The only thing that is going to cheer me up today is Pinterest for fucks sake. Thank you Jesus for Pinterest! I’m not so much depressed as I am frustrated. I am just frustrated that I’m the only smart person in my house. Don’t believe me? Well, let me give you today’s synopsis…
Against my better judgment, I was forced to go outdoors today in the freezing Parisian air. My husband thought it would be a good idea for me to get some fresh air and go to the newly reopened Picasso Museum because he knows that sort of thing makes me happy. Well, not fucking today. It takes a village to get me ready to go outside. It takes two people to dress me, put my makeup on, put on my hat, coat, gloves, get a hot water bottle ready blah blah blah. I am so high maintenance that I should be legally “put down.” I realize how obnoxious I can be insisting that my caregivers get everything situated just the way I like it. However, that scenario never happens. Nothing ever goes smoothly. Without fail, under my breath, I am saying to myself, “All of you are morons.” Let’s start with putting my shirt on… Even though my caregivers and my husband have been putting on my shirt on for what seems like decades, they can never seem to make it a smooth transaction. Somehow my arms always get twisted, and I end up half naked in front of my windows for all the world to see while they discuss the best way to take my shirt off. So today I was forced to yell, “Just make a decision and commit to it!” Then, not surprisingly, while my caregiver was taking his sweet time putting my arm into my T-shirt sleeve, my husband was wrestling my other arm into my sweater sleeve. Then, the two morons finally got my sweater over my head (nearly suffocating me) and I was forced to yell, “You put my sweater on backwards!” Now we had to take it off and go through the whole process again. I was already at my wits end and decided that the Picasso Museum wasn’t worth this kind of hell. Sorry Pablo. Apparently that was just too bad for me because my husband was forcing me to go… So I decided to become super bitch as his reward. Dumb and Dumber continued attempting to get me dressed and finally after 3000 attempts, I was nearly ready. However, now I needed makeup. Have you ever had a non-gay male put your makeup on? The movie Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to my mind. Just after my caregiver finished putting on my Dior Diorshow mascara, my husband immediately slammed my entire knit hat over my eyes and back up again smearing all of my newly applied mascara all over my eyes and halfway up my forehead. I think it is fair to say at this point that I hate my life.
We finally get downstairs and start our walk to the Picasso Museum. On a warm sunny day this is a pleasant 15 minute walk. On a day like today, it is a cold unpleasant 12 hour walk. I suggested we take an Uber but nooooooooo that would just be too sensible. 10 minutes into our walk, it starts to snow… On me. We were already too far from our apartment to go back yet too close to the museum to find a taxi so we just kept walking. Even though I was swathed in head to toe cashmere and a hot water bottle tucked under my cashmere blanket, I was still freezing. The good thing about a Parisian walk is that no matter how cold it is outside you are always distracted by something amazing. Pastry shops, chocolate shops, flower shops, antique shops etc. Even though I was freezing and most likely contracting the flu, meningitis, mononucleosis, and Ebola altogether, I still wanted to stop and look in the little shops. However, this was not to be. Why? Because Tweedledee and Tweedledum were thoroughly entrenched in a deep conversation about nothing in their secret code language (French) and could not hear me ask to stop pushing my wheelchair so I could look in the windows of the shops. I saw a darling little shop that looked like an old-fashioned candy shop but was actually a pistachio shop. A pistachio shop called La Pistacherie. I deemed it imperative that I visit the shop . This is one of the reasons why we live in Paris for God sake! You cannot really experience the magic of Paris in a car… It has to be on foot. The little sidestreets are where the jewels are. This is how Gracie and I found (10 years ago) our favorite Thai restaurant, Mai Thai, on a little street tucked into the oldest part of Paris called the Marais. Definitely a locals only joint with authentic Thai food like coconut lemongrass soup. We even sat next to Leslie Caron once. Off the beaten path is always the best choice. I think that could be a metaphor for life as well. However, La Pistacherie would not be for me today as my luck was already on a downward spiral. Without my breathing machine my voice is at a whisper. It is no match for the busy streets of Paris. No one could hear anything I was saying. That’s really safe. They just flew right past the pistachio shop without hearing a word I was saying. So now I was freezing and being ignored. A recipe for disaster.
Finally, we reached the Picasso Museum but not before my husband got lost for about 20 minutes. I have only pointed this out that he got lost because two hours before when we were at our apartment I suggested we take an Uber so we could get there quickly and without frostbite. My husband egotistically screamed at me, “The museum is only 10 minutes away. I have lived here my whole life and I know exactly where it is. We can walk!” After five hours we finally reached the museum. Good news/bad news: we got into the museum without waiting in a two hour line and we got in for free. The bad news is that you have to have ALS to get this special treatment.
So now that we were there, I tried to cheer up and just enjoy the museum. The Picasso Museum has been under construction for the past five years and oh my God it was worth the wait! There’s a great article titled, Nightmare at the Picasso Museum, detailing the long and sordid story about Picasso and the museum itself. Click here to read. When Gracie was young, I took her to the Picasso museum on a friend’s suggestion. I have never really been a huge Picasso fan but after visiting the museum I was smitten. By the way, on a side note, the friend who suggested that I go to the Picasso Museum had an affair with one of my dearest friend’s husband. I actually couldn’t believe it and thought it was only a rumor so I took my friend, the homewrecker, out for coffee and told her to give me her side of the story. I kid you not, she totally admitted to the affair without a blink of the eye. I said to her, “How could you do this? You are friends with the husband’s wife! Your daughters are friends!” Her response to me was, “Ellie, I’m in this for me.” Obviously. So, I was forced to abandon our friendship and publicly shame her which is too bad because I truly liked her before I knew she was a selfish, greedy homewrecker. Anyway, obviously all of this negativity was going through my head as we were touring the new Picasso Museum. Then I started to get a little bit of a headache. Then, the museum was so packed that I started to feel a bit claustrophobic. Then, because I was so wrapped up in arctic weather clothing, I started to overheat. Then, I started to slightly hyperventilate. I didn’t want to put on my breathing machine for the simple fact that I didn’t want to look ugly. I figured I would rather die in the Picasso Museum than have a breathing machine stapled to my face. Then, the combination of all of this forced me into a full-fledged panic attack. I had a little internal chitchat with Pablo Picasso and explained the situation to him and told him I would be back to the museum in the spring when I wasn’t so stressed out. He said that would be fine.
I told my husband that we needed to leave immediately. He blurted out his standard go-to-phrase, “Putain de bordel de merde de pompe a cul! We just got here.” I didn’t care. I saw three floors of the museum and that was enough for my delicate disposition today. My husband reluctantly agreed to leave if we could just see one more group of paintings. Fine, I agreed, because I’m such an amazing wife. The next series of paintings were Picasso’s bull fighting interpretations. My caregiver said to David, “Did Picasso like bullfighting?” My husband thought he said, “Do you like bullfighting?” So, my husband went into an entire conversation about why he, himself, doesn’t like bullfighting.” I was forced to scream at him, “David! He didn’t ask you if you liked bullfighting. He asked if Picasso liked bullfighting. Why would he ask you if you liked bullfighting, you narcissistic moron.” I honestly just couldn’t take it anymore and demanded that we leave the museum because I was about to implode. Then, because nothing was going right for me today, my husband pushed all of the wrong buttons in the elevator and it took us 20 minutes to get to the ground floor. Well, my husband thought it was the ground-floor but it wasn’t so we had to get back on the elevator and find our way to the exit floor. Before that occurred, I was forced to give a family a vicious stare down in the elevator. Why do healthy people take the handicap elevator? I think that they should be fined $100 and then punched in the face… including the lazy little children.
Hallelujah! We finally reached the exterior courtyard of the museum and I could catch my breath and relax for a second. My other caregiver arrived to start his shift and give my morning caregiver a break. However, in true fashion, my caregiver realized that he left his backpack at our apartment. We only had one set of keys so David had to give my caregiver the keys to our apartment so he could go pick up his backpack. We asked him to hide the keys in our secret spot after he got his backpack and we told him that we would be home shortly. He agreed and started to walk back to our apartment ahead of us. I told David that I really needed to get home because I wasn’t feeling very well. He kept asking question after question… “No, David, I don’t want a pastry. I just want to go home. No, David, I don’t want a falafel. I just want to go home. No, David, I don’t want a Starbucks. I just want to go home.” Then, it started to rain… On me. I was forced to scream at David, “Hurry David! Hurry! Get me home!” His response, “Relax, are you going to die?” My response, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I just might. Do I need to remind you of that cute little respiratory illness last month that nearly killed me?” David picked up his pace and within 10 minutes we were home.
But guess what? There were no keys left in our secret spot and no caregiver to be found. I told David that I felt like I was being taking care of by baboons. Where was the caregiver and where were our keys? All I was looking forward to was my warm bed and a piping hot cup of chai tea with warm soymilk and two sugars but nooooooo… We now were sitting in the freezing cold entry of our building… Locked out. Call after call we made to the caregiver but no answer. Where the fuck was he! He left before us! After about 15 minutes, he shows up and I was forced to say with an ever so condescending tone, “Where were you? Did you stop for a beer? Did you go to the park? Did you stop for an espresso while I am waiting in the cold for you?” Guess what? The person that I trust to take care of me… The person that I trust with my life… That person, got lost. I asked him why he didn’t use his GPS on his cell phone and guess what? He left his phone in my apartment as well. I was forced to say to him, “Do you remember when I called you a moron this morning when you put my sweater on backwards? Well, do you blame me?”
When the two caregivers and my husband finally managed to get me all cozy in bed, I honestly just wanted to go to sleep and forget the day but I had a funny feeling I should call my friend Yolanda immediately. Even though it was early in California, Yolanda answered the phone via face time and before I could finish my sentence asking her how she was feeling with her Lyme disease, she started crying and then I started crying. Sometimes, no matter how strong you are a debilitating disease can just get the best of you. Today was that day. I love my Yogi so much and I wanted to offer her reassuring advice but I just didn’t have any. So we just cried for a little bit. Then I told her about my horrible day and we laughed for a little bit. We are both so sick of being sick and would do anything to get our lives back. I know everyone out there with chronic/terminal illnesses knows what I’m talking about.
So, after I got off the phone with Yolanda, I decided that I could either let the rest of the day go to shit or I could do something that makes me happy. I chose the latter. Enter Pinterest. I reminded myself that there is good in the world and that good, for me, comes in the form of decorating. Architecture, furniture, antiques, art… All of that stuff just makes my heart swoon and makes life bearable. Then I thought that we don’t really talk about decorating as much as I would like to on the blog and I decided that now we are going to. It is my passion so it is now going to be your passion as well. Just kidding. No, I’m not. I decided to take a house room by room and discuss it with all of you. If you don’t like it, please feel free to go read another crappy blog. Just kidding, I’m still a bit grumpy. Sorry. But honestly, if decorating doesn’t cheer you up, I don’t know what will. Food will but we can still do both. So, for the next few weeks let’s talk about decorating and also continue our 15 culinary dishes to master. Deal? I will try to pepper the blogs with other stuff as well so we don’t bore ourselves to death.
Tomorrow we’re going to start with entries/foyers/vestibules of a home. We can never make a first impression twice so the entry is almost the most important room in the house. Stay tuned and I promise I will come back with a super positive attitude tomorrow… Maybe. Just kidding, I promise I will.
To sum up my brilliant/not brilliant day, after reading about the trials and tribulations of the opening of the newly remodeled Picasso Museum, I have to say that it’s definitely worth a visit. You can skip waiting in line by ordering tickets online. Easy peasy. Or you could just get ALS and go through the handicap door, your choice. The building that houses the collection is a magnificent 17th-century hôtel particulier, Hôtel Salé. The central staircase is based on the stair plan of Michelangelo for the Laurentian library in Florence and is worth the visit alone. I advise doing a little background research on Picasso and his art because it makes the visit so much more enjoyable when you know the history behind each piece. For example, did you know that for Picasso’s whimsical Bull’s Head sculpture that the items were “found” during the dark days of World War II? According to PabloPicasso.com, “Bull's Head is described by art critic Eric Gibson as unique amongst Picasso's sculptures for its 'transparency' - the constituent found objects are not disguised. He says the sculpture is "a moment of wit and whimsy ...both childlike and highly sophisticated in its simplicity, it stands as an assertion of the transforming power of the human imagination at a time when human values were under siege." I mean, c’mon, if seeing that in person doesn’t float your boat, I don’t know what will.