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Thanksgiving in Paris was lovely this year. As our American network expands, we find ourselves with the privilege of attending several Thanksgiving feasts much to graciousness of our lovely friends who open their homes up to us. While I have so much to be thankful for, there is one thing that literally has me doing pirouettes in my living room when I think of it...

It all started in September, I was having a bit of a crisis in regard to my life and what the hell I was doing with it. It was the second year that I had signed up to teach the little ones English, with the addition of the vile teen-age boys on Wednesdays. Feeling like I did not have enough hours in the day for the demanding to-do list that I methodically tend to each day, my guardienne cornering me once a week to advise me to start a family now before it's too late, and having the mothers of snot-nosed teen-age boys contact me with worthless texts that there thirteen-year-old boys aren't eating enough (which was somehow my fault), I cracked.

In a moment of absolute hysteria, I decided to relieve myself of the little guys that I meet with four times a week and gave my proper two months notice to the families who appeared to be genuinely sad to lose me.

In hindsight, what the hell was I thinking? I love the little ones.

It was around that time that the Wednesday families started smuggling in tasks outside my job function like walking the dog, picking up their dry cleaning, and preparing three-course lunches on the stove. As if I wasn't going to notice...

I haven't picked up dry-cleaning for a boss since I worked for Kelly Cutrone. And that was Kelly Cutrone. Not some random French family in the 11th. With the pressure of knowing this would be my sole income, I did it. As for the dog, I asked the boys who take the métro alone and hang out at French cafés with their friends to walk their own dog. Am I wrong here for thinking that this is the responsibility of a teen-ager? Aren't children supposed to look after the family pet? Or am I old-fashioned here? 

Upon asking them, they laughed and pretty much told me to fuck off. "On s'en fout!" they said before heading downstairs to hang out on the street.

With the door slammed in my face, standing in the empty apartment, I turned around and there she was, Angie, the little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel looking up at me with her big eyes. It wasn't her fault that her owners were total assholes. Why should she have to suffer? Clipping on her collar, on a crisp and sunny autumn afternoon, the pup and I took a stroll around Place de la Nation.

As expected, Angie relieved herself on the sidewalk where an older man irritatingly pointed to the sign that reads "Je ramasse" the  Parisian campaign reminding dog owners to scoop up after their dogs. Prepared with three bags, I waited for Angie to finish her business and much to my discontent, it was not as solid as I had hoped and found myself scrubbing off the unexpected thick goo with the remaining bag.

So not my fucking job.

With the final trace of Angie's business up and off the sidewalk, I saw that I had two missed calls and text messages from all of the parents. All of them. Oh my God, the boys are dead, was my first reaction. 

But no.

"Where are you?" "The boys are locked out and they can't find you." "What's going on? You are not where you are supposed to be!" "Qu'est qui se passe?"

N'importe quoi !

With my hand somehow smelling of dog shit, enraged, I charged back to the apartment. As I was walking in, they were walking out,  laughing.

"You guys are joking, right?" I asked, as Angie pranced circles around me, tangling her leash around my ankles, "You all knew where I was, you also have my phone number so why did you need to call your mommies?"

Laughing in my face again, they exited the building, brushing me off as some kind of inconvenience as I was walking their dog.

That night, I received a lecture from the parents. Citing that they practice open communication with their children, they shamed me for allegedly refusing them the right to call their parents. Those little manipulators, of course, knew that was not what I meant but took the opportunity to play their mothers too.

That night I went home and drank vodka. In an Absolut haze, I knew we all could not move on from this. The boys had gone way too far and knew what had to be done. So I quit. Yes. Yes. YES. Cue in this song.

This Thanksgiving, on top of everything I am truly grateful for, I am most thankful that I will never have to see those little punks ever again in my life. (Queue in the pirouettes.) I'm also thankful that my job with the little guys was still available. While I have taken many steps back professionally just to live in Paris, that doesn't mean that I need to deal with shit. Literally. 

20 comments:

  1. Yay, do what makes you happy and the rest will sort itself out... (This is the sort of thinking that has lead to me making terrible career choices and not even enjoying my job, but hey, good in theory!)

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    1. I believe that it will sort itself out. It's not like I was making 5k each Wednesday! I have made up the lost cost with paid writing assignments, a much better day job, I'd say.

      Between you and me, the first Wednesday I had off was spent in bed drinking champagne and watching "New Girl". he he he. It was a revenge Bed-In!

      Hi Gwan! I need to head to your blog and check in with you. I'm sorry. I have been a bad blog friend. I miss you.

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  2. That sort of shit you can do without! Now you have Wednesday s free to do the things on the to do list. Denise Love from England

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    1. Yeah, right! I can do without them! I didn't realize how much happier I would be not working with them. I thought my stress was stemmed from somewhere else, but no, it was those fuckers. : )

      Wednesdays so far have been a dream. I'm really advancing in projects I let get stagnant.

      Thanks for the comment, Denise!

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  3. I agree with Denise.... you can definitely do without being someone's "maid in Paris".

    You should be thankful for having free Wednesdays for now :) :)

    And i am thankful for your blog, that i read everyday at work ^_^ (browsing in incognito)

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    1. Yes! I am so, so, so thankful! I squeal every time I realize that I will not be working with them ever again.

      Oh, thank you so much. I'm thankful for awesome readers like you who take the time out of their busy days to check in with me. I know I don't paint the most glamorous picture of Paris, so it means a lot that there are people who appreciate seeing a different side. Merci.

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  4. mon dieu...you know when you are wiping dog shit off the sidewalk for someone's else's dog your life has taken a turn....so good for you....keep les petits..but the jeune garcons you don't need.

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    1. Seriously. It was one of my lower points here in Paris. And I still want to know why the damn kids weren't delegated to do that?? Eff those people. It still annoys me...

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  5. Yay - the little guys sound great!

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    1. Yeah, the little guys are pretty much awesome. What was I thinking quitting that job?

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  6. I love Paris, glad to read your blog! Big hug from London

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    1. Of all the posts to get a spam comment! And the photo. Is that George W?

      You're welcome, Jhon. I'm glad to have provided useful information about picking up dog poop and bratty teens. I hope this has helped your mission.

      Delete
  8. Power to you girl! I'm so proud of you for putting your foot down! As I always say, don't buy a dog or have children if you're gonna unload them on other people!

    On to more meaningful projects, I say!:))

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    1. I put it out in the universe. I wrote an email explaining why I wouldn't be returning and saved it in my draft folder. A day later one of the moms called me (as I was getting my hair done for the champagne social) and said that she didn't think it was working, but she wasn't sure if the other families felt that way and that they would tell me what they plan to do. I said, "I agree it's not working out, and I'll tell the other families what I PLAN to do." So I half quit/half got fired. The other families were actually pissed off. I was like "Do you really think this is working?"

      Today marks my 3rd Wednesday sans eux and am really plowing through some things. It's nice to have a full day off during the week!

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  9. Well done to you. Life is far too short.

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  10. Good for you! I felt much the same when I quit teaching teens. They are monsters.

    Also, your French Thanksgiving sounds lovely. Do tell more...

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  11. No you do not girl, no you do not! (My head was doing that New York shakey snake thing when I wrote that and if I didn't need my fingers to type, I would have been waving my right index back and forth too.)
    P.S. I'm going to need some Kelly Cutrone dish in my Facebook inbox.

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  12. Well that is quite literally shite! You definitely did not need those little arses in your life, and I hope their next teacher is an old hag that beats them all ;o)

    Glad the wee ones were still there, even with Franck!

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