Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Française et Américaine

The past couple of days since I've been home from camp counseling have definitely been a challenge. I drastically switched environments from a place where I was constantly active and in a position of authority (I miss those kids!) to a place where I feel I have relatively limited freedom. Not only that, I walked into a half French speaking household. This can mean only one thing...relatives are visiting. The first question everyone asks...don't you speak French? My answer: I can understand it, and I can speak it if I have to.

I went from being a camp counsellor to visiting with my French grandmother who only speaks a language I don't speak...at least, not on a regular basis. My French is rusty, my brain is about to explode (or implode...not sure which one), and my mother and "mamie" drive me batty whenever they get together. Do I love them both dearly? Yes. Can I stand them together in two-week doses? No. Also, my mother has started accidentally switching languages when we go shopping or out to eat. Though I will admit it's amusing, it's also a bit embarrassing when she starts speaking to the Bob Evans waitress or Walmart clerk in French.

For those of you who would like to tell me how lucky I am to have grown up with a French mother, it isn't that I'm not grateful for my French heritage or that I don't appreciate the language opportunities I have had. I just never fell in love with the French language...I fell in love with English. The complexity and beauty of English have always thrilled me. Where the English language spoke to me, French never did. While I think my dual citizenship is super cool, I will never identify myself as French. I am a PROUD American...a heart-thumping-out-of-my-chest, freedom-loving, anthem-singing, loving, patriotic American. Nothing will ever change that.

And now for something completely different...

While there are foreign-language-speaking relatives present and I have no social life, two things tend to happen. First, I have a lot of bonding time with my dad (who never learned French beyond basic phrases). Second, I have a lot more time to do things I've been meaning to get done because I'm required to "visit" even though everyone's sitting around the house in relative boredom. This means time to finish projects, start new ones, and hopefully take pictures and post my creations! It also resulted in a strange conversation with my dad in which we decided to eliminate contractions from our conversation...and created some rather odd sounding sentences.

Anyhow, yesterday I became the proud owner of a Crop-A-Dile II "Big Bite". BEST NAME EVER! When I talked about going to JoAnn's to buy one (they had the best price AND it was 40% off) my dad decided that I was, in fact, in desperate need of a crocodile cutout. Though I am now tempted to go buy a crocodile cutout, I am rather pleased with the actual result of my project using my new Crop-A-Dile! It's incredible...I can't wait to punch more holes and try setting eyelets, grommets, and snaps! I know, I'm nerdy...but I LIKE being nerdy so it's okay! If the weather/light is good I will take pictures and post them tomorrow.

And now for something completely different...again!

I know this is entirely random, but since it occupied my mind for at least (if not more than) a couple hours yesterday I thought it was worth mention. The dance scene in The Mask of Zorro is INCREDIBLE! I love the music, the dance is captivating (and oh-so-sexy), and I couldn't stop watching it on YouTube...over, and over, and over again. The whole movie is amazing and I have a couple other favorite scenes, but I must have watched it AT LEAST fifty times. I remember thinking...I won't have truly lived until I dance like that! Did you know that Zorro is also a musical?!?! I will be looking into this. Yes, I am also a theater geek.