⪧ We left our life in New York City to make a new one in Provence ⪦

March 30, 2010

Pragmatism.

Lately, Xavier and I have been sharing our commute. The B train on 72nd Street ---> 47/50 ---> Park. It is strange to experience each other on the brink of a work day, more formal than we customarily are. We take the same route and walk underneath the Rockefeller Center. There, we encounter such strange cards.

This one bird sits at the same table every morning at 8:30 and arranges herself and her belongings in such a distinguishing fashion. She has a total of up to seven bags: duffels, hand bags, over-the-shoulder slings. They all congregate around her, like the cavalcade of a long dress. They are always in the exact same position, although she has clearly showered and taken time to re-do her strange self since the previous day. The most off-beat part though, and it is thanks to Xavier that I ever noticed this, is that she always has a pair of sunglasses perched on the top of the exact same attaché every single day. Today, for instance, New York is almost sinking into the sea, the rains are so heavy. Notwithstanding, there they were - the lavendar-rim pair, in attention, in a squat on the top of that bag. Yesterday it was the white pair. Who in heaven's name is this gal and her on-the-ball eyewear?

She likes Xavier. Sometimes I have to leave earlier than he does, but he always goes at the same time and never misses her. Yesterday, she eyed him and winked. Subtly, but comfortably. That went over big with him. Today, he almost requested that I walk further away from him, not to discourage her attention. He is resolved to one day get up a little earlier and be there waiting for her when she arrives, loaded with her chattel.

He makes me laugh as he observes the Americans around him on our way. We passed a security sort of person and Xavier was all eyes, "Did you see the number of pens he had in a line in that front pocket? We [apparently French people] always say that any American security guy/worker in a white shirt is sure to have a pen sticking out of the front pocket." I replied, "Yeah, it's useful." He retorted, "You guys and your pragmatism." (Shirts with front pockets are to be avoided under almost all circumstances in France).

6 comments:

Xavier Joly said...

I indeed need to get the set up part of this sitting lady...I am amazed by how meticulous she is.

Jill said...

Please, oh please Xavier, introduce yourself to her. I would love to hear more stories about her!

Also, I love that we are pragmatic. It's my favorite American quality. I have two front pockets on my shirt right now.

Aralena said...

- what a lady!
- what about pocket protectors?

Anonymous said...

How about a picture of this lady with all her bags around her?

Rebekah V. said...

pragmatism is my lover. I am serious. I love the useful and the functional more than Steve, possibly. The best is pragmatism in philosophy and when approaching religion. The best question I ever learned to apply to matters of faith was "does it work?". And I think being pragmatic gets a bad rap for being crass and result oriented. But there is something so tied to the creative in the pragmatic approach. Sewing machines, tools, pots and pans, socks, pens, faith, deep breathing, blankets, vinegar, clotheslines, umbrellas, notebooks, envelopes, sand paper, paint. All so necessary to create and all so satisfyingly useful...and beautiful in their potential. Every time I come here my americaness is revealed. I love having pens on hand...and a pair of sunglasses just in case.

Emilie said...

oh rebekah vaisey how i love thee.

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