Building On Sand, Surprised By The Tsunami


* I intend to continue my Fucking Stories. I just needed to start getting this off my chest. Unfortunately, my real life is far less orgasmic than my literary life.

Looking back on my relationship with my husband, it becomes more and more apparent to me that the foundation of our friendship was built for the most part on lies. His, not mine. I had come to France to study, alone, as I had been dumped, quite cruelly, by my former French boyfriend prior to leaving America. I had my paperwork in order, I was enrolled in university and I had a fairly important sum of money, so I just said to myself, “What the fuck! Go for it!” and that is what I did. I was 23 years old.

Oddly I feel like I had far more self-confidence at that time than I do now. Beauty, youth, stupidity savantly mixed with too much intelligence. Beauty, of course, fades, means far less than we imagine at the time we are reveling in it. Youth passes you by like the bus you’ve been waiting for for over an hour. (Do not look down to light your 15th cigarette, you most definitely will miss that fucking bus.) As for intelligence, you have to know how to use it in your favor, otherwise it is much the same as when you leave your phone charger plugged in at all times, even when you are not charging your phone. *Poof!

I was not looking for love the day we met. Although theoretically, I had more than enough money to get me through my school year, I met a lovely girlfriend who enjoyed nightlife, drinking, smoking, late nights in cafΓ©s. She had a car, a Peugeot 404. It was turquoise and we went on weekend trips together, we once begged for croissants at four in the morning at the back door of a bakery after a night of merrily frolicking. Together, we spent incredible amounts of money. My stash started to seriously dwindle around December and by January, it hit me that if I didn’t find some kind of shit job, I really wouldn’t make it to the end of my studies. Plus, I really intended to stay. To live in France. To translate subtitles for movies or find some use for my French. (22 years later I still haven’t found it.)

So, I threw back two or three glasses of wine, made myself look alluring, took a big breath and ventured out into the job search phenomenon, something I always managed to get through in America although it is probably more terrifying to me than cancer or death. The French have a well deserved reputation for not being incredibly friendly. Where I live, the summer is the season when a paperless American could probably find a job quite easily. In January….two or three completely empty restaurants and I began losing hope rapidly. Hopelessness leads me to a bar. Still, to this day.

Bartenders can recognize hopelessness ten miles away. I started with a miserable glass of wine, tears welling up behind my eyes, threatening to spout out at any given moment. My Super Hero Bartender led me to free tequila shots and my hopelessness evaporated so quickly, I could scarcely remember why I was all gussied up in the first place. My mission became terribly secondary. The bartender was hitting on me, a midget waiter had engaged me in some sort of political conversation…and somewhere in the background, my current husband appeared.


  1. Dawn D

    Can I say I’d started reading this on my phone, still half asleep… and then was suddenly completely awake when I realised this was not some fucking post, but a very deeply personal one. I grabbed some biscuits to feed on, opened my eyes completely (or was it the other way around?) and fired up my computer to read this.
    I love knowing where my friends come from πŸ™‚
    I’m looking forward to the next installment in this series too πŸ™‚
    PS: I’m pretty sure you could find some use for your French. Don’t lose hope!

    • pivoine68

      You have to admit, writing about fucking is better for stats! πŸ™‚
      Funny how the word, “divorce,” is the same in French and in English. Oddly, I never really thought much about it before. (Was I in a coma???)

      It has finally “dawned,” on me.
      Big Biscuit Bisous,

      • Dawn D

        There are numerous words that are the same in French and English. Adoration, observation, procrastination, ignore, mar(r)iage… and divorce!

        Even coma! πŸ˜‰

        Yes, writing about fucking may be better for stats, but it’s not quite as important (Ah, another word!) for the soul… Ok, it is great, but doesn’t help you move forward by itself. You have to do a lot of soul searching to move forward. Then who cares about the stats? Life is more important than any blog stats, isn’t it?

        Big Chocolatey Bisous (yes, I’m eating chocolate biscuits πŸ˜‰ )

      • pivoine68

        I guess I’ve been trying to fuck my way to inner peace but mainly, it isn’t working that well. I do, however, want to become immensely rich and famous through writing….HA!! Everyone has an incredibly depressing story to tell. Maybe I could try to make mine stand out. (?) I’m not too sure about that.

        I’m making spiceless (French) chili. I add tons of piment to mine, but of course it’s not the same as if you had already cooked with it. 😦

        Je t’embrasse,

      • Dawn D

        Yes, fucking is great for self-esteem, but I have my doubts for inner peace. That one, I think you have to work out by yourself. And it does take work. I was exhausted yesterday evening after having published my post. And I didn’t even publish it that late. But… I was drained πŸ™‚

        If you really visualise yourself as earning loads of cash through your writing, eventually it will happen. Let’s just hope it’s in our lifetimes πŸ˜‰

        I am thinking I’ll go back to sleep soon. Not sure I’ll actually cook lunch.
        And I agree, adding spices to it afterwards isn’t quite the same as having them in there to be cooked… so I always put *some* spices in whatever requires them. But I must say, I don’t put nearly enough for certain family members, so they have to add their own still πŸ˜‰

        Bon AppΓ©tit!
        Je t’embrasse aussi

  2. Jayne

    23 that is so very young and this is a wonderful story. How fun it must have been to be carousing in France. I can’t wait to hear about Le French Man now Missy. Seriously though, this is so nice you share this. You’re a beauty to “watch”. xoxo

    • pivoine68

      I guess my book is in my vivid imagination. πŸ™‚
      I was just getting to the really sweaty part of Fucking and then I got sidetracked by my own shit. Fucking is more entertaining. πŸ™‚


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