Ok, so everybody knows this: one of the funny things about being married is realizing how different from you your spouse is. Josh and I were really close friends for...I dunno, maybe six years? before we started dating, and I would have told you we were two peas in a pod. And now, after being married for three years...sometimes I wonder if we're even the same species. Case in point: decision making. When we have a big decision to make, Josh spends a lot of time (like, hours) staring at the floor, occasionally sighing. I assume there's some thinking going on in there. I, on the other hand, never know quite what I think until I happen to overhear myself say it to someone.
Right now, we're in the process of trying to figure out where we belong for the next few years. We're weighing career questions--who will work on which degree, and when?--as well as personal ones, like, can we manage for me to stay home with Bout'Chou for a while, and on which continent should that home be? I've been really glad to have people around that will let me talk things through, so I can listen in and figure out what I want. I overheard a very enlightening conversation with my friends Anita and Neil yesterday: I told them I felt like after three years in France, I needed to go back to the States for a break, and when Neil asked why, I heard myself answer, "to heal."
It was an odd thing to say, but hearing it made me realize that it's true. When we up and moved here, I had been to France only twice, both times as a non-French-speaking tourist; I spoke no French, and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I feel like it's been three years of bobbing in waves, trying to keep my head above water. I'd really like to go home and come back with a rowboat. Or at least a life preserver.
I'm not sure what this "life preserver" would look like. I'm kindof hoping that if we spend a few years in the States, I'll get a chance to start desperately missing my life here in Aix. Then I'll spend those years planning and scheming about what it will be like when we come back, and when we DO return to l'Hexagone, I will have years of "the best-laid schemes" preparing me for it. I think this would help.
Regardless, eavesdropping on my subconscious has made it pretty clear that right now, I want to be Stateside. I'm writing this over the remains of my breakfast, a French clafoutis garnished with one of my carefully hoarded Reese's peanut butter cups. I dreamed about peanut butter ice cream last night (no, I am not kidding), and a Reese's was the closest thing I could get.
The dream might have been inspired by Josh's arrival from a week-long trip to the States, and the joy of watching him open his suitcase and pull out jars of Jif, Burt's Bees toothpaste, reasonably priced dental floss, almond extract, and other comforts of home. Without thinking, I spotted the Whole Foods receipt in his bag and stuck it in a frame we have sitting on the green "boot bench" in the kitchen. And then as I realized what I was doing, I started to cry. Seriously? I'm framing a receipt from Whole Foods? What kind of crazy is this? And then I cried even harder as I realized it's the pregnant-and-homesick kind. I think it's time to go home.