Friday, February 24, 2012


Yesterday was not my favorite day. Hectic, I believe, is an accurate word to describe such a day. Perhaps another, better person would have been able to take all that was thrown at me in stride, but I tend to bubble with uncontrollable frustration when so many things go wrong.

The day started out fine enough. Kellen and Bode had yet another sleepover at my apartment and aside from a small quarrel the previous night about not wanting to share a bed and some kicking, they were perfect guests. We woke up and had breakfast and I awaited word from their parents on what exactly would be happening that day. According to our conversation the night before, Todd was coming to pick them up and the whole family would be off to Belleau Wood to reminisce over some WWI battlefield that Todd was particularly excited to visit. However, instead of an email update, I received a call from an unknown caller who turned out, in fact, to be Abigail.

"We're taking Sam to the American hospital," she told me, cool as a cucumber, "he fell off the bed and cracked his head on the glass table and I think he may need stitches."

I don't exactly know how to properly respond in these situations and the weight of her words didn't sink in until later. Plus she had spoken with such a calm manner that I responded in kind saying that the boys and I would have fun until we heard from them.

Not knowing just how they would be able to contact me I decided that sticking around the apartment was the best tactic and so had to rack my brain for ideas on what we could do. We started with some hide and seek which of course, in an apartment this size, resulted in each seeking lasting only a few minutes. I eventually started helping the boys hide so that they could, at the very least, have sessions that lasted a bit longer.

From there we went on to coloring because I, by some miracle, happen to have a set of colored pencils and more than enough blank pieces of paper. This went smoothly until Bode became frustrated with the fact that his drawing was not as good as Kellen's. So I brought out a thick black marker and drew an amateurish outline of the Eiffel Tower for him to color in. This seemed to calm the waters but it was only later that I noticed that the marker had leaked through onto the table and I can only pray that nail polish remover will remedy this.

You see, for some reason, I am absolutely terrified of my landlord. Perhaps it is because I have a roommate that she did give an "ok" for, or perhaps it is because I really really really want my deposit back. Whatever the reason, anytime anything goes wrong my chest fills with a terrorizing tightness and I scramble frantically for any solution. But the marker on the table paled in comparison to the fiasco that occurred only a few hours later.

After the tattooing of the table I decided that vegging out until the family arrived would be the best thing to do and was, in fact, what I felt most like doing. The little altercations over who had which color of pencil and other trivial quarrels would certainly stop once some moving pictures were placed in front of them. So, like any good Aunty, we sat down to eat some chocolate and watch some Disney.

Hours after the bizzarre call from Abigail, she and Todd buzzed and they came up with a giggling Sam who now possessed to freakish looking staples in the back of his gigantic pumpkin head. A bit of blood matted his angelic blonde hair but he did not seem to mind one bit. The whole family rested here for a moment before returning to their apartment, their Bellawood trip cancelled.

Upon their departure I noticed that some pigeon who had apparently eaten something greasy and gastric-ly abusive had taken a disgustingly large crap on my bedroom window. Not exactly the view that I was looking forward to observing from my window every morning. Luckily there was a nice long squeegee in the bathroom specifically for cleaning these windows. The windows in my apartment are funny in that they snap in at the top and with a brisk and forceful tug open on a hinge that attaches halfway down each side. It then spins on its axis letting in the fresh Parisian air. The window (which was now dappled with greasy pigeon shit) in my bedroom had, for sometime been sticking and required most of my weight to open it. However on this occasion, as I spun it around to present the outer, dirtied surface towards myself for cleaning, I heard an accompanying "CRACK" of what I knew was splitting wood. This did not bode well.

Before freaking out I scrubbed off the culprit that had started this entire production and squeegeed it streak free and clean. I was quite proud of the sparkling glass and revelled in this for a moment or two, knowing that my next task was going to, undoubtedly, be ripe with disaster.

I tried to shut the window but to no avail, and with each attempt I heard the painful cry from the wood, begging me to stop. I examined the hinge that was causing such a problem and saw that it somehow had slipped off-kilter. I tried to gently tug it into place and while I was able to semi-close it, it was so crooked that it could not shut entirely. And then, with another attempt, the inevitable happened. The hinge broke free from the abused wooden window frame and the only thing holding it in place were my now tired arms.

At this moment I began to panic. What was I going to do? The tight terror that was my fear of my landlord pulled at my chest yet again. I had visions of the window crashing down to the street below and killing an innocent bystander. Would I be sued? Would I go to jail for manslaughter all because this damned window had slowly been deteriorating with each destructive opening? I didn't know the outcome of this disaster, but I did know that I would have to put the window down if I was going to call for help. And luckily for my sake, and the people on the street below, the other hinge held it strongly in place.

I called Marie, the landlord, and she had no response, kind or cruel, except that she was out of town and her friend was coming to look at it. He arrived and feebly tried to shut it but it wouldn't budge. He went to fetch his friend and the two tangoed with the window for over an hour before getting it into place and holding it there by tying it with a ribbon to two screws which they screwed into the bottom frame, bits of wood and white paint littered the floor below. It wouldn't shut completely, letting a brisk breeze and traffic noises in, but I was, at the very least, happy that they didn't have to remove it entirely.

I then decided that it was time for a nap. This was, of course, interrupted by numerous beeps from my phone and my horrible disco ringtone and so ended up being more of a resting of the eyes than anything else. After call number three I answered to find Elze on the other line informing me that we would be hosting a dinner tonight and if that was ok. I didn't exactly feel in the mood to entertain but didn't feel that I could tell her "no" either.

Elze and Audrey came with their coworker Theo, followed shortly by Suanne. Theo was apparently cooking us an incredible recipe of risotto and while I was feeling grumpy and antisocial, the fat kid inside me was looking forward to the cheesy, creamy comfort food. However, just as they arrived Grant informed me that I needed to make a phone call regarding our trip across europe. I had to reserve two seats for us on a train and needed to call immediately because there were only four seats left. So I called and was greeted by a friendly non-english speaking woman, commencing what would become an hour long ordeal that spanned the entire prep, cook, and plating time of Theo's risotto and which was interrupted every few moments by Elze's chipper voice asking me if everything was okay. I wanted to strangle someone.

Sure, everything turned out to be fine, but I was unable to take it in stride and resented the company in my house and the positive attitude of Elze. Nothing is more obnoxious when you're grumpy and pissed off than an upbeat roommate who wishes to hug you and help you out, immature though it may be. Alas I managed to exhibit some self control and everyone survived the evening, well everyone except the window hinge, but that should be cured by the end of next week. And I guess, if I were looking on the bright side, things can't get much worse than head staples and a broken window. So I'm going to attempt to move on, be a bigger person, and enjoy my last few moments here in Paris, which I am falling in love with more and more every day. Today is, after all, a brand new day.

1 comment:

  1. Puts it all in perspective. Poor Sam.
    Oh, try rubbing alcohol instead of nail polish remover for the pen marks. Nail polish remover will probably do damage to the top inself.
    Love you and miss you! Thanks for the blog. I love your humor!