly forming clubs. I think this allows some people to feel hand selected and others to feel like, “Wow. I wonder what’s going on in that club. That club looks pretty wild. I bet they are up to some pretty crazy stuff in that club. ” The problem is that most of my clubs have only one member. That member is me.
When I sat down to write this internet memo from me to you, I was going to originally mention the Galette de Rois party that I attended this weekend. It was really fun, except for that one part where they picked the oldest person and that person had to get under the table and call out the order of people who would eat the cake. I happened to be the oldest person. I am going to write a letter to France and tell them to change this tradition. Instead of age it should be based on something like, “Have you ever won the Friendliest Person Award in both fifth and eleventh grade?” Or, “Did you get a mediocre
score on your SATs but good enough to get you into a really awesome college?” Or “Do you often impress yourself with your own dance moves?” See. If any of these were the questions, I would have won the prize of crawling under the table and calling out names. Instead it was just because I’m trente-deux ans. And, worse. My back really hurt when I was crawling under the table. I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do it. I should form a back injury club. That would be exciting.
Allors, we are learning numbers in my French class. Here’s the thing about my French class this term. I used to be the best student. I was like the most amazing French student last semester but then this term my mom and I were waiting in the hallway and all these new French students walked in. They not only had the textbooks from this term, but also from some other term. They were totally different textbooks. These students looked smart and cool and sort of French. They said they had taken private lessons with my teacher. Private lessons! When we had the class, they could talk in full sentences and they hardly got any answers wrong. Sadly, I got a lot of answers wrong. My French scarf couldn’t even save me. Now, I’m only a moderate French student. Merde! What the baguette! I should be the top one. This is going to require a lot of studying and a lot of help from Vincent. I wonder if I just keep working on dressing French I will get better at speaking French. Oh mon dieu.
Oh shoot. I should go. This one club I’m in, called “Awesome Anonymous,” is meeting in about ten minutes. I have to prepare my argument for being in the club using the three pillars of rhetoric by Aristotle. It’s going to be amazing. It’s so strange there aren’t more people in the club.