Each day I’m becoming a little bit more French, I think. This became clear this last week when somebody asked me how I was. Instead of the usual, “fine thank you”, I actually told them how I was. I couldn’t believe I did it! Particularly since things weren’t all that great.
I don’t know if this is true everywhere in the U.S. but normally “ How are you” is a pleasantry. People don't really expect to get much more than a "great...and you?" Here in France, when you ask, people often actually tell you. Good or bad, but frequently the bad. And I’m assimilating.
So my job this week was to learn the French way to explain just how crummy I felt.
So, you ask, how are you Delana? Go ahead, I dare you to ask!
I’m not going to turn around the pot here (beat around the bush). I need to call a cat a cat (call a spade a spade) I’m really not on my plate (I’m out of sorts) and I have the cockroach (I have the blues). I have more than fifty brooms (I’m over 50 years old) and I have borrowed a road (taken a path) that, at least this week, I’m not sure I should have taken.
It’s a little like floating all the time. I have no family here though I do have friends. But my friends really don’t know me nor I them, because we haven’t reached that point of communication. I live in a furnished apartment where I own almost nothing; prepared to leave at a moment's notice. Yet I don’t want to take my clicks and my clacks (clean up and clear out). When I visit the United States, I am just that…a visitor. Yet, I’m really a visitor here.
I have no job because it’s against the law for me to work, so I’m really not a contributing member of society. I’m a mother by telephone, a daughter by skype, and a sister through email. And sometimes, at least this week, it makes me feel like I count for butter (count for nothing).
Yes, I want to have the butter and the money from the butter (have my cake and eat it too). This move to France was my choice and I have no regrets. But some weeks it just gets to be too much.
Today it’s raining ropes (raining cats and dogs). Not so good for the mental health. Maybe I’m just dreaming that I'll ever understand this language. It might just be when the chickens have teeth (when pigs fly). I just don’t want to make white cabbage (to fail completely).
So I need to continue to put my hand in the dough (put my shoulder to the wheel). Because by the time I reach the point of eating dandelions by the roots (pushing up daisies), I want to be able to have a true conversation in French.
The carrots are cooked (the die is cast) and it’s not all cooked (not in the bag). I have not left the inn (I’m not out of the woods).
There, aren’t you so happy you asked how I am? In fact, the blues have passed. This happens from time to time and at least now I am aware of it and also aware that it will go. But I thought you should see what I’m up against! I mean geez, it’s enough to learn vocabulary and grammar. But when somebody says something like “you’re running on my bean” in French, how the hell am I supposed to know they actually mean “you’re getting on my nerves”. It kind of puts a girl in nice bed sheets (in a fix).