I got lost on the way to the pumpkin patch in Paris this weekend and so much happened!
Bright and early, Saturday morning, my caregivers put Humpty Dumpty (me) together in a cute little outfit, brushed my hair into a nice little bun, plopped me in my wheelchair and tucked a petite cashmere hot water bottle underneath my cashmere lap blanket and rolled me out to the elevator where my husband was impatiently waiting for me. My husband hates putting me in the elevator because it is teeny tiny and he is gigantic and my wheelchair is obnoxious. I always laugh as he rolls his eyes at me every single time we are in the elevator because I know that he is still mad that I told him before we rented this apartment that the elevator was huge. It was a total lie but I really wanted this apartment. He signed the lease before he ever saw the apartment in person and the first day we moved in, he saw the size of the elevator and almost shot me in the face. The elevator is so small it will not fit a fat person with groceries, let alone two adults and a wheelchair. So after a lot of huffing and puffing and swearing at each other, we managed to descend the three floors to the lobby. And guess what! The French vanishing neighbors were there!
I literally could not get my words out fast enough telling David in a rapidfire procession to ask them ( in French) every question I could think of… “Ask them where they have been. Ask them if they are feeling okay. Tell them I was worried about them. Ask them why they left for so long. Tell them I’m so happy they’re not dead.”
I finally got all the answers! Here’s the scoop… They leave Paris every year in the spring to go to their country house. And by country house, I mean their château in Provence. Lucky ducks. They spend all of spring and summer with their family there. They said they are feeling okay, just getting older and thanked me for all of my concern. They patted me on the head and on my hands and always say, “Bon courage.” And then the funniest thing happened… David accidentally ran over Madame Neighbor’s little old lady foot with my wheelchair! It took everything inside of me not to burst out laughing. It was so awful and so typical of my husband because he’s the worst wheelchair driver in France. We apologized profusely as they hobbled up the stairs and off we went like assholes into the beautiful autumn weather of Paris.
Just outside of our apartment is always our neighborhood homeless gentleman. He is an artist and as polite as all get go. He always says to me, “ Que Dieu vous bénisse (God bless you).”
We took a new sidestreet and lo and behold, what do I see? The grand opening of a Japanese grocery store. It was jampacked with Japanese people filling their baskets as fast as they could, like there was going to be a tornado or a riot and they had better stock up. We fought our way through the aisles and discovered mecca. It was like a Japanese Gelson’s! Sesame oils, Japanese vinaigrette, fresh ahi tuna, miso paste, gyozas, fresh lemongrass, gourmet saki, frozen mochi desserts, an entire row of green tea, an entire row of different types of soy sauce, enokitake mushrooms… Pure heaven! We found that but still had not made it to the pumpkin patch.
Continuing on, we ventured into our local Monoprix which is basically the French version of Target, but with the grocery store included. You can buy cashmere sweaters (which I did), chic pajamas (which I did), makeup, chocolates, laundry detergent, and everything for the American chili dinner we had decided to make in honor of the fall day. There is no such thing as orange cheddar cheese or sour cream in France so we had to substitute that with gourmet white cheddar and crème fraîche. Life doesn’t suck in Paris. We found all of that but still had not made it to the pumpkin patch.
Since the weather was so beautiful and I was so cozy, we decided to keep walking before we went to the pumpkin patch. And as luck would have it, the most delectable macaroon shop, Pierre Hermé was open on a weekend! I know this might be sacrilegious to say in Paris, but I hate macaroons. They are just not my thing so I head straight to the chocolate section. My husband knows how happy chocolates make me so he lets me choose any and every chocolate that I want… So I did. Chocolates with blackcurrant, chocolates with three different types of vanilla, chocolates with toasted sesame seeds, chocolates with green tea, chocolates with raspberry… Pure heaven. We found that but still have not made it to the pumpkin patch.
So here we are, the weekend is over, and I still do not have a freaking pumpkin. All I want is one pumpkin that I can carve with a loathing Parisian smirk on its face, put a beret on its head and a cigarette in its mouth because we are in France, for God’s sake. No such luck for me… but for you, I have compiled a rather chic collection of pumpkins for inspiration because I’m sure you have readily available, readily accessible pumpkins. I will have to wait until I move back to America to get a pumpkin, evidently, but take a look at these in the meantime…
If you would like some more inspiration, check out my Pinterest Halloween pumpkin board HERE.
*Something you don’t know about me? My daughter is the sweetest, kindest, most polite, demure young lady to everyone in the entire world…Except me. Here’s a sampling of some of the things my delightful daughter said to me this week: “Do you have to narrate your entire life to me?” “Do you ever run out of words to say?” “Your emails to me are excessive.” “Don’t wear hightops. You’re an adult.” “If you pass away, I don’t want all of your stuff. Just certain things.” “Can you get cosmetic surgery even though you have ALS because you need an eye lift.” “I don’t need your advice because I already know everything, but can I have two euros for the Metro and can you buy me a blender because I want to make smoothies.”
It is not lost on me that Gracie behaves this way towards me because she knows she can, she feels comfortable and I usually don’t do anything about it. But I decided there is something I can do about it… Gracie now has a boyfriend, so all bets are off because I know she would be mortified if I ever, ever said anything or did anything to embarrass her. Gracie and her boyfriend are coming over for dinner this week and I think I will start by showing her French boyfriend a picture of Gracie when she was four years old, dressed up as her life-size Barbie and I will conclude with the photo of her with her purple braces. And just in case that isn't working, next up will be the picture of Gracie when she cut all of her bangs off. Gracie doesn’t need therapy, she needs humiliation. I’m such a good mother.