Just a quick post to say - happy Thanksgiving! While there is nothing about this day here in Paris to mark it as different (though I did appreciate the sign in an English-language bookstore: "Thanksgiving is November 24 - an American tradition!"), I do want to give thanks for our family and friends who have been so loving and supportive as we jumped headfirst into the move-abroad-with-a-baby thing, and I also want to give thanks to Paris. Yes, Paris is a city, but she is taking on a personality all her own for me. She has quirks - like the old woman who cut in front of me at the store earlier this week, despite my screaming child, oh and the other old woman who cut in front of me at the store yesterday despite my non-screaming-yet-very-cute child - but she also has so much to love. The streets, the buildings, the bread, the butter, the macarons, the chocolates, the moustaches, the cafes, the marches, the parks, and so much more. We are very lucky to have this opportunity to really get to know this place, but we are definitely thinking of home on this most American of holidays.
And for a Thanksgiving giggle, here's a conversation that took place in my playgroup last week. It happened that this day, I was the only American along there with 4 British women. If you're not an American and you're reading this, don't take offense. We don't actually expect everyone to know about our holidays but we can still find this stuff funny.
British Mom 1: Is today a special American holiday? What's it called? Thanksgiving? Is that a holiday?
Me: Thanksgiving is a holiday, yes, though it is actually next week.
British Mom 1: But it's a holiday? British Mom 2, weren't we just wondering about this?
British Mom 2: Oh, right! Thanksgiving? Is that really a holiday?
Me: Yes, holiday.
British Mom 2: But what do you do?
Me: Well, mostly we eat. Turkey. Stuffing. Etc. It's very widely celebrated in the US.
British Mom 1: But why?
British Mom 3: I know! It has something to do with the pilgrims.
British Mom 2: I thought it was the harvest?
Me: [Wracking my brain as I pretty much could not remember why we celebrate Thanksgiving either] Um, right! Both.
British Mom 4: But if you eat turkey on Thanskgiving, what do you eat on Christmas?
Me: Well, actually, we don't celebrate Christmas because we're Jewish but I think...ham? More turkey?
British Mom 1: Wait, you don't celebrate Christmas? But you DO celebrate Thanksgiving?
Me: Yes. Correct. That's right.
British Mom 1: You don't celebrate Christmas AT ALL? Isn't there some way to make that holiday work for the Jews?
Me: Not so much.
British Mom 1: But you have another holiday for presents, right? Oh, I know - Hoo-na-ka!
But I still give thanks for the playgroup - some weeks they are my only adult interactions!
Happy turkey - and for us, and Mr. Oil's parents who just arrived, it'll be happy bread & cheese!