Friday, June 10, 2011

The Cry Monster

Today’s ‘living in France’ post doesn’t have much to do with French culture.   Yesterday I said ‘goodbye’ to my only American ex-pat friend. 

She was my go-to American friend here in France.  We actually met through Babycenter.com six years ago. and started getting together for Thanksgiving and Halloween every year, celebrated birthdays with our kids and had green beer on St. Patricks Day- stuff the French don’t really understand.

So as you can imagine, I was a little sad when I heard the news she was moving ‘back’- don’t know who I’m going to celebrate all that stuff with anymore.   But I was also excited for her and her family, a little envious that things worked out so well for them going back to the U.S. after living nine years in France.

But as the time for ‘goodbye’ drew closer, I couldn’t ignore the strange heavy weight in my chest I’d had for the last two days.  Or the lump in my throat as I was heading towards our final ‘lunch’.  And finally, yes, the tears - lots and lots and lots of tears.  In fact I was pretty much an incoherent sniveling mess the entire time. The 'cry monster' totally took over- which is so unlike me.  I’m not usually an overly-emotional person. Plus I look absolutely ridiculous when I cry (squeaks, strange noises, snot, red blotchy face...you name it) so I try not to do it too often in public.

She was just as upset- after all she was the one leaving her whole life behind.  But anyone walking by would have thought she’d just told me someone died.   I felt like a total freak.  After some serious introspection I still couldn’t tell you why her departure is hitting me so hard.

I think it’s an accumulation of things.  Living in a foreign country is a choice.  That doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice or that it’s easy to live with all the time.  Even though I love it here, there are times I wish I was closer to some of the people I love.

But after awhile you get used to missing people – Family, friends, everyone who saw you grow into adulthood.   And I think the hardest part is knowing my friend is now one more person ‘on the other side’.  Another person I have to miss.  We’ll connect through facebook and skype like I do all my other family.  But it’s not the same.  She was really here. And now she’s not. 

Sorry to poo on you all this Friday with my melancholy.  Guess homesickness is just another part of 'living in France' and it comes in many weird shapes and forms.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

*CQG*

27 comments:

Laura Pauling said...

I would imagine it would be extremely hard esp. to lose an American friend! Maybe you'll find another. It's that whole nostalgic thing. The memories. And being away from them. Hope it gets easier.

Miranda Hardy said...

Sorry to hear of your sadness. I'm sure it is very hard to part with a great friend.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I can imagine it is hard to lose your friend, especially when she was a connection to your home and you've known her for so long. Hope you feel better soon.

D. Rhodes said...

sounds like it was really difficult. sorry to hear that. =(

if it's any comfort i'm an american...whom you've never met, living in scotland (a fair distance from france), not a mom, and old enough to be your auntie...so, hey! you're welcome to look me up if you ever visit the cold, cold north. likewise i'll drop you a line if we ever visit france. um, i realize that this is probably more frightening than comforting.

hoping your post-cry recovery is coming along nicely. hang in there. =)

Creepy Query Girl said...

LOL- thanks D. Rhodes!

Kate said...

Green beer on St Patrick's Day? I thought you were supposed to drink Guiness.

Sorry to hear your friend has left. But I'm sure you'll meet some wonderful new ones.

Kate said...

Oops, typo, that should be Guinness :-)

Caitlin said...

When I was younger we lived in England for three years. When my best friend, the only other American girl who lived nearby and went to my school, moved I also turned into the cry monster.

It's rough! I'm sorry that your friend has moved.

But maybe next St. Patrick's day you should walk the streets offering free green beer, and draw any other Americans out of hiding ;)

Kate said...

Is green beer for real then? I thought you might have been kidding. What exactly is it?

Creepy Query Girl said...

I think its just blonde beer with food coloring:) They serve it in the bars in Paris on St. P day.

Hart Johnson said...

*hugs to you* That stinks. I'm not in another country, but I am more than 2000 miles from most of my friends and family, so I do understand. My friends may not need a passport, but they WOULD need to want to visit Michigan, which doesn't happen very often.

Katie said...

*HUGS*

Gina said...

Sending you Connecticut/UConn hugs! We're all allowed to do the ugly cry every so often. There's no shame in it!

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. When my friend left me behind in Lyon, I was a mess. For me, everything hit harder in the France, because I was never on home base. I didn't have a solid place to put my feet. I was only there for a year, so I don't know if it's the same thing, but the little things had so much more power over me. And the big things, like losing a friend to the Atlantic? Yeah, that was super hard.

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I know exactly what you're talking about. When my friend left me behind in Lyon, I was a mess. For me, everything hit harder in the France, because I was never on home base. I didn't have a solid place to put my feet. I was only there for a year, so I don't know if it's the same thing, but the little things had so much more power over me. And the big things, like losing a friend to the Atlantic? Yeah, that was super hard.

Susanne Drazic said...

I can understand your sadness. I'd cry too.
(((((HUGS)))))

Meredith said...

I can see how that would be completely upsetting. I'm so sorry! I hope you can find someone else to share those American holidays with.

Old Kitty said...

Awww - I'm so sorry! Of course you're sad - it's a sort of mourning - you are mourning what no longer will be!! :-(

But yay that you'll both keep in touch - and of course you both have the wonderful memories too!! Yay!! Take care
x

Stephen Tremp said...

You may be a bit sad, but hey, if you have to be any place else, France is it. Any other place would not work, at least for me.

Elle Strauss said...

There joys to living in foreign counties and sacrifices. When your the one away from home, you feel "homey" things more dearly. when we lived in Germany we were more enthusiastic about Canada Day then we are actually living in Canada.

Stephanie said...

:( big hugs for you. Even though it's your choice, there has to be times when it is really really hard. I'm guessing you probably question it occasionally too. I think we all question our decisions at some point, especially in situations like this.

Imagine if this had been a decade ago, or twenty years ago. At least now you can Skype and have a green better "together" that way! :) Good luck!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hugs!! Don't be sorry for crying, and I can totally understand that while you have chosen to live in France and are happy there, you have certain important little traditions and special treats that make it easier. It's as hard to lose those treats and traditions as it is to lose your friend (well, not lose, but you know).

Jolene Perry said...

I'm totally smiling at this b/c it's the ONLY reason my husband won't move overseas.

AND every time I come to your site, I get this little twinge of jealousy - I spent a semester in France. ONE measly semester and I just love it there...

The Desert Rocks said...

Don't be sad. You have your blog buddies...I live two hours from the town I grew up in and no one comes to visit because of traffic or heat or wind. Last year at Easter I had a houseful and this year no one showed because last year we had a 7.1 earthquake right on Easter. So not only do my friends not visit anymore but family stays away too. At least you're in France! Au Revoir.

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm so sorry, CQG! Don't feel too bad about the cry-monster. The same thing happened to me at my daughter's graduation from Kindergarten! What the heck? I think it just hit me that she was growing up and moving into a new phase of her life. Next year, when my little one finishes kindergarten, I'll be ready with extra tissues.

Liz Fichera said...

So sorry your friend moved back! I totally understand the tears.

I lived in Dijon, France, a while back and, yeah, it was always fun to get together with other Americans who understood some of the stuff that the Europeans just didn't get. I feel for ya, girlfriend! Hang in there and enjoy the adventure, though. I had no idea you lived in France!! :-)

Angela Felsted said...

I can't tell you how many times I've broken down and cried in public. So sorry about your friend.

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