Yesterday I went on a hunt for a cheap blanket. I know there is a store somewhere near Opera that I have been to with my mother-in-law when I first arrived. I thought it started with a C or something. After fruitlessly searching the internets for things like "sheets and cheap blankets Paris" "sheeterie Paris not Hilton but France and starts with C and sells cheap blankets" and finding nothing, I decided to just go to Opera and hunt for the store. I figured I could just find it if I wandered enough. It was a beautiful sunny day so at noon I set off to wander across the river, past Le Louvre and into the 1st arrondissement. I never really wandered through there but one thing I noticed right off the bat is that people in the 1st seem to have jobs.
Jobs, like, where you go to a sleek office somewhere and meet with people and make calls and do stuff. I catch a glimpse of myself in a window......purple pants, crappy oversized t-shirt, sweaty face and eyeliner running down/raccoon eyes. "I used to have a job." I proudly say out loud to no one in particular. A group of suits and click clacky heels with tailored jackets push past me. "I used to have a job!" I say louder, this time to their backs as they continue walking briskly down the busy street, the smoke from their cigarettes trailing behind.
I suddenly think back to exactly two years ago when I had my corporate job working for Viacom in a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan. I used to wear click clacky heels when I wanted to feel like an important, intelligent and sophisticated hot chick executive (who might actually be a spy) on the corporate ladder rise in New York City...THE city. I had an office with a view of Central Park. I enjoyed ending calls with phrases like "Going forward, I think we should....blah blabbity blah blah blah" or my particular favorite "The deadline? How about YESTERDAY?" Click. I used to have my own phone extension with real numbers. And my "I'm REALLY busy" voice. When I was promoted to manager status, I spent a week passing out my very first ever official business cards to all my friends and family.
"Here, take one."
"Um, I actually already know your name and number and where you work..."
"Yeah but this has my job title on it too. Seriously, just take one, you never know."
"You never know what exactly? I HAVE your number AND your cell phone. Remember? We've been friends for 8 years."
"Sigh. Look, just TAKE ONE OK? You NEVER KNOW. Jesus CHRIST!"
"OK, OK, I'll take one!"
I used to shuffle papers and stamp stuff. I used to sit in bi-coastal video conferences and give status reports and updates while checking the video screen to make sure I looked hot and adjust my hair accordingly.
How life changes. Now I work freelance from home, my list of TO DOs includes "TAKE SHOWER" and on my off time I go look for cheap blankets in unknown stores in a fancy part of a fancy town with a fancy language I don't really understand.
An hour later and still no blanket store. I pass the fancy Au Printemps department store and stare at the model on the sign who seems to me to say "Youuuuuuu. Oui, yoooooooooou. You veel never ever haves eenough moooneeey for thees store. Ever. Oh, andz also, vee haaaate youuuuuu." (Apparently she is of both German and French descent)
I turn around and see the magic sign.....C & A.
C&A is one of my preferred stores in Paris. I don't know what the letters actually stand for but I call it Cashstrapped & Asstastic because it is Walmart level cheap and the only people I ever see in it are the big girls.
I reluctantly pull myself away from the $7.99 sweater rack that I am furiously leafing through like a crack addict gone wild, wipe off the drool and make myself walk out the door. I am on a MISSION to find the cheap blanket store which still eludes me, like a ghost......a cheap blanketed ghost.
I walk back down the street and pass the fancy Galeries Lafayette pausing for a moment to stop and look at the 9 million dollar tranny shoe display I could have made myself with some Payless heels, a bedazzler and some glue. NOTE TO SELF: Halloween costume idea: Tranny Dorothy.
Lost, tired, hungry and patience gone, I give up my hunt for the mystery store and walk back home. On my way, I stop in my tracks when I see a sign for Bagel's Café. In the display are a variety of "New York" themed bagel sandwiches which include "real American recipes" such as sliced chicken, pickles, tomato, cream cheese AND cheddar cheese. All on one of Bagel's bagels.
While I have never in my life seen this particular combo of ingredients except for here, at Bagel's place, I decide to go for it.
Verdict: I may not have found the cheap blanket store that I was looking for but I did find out, once again, that Cheddar cheese actually DOES in fact make EVERYTHING better.
6:28AM this morning
Eyes shoot open, I stare at the ceiling for a minute before turning and poking FB awake.
FB: What is it?
ME: I need to be more successful.
FB: Huh? What are you talking about?
ME: Me. I need to be more successful.
FB: (silence) You already are successful. What time is it?
ME: 6:28. I need to be MORE successful.
FB: OK...be more successful, sure, sounds great. Where is this coming from?
ME: (pause a moment to think) The 1st. It's coming from the 1st.