Skip to main content

You Can't Get Paris Syndrome on Staycation

I just finished reading Z by Therese Anne Fowler, a novel based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. While Zelda's malaise was not exactly Paris Syndrome, she nevertheless had an unfavorable experience with the city and its effects on herself and her incorrigible husband.

Zelda was born into a life of luxury. She married a brilliant young novelist who got fairly rich fairly early in his life. She never needed to get a job to support herself or her family. She had only one child, who was mostly raised by a nanny. She traveled frequently, spoke several languages, danced ballet, exhibited her own talent for writing, and lived in many decadent homes and resorts in several nations. And yet, she and her husband were not as prolific at writing as one might expect, because gin is a helluva drug.

I am a strong believer in travel and adventure as creative inspirations. And yet, sometimes, travel is more trouble than it's worth.

Like when you and your husband can't get all your vacations lined up and you can't afford multiple trips a year (and you have another French-themed adventure on this year's calendar) and your daughter has just begun training with the world's greatest teacher of Shidokan and doesn't want to miss class while he's in town.

only 1/16 French
So this week, which is my daughter's spring break and my vacation from work, I have been enjoying my travels and adventures vicariously. In addition to Z, I thoroughly enjoyed Frog Music by Emma Donoghue, another historical novel about French-speaking people but set in San Francisco. I'm watching artsy French movies and admiring the je ne sais quoi of all those older French women who manage to be fascinating with no makeup, rumpled hair, and clothes that look like they were grabbed in the dark from a corner of the bedroom floor. I think it is the ironclad DGAF attitude combined with the sensuality of the French language itself, but then again, I don't know what it is. I only know that I love it.

Here in the land of Michigan, we are experiencing an unfortunate April blizzard, so we have spent most of this week holed up at home with a large basket of fancy European Easter chocolates, a fine box of Chardonnay, and a toasty fire in the wood stove. I have helped Nux Gallica with two ornate manicures involving a lot of stickers.

We have only left the house for karate lessons, crêpes and lattes at a saucy downtown cafe called For Crêpe Sake, the library for French books and films (including Madeline cartoons for the mademoiselle), and the grocery store for authentic-enough baguettes and wine.

Meanwhile, I have set a challenging goal of writing a good chunk of my novel this week, because if poor old Zelda could get a novel published by age 34 despite her husband's hard-partying ways and her own onset of schizophrenia, I guess I should pick up the pace.

Au revoir!


Popular posts from this blog

35 Great Things About Turning 35

The prime of life starts at 35! It's the best-kept secret from younger people, but your 35th birthday is a major cause for celebration. For mine, I have made my own listicle of 35 reasons why experts agree that 35 is the best age to be:
You get to say, "I'm 35." The number 35 carries so much more gravitas than 30, but you're only a few years older. At 34, I've started fudging my age--by adding a year. People automatically take me seriously, and if they don't, at least they tell me I look young for my age. (Eye roll, hair toss, "whatever.")  35-year-olds DGAF. Inner chill reaches new heights at 35. Despite its #2 status on this list, it's the #1 response I hear about what's best about hitting 35. My gorgeous friend Nerlie was beautiful and resilient and wise beyond her years in high school, but now, at age 35, she gets to fully enjoy being herself on her own terms. She writes,  "I've survived so much that I don't waste time o…

A Bad Romance Starring Till Lindemann, Sophia Thomalla, Gavin Rossdale, Simone Thomalla, Sven Martinek, Andy LaPlegua, and Leila Lowfire

November 2018 Update: Sophia is settled in with Gavin a young soccer player (like mother like daughter) now, I guess, and Till is spending time with 36-year-old (hell yeah, thank you, sir) Ukrainian singer Svetlana Loboda. He is either her latest babydaddy or doing her the favor of bearding as such (not that he's great with beards, but we don't mind--we know how much he loves pregnant and lactating ladies) to help her keep some distance from her crazy ex who cuts his wrists over her. The juice continues...

To misquote Gaga, "I don't speak German, but I can look at foreign tabloids and guess what's going on if you like."

I guess it would be more professional and ladylike for me to be above this sordid celebrity gossip, but I'm not. I'm so not.

So let's see if I've got this straight. From what I gather...

Metalgod Till Lindemann, 54, and model Sophia Thomalla, 27 (upper left) recently exited a five-year, on-off, opennish relationship, which bega…


I've only been waiting 10 years for this. NO BIG DEAL.

As someone who loves history, science, anthropology, art, and Rammstein...

As a descendant of German-Americans who served in both world wars...

As the wife of a Holocaust survivor's son...

This is epically satisfying.

Using an unfortunately hilarious turn of phrase amounting to a gallows pun, German authorities have "condemned" the video before its release (ironically and hypocritically doing all the work of promoting the video and single in the German mass media) because of a teaser depicting executions in a Nazi concentration camp. I find this unsurprising--the German government often censors and speaks out against Rammstein's work (thus increasing their concert ticket and music sales). But all to the good. It is an unfortunate reality that a full third of Americans today are misinformed or in denial about the Holocaust and that anti-Semitism and right-wing hate groups are on the rise in Germany and elsewhe…