Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Finding Peace, Then Losing It

I walked into town today and I kept getting this odd, peaceful feeling that all was right with the world. I call it odd because I never feel that way. I’m a worrywart by nature, always anxious, always worrying about something even if there’s nothing to worry about, and peace isn’t something I’ve experienced very often in my life. But I had moments of it today. I was headed to the local supermarket in search of a box to send some unnecessary things home in advance. On my way, I was thinking about the fact that I don’t speak French as fluently as I had hoped I would. Before I came here, everyone said I would come home speaking fluent French. I do speak it way better than before, but I don’t feel like I’ve reached my goal and I only have…and that’s when I realized it. My big sister, Becky, my bestest friend and roommate for so many years, is going to be here in less than one month! I’m not a particularly smile-at-the-world person, and I feel stupid smiling when no one’s around, but I totally smiled when I realized that. I can’t wait ‘til she gets here, even if it means my sejour in France is over.

Before I entered the store, I got the bright idea to check out back, where I stumbled upon the dumpsters full of nice sturdy boxes of just the right size. There was no one around, so I grabbed one and headed home feeling disturbingly pleased with myself. It felt like getting a free lunch; I didn’t even have to ask anyone!

Part of the trail I walk on has trees growing on either side of it that form a canopy over head. I was looking at the ground, at patches of sunlight coming through the leaves. As the sun was being wishy-washy, these patches peacefully grew brighter, then faded, over and over again, having a very calming effect on me. Later, I passed a parked moving van (ooh! An oxymoron!) It was on a quiet street, which cars rarely use, and everything was quiet except for the sound of Johnny Cash crooning from the radio of the moving van. It was all very poetic.

Later that day…

Okay, all is not right with the world. You see, my tube of toothpaste ran out a few weeks ago, so I’ve been using my host family’s toothpaste. This was a great plan until said host family went on a weekend trip, and when they came back, said toothpaste was not returned to its rightful spot on the bathroom sink. There are, actually, two tubes of toothpaste still in the bathroom, but both of them are strawberry-flavored (different brands, bought on the same day; it baffles the mind, I know). Normally, I like strawberries, but not in a toothpaste. Not at all in a toothpaste. It's just plain wrong. It’s ever so slightly minty, so that you feel like you’re brushing your teeth with something toxic. Every time I brush my teeth, and for ten minutes afterward, I have to fight back the urge to gag.

I have an overly sensitive gag reflex, you see, so I’m incredibly particular about what goes into my mouth. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me snails (escargots) have the texture of chicken, you will not ever see me eating one of those slimy, shriveled, turd-resembling monsters.

Jody in Glasgow, New Year's 2006, the first and last
time she ever got drunk (though this photo was taken in jest,
before the drunkeness that left a hole in the bathroom wall)


  1. You need to come sit at my desk and watch my pine trees sway in the wind. Very peaceful feeling.

    I am totally with you on the weird toothpaste taste thing. We bought a huge amount of this aquafresh toothpaste at costco and it tastes like minty oranges and it makes your mouth foam like a rabid dog..... it is soooooo icky. But being the cheapo's that we are, we will use every last tube of that dang stuff, bleh. I cannot WAIT until it is all gone. I will confess to having squirted large amounts of it down the sink (don't tell my husband, he's the cheapo, not me.) I will never make the mistake of buying a different kind of toothpaste again just because it is a little less expensive than the type we regularly buy. NOWHERE on this stuff did it say it was orange flavored. Although it does have an orange stripe on it. I guess that was supposed to be our warning. ACK!!!

    I now have to go back and read about new years eve and the drunken hole in the wall event. You have piqued my interest. (See how I spelled piqued correctly? ha ha!)At least I think I did. It is early yet.

    I am sorry you have a long boring weekend all to yourself. I hate those. I am often faced with that very dilemma when Allen leaves town and it is just Chris and I. He goes to his room to play video games and I wander around like a zombie. I have read every book in my house 400 times and I HATE going to the library or to bookstores. I do not like wandering around downtown by myself so I sit and endlessly flip channels. Or call my family on the phone until they are so sick of my that they start screening the calls. It is pathetic. I am facing 6 weeks of this coming up here. UGH. Can I come to France?

    Oh wait, you have me terrified of the lady in San Francisco.

  2. Actually, I never wrote about the whole in the wall. Jody would kill me if I posted that on the internet. She might just kill me for even mentioning any hole in any wall that may or may not have been in a bathroom somewhere in Scotland.

  3. I wouldn't kill you. I'd just tell people about the time you said that one thing that you said that I'm not allowed to mention because it would prove that you spend too much time on the internet. :)