Tuesday, October 11, 2011
this is america
So I haven't seen the kids I au paired in France since, like, forever. And now they're in fucking high school.
Dude. I'm showing my age.
The light sure is stark in San Diego. I forgot about stark light. As in, the blazing ganglions of angel's wings, bandy down and make one's retinas burn out of their face if one stares at the sun.
I got to peek into their lives now that they're teenagers. I got to step into a classic all-American family's world, one that, like me, lived in France once. Which had changed the course of our lives considerably.
I went to the local school and saw the little girl I used to babysit captain the cheerleading squad.
Dude. I thought this only happened in movies?
She had pomp poms, did the splits in mid-air and had an iPhone. She remembered me though, as she was 4 in France. And ran up to me and gave me a bear hug, which reduced me to tears.
Her cheerleading friends were the funniest.
I was sitting on the bleachers wearing my tweed get up, when one came up to me with a big, bold American voice and said:
"Aw! You're the babysitter! You're adorable."
Hang on. I'm 31 years old.
"You're so European. Oh my GOD, look at you!"
She's 16. And I'm adorable. I'm a lot of things, but I don't think I've ever been described as adorable.
This is my 4th trip to the States and I have only now discovered America for the first time.
Peas: Why thank you. I think.
"We love love LOVE H&M!"
At this stage, I was surrounded by a bunch of 16 year old cheerleaders, and found myself telling them all about the joys of sales at Zara. And how we wear stockings like they wear jeans. And how everyone wants to dress like Kate Middleton, and that wedges are the new stiletto.
The little boy I looked after - who was a fallen angel, and if I ever have a child, he will be cloned to be like this little dude - is also all grown up. And got to see him skateboard at his 'skate park.'
There are 'skate parks' in southern Cali. It's what dudes do. Huge parks made of concrete with cool stuff to ramp off. They skate like it's a proper sport.
I got taken to lunch at the hotel Del Coronado, which is on the beach front and where Marilyn Monroe filmed Some Like It Hot.
At night, they made me a full on French meal, swapped stories, flicked through old photos, got loaded on good Californian red wine.
It was amazing. I have missed them. And 28 hours later, I flew back to San Francisco after a platter full on Mexican food.
You can see Mexico while eating Mexican food in San Diego.
Let's not talk about my fucking diet plan.
Fourteen hours and one day later, I am back home in London. So good to see my Brit who I missed so much.
I am so jet lagged, I don't know whether I'm standing or swimming. That sentence was meant to make sense.
On Saturday I will drive across four ex-Communist countries in a Skoda with my mother.
Christ. I'm terrified.