Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures


Today is my 9th birthday

On this day nine years ago, I emancipated myself from the US.

I don’t have science, so I can’t remember what it’s called, but one of Stephen Hawking’s theories about space-time is that every possible choice or action creates an alternate universe. I also don’t really have regrets, but I do sometimes think about who I’d be today if I’d made different choices when it came to the Big Decisions in my life — where I’d gone to college, where I’d moved to after college, what jobs I accepted.

Staying in the US isn’t an alternate life I dwell on as I was immensely unhappy when I was there and would have likely remained that way for a long time.

But I left so now I’m free! And I’m nine years old again! Nine was the end of my childhood for me, so I am happy to be back here, just on the cusp of becoming jaded and sarcastic. Yay for my birthday!

Next week

It’s Christmas in July! I don’t like Christmas (maybe I’ll tell you why) but when it’s removed from all its associated trappings (hellish music, screaming children, fake jollity, etc.) I don’t mind it so much. Plus, many learning opportunities ahead!


It’s Memorial Day!

Thanks to a practice which really annoys me, I am now going to be able to remember which holiday marks the beginning of the summer season and which one ends it. The key came in the form of a movie I will never see called LABOR DAY. Here’s the US poster:


And here’s the French one:



Can you guess what, under normal circumstances, would bother me about this? It’s changing an English title into another English title. I mean, I get it: no one in Europe knows what Labor Day is but this practice is generally dumb and confusing.

Even before I heard and read the positively dreadful reviews for this movie (notice complete absence of reviewer quotes!), I wouldn’t have seen it for one big reason: it’s based on a book by Joyce Maynard and I don’t like her at all. I was studying writing when her book At Home in the World came out and one of my professors was exactly the kind of hippy-dippy person to eat it up and she made us read it too. I found the whole thing to be in poor taste and indicative of a person who was still not mature enough (then aged 45) to own up to any decisions she’d ever made. Other opinions are available but that’s the nice version of mine. The mean version is quite nasty and includes lots of foul words used to describe women of whom of I have a very low opinion.