Where to begin?
There is too much. The ball in Montreal with my Canadian family was amazing, and despite some bumpy moments, I have my Mark Allen here in Chicoutimi with me now.
I knew I missed my old friends, the life I left behind. But I suppose I’d forgotten just how insanely wonderful it is to join forces with my “second husband.” I last hung out with mon ami in January of this year. I last “lived with” mon ami around the time I met my husband and started spending more time as part of that couple (though, third wheels are always welcome; Valentine’s Day of 2011 was spent cooking dinner for both of my men). It’s been a while since we’ve been left to our own devices like this, though it was once Mark and Megan against the world.
I’ve said before that life is small for me in Saguenay. Ma petite vie. (My little life.) But Mark’s arrival expanded my world again. Suddenly there is laughter and conversation and a nearly disturbing amount of noise in my quiet home. Suddenly there are new people, new jokes, and dumb things that make great memories. I’ve done well making a life for myself here, but it sure is nice to have a piece of my home, my heart, here with me to make it larger.
I can’t even start to relate the dumb things we’ve done, the marvelous things. A small thing, socializing, but it looms so large. I’ve made new friends who are enthusiastically helping me with my French, as they practice their English on me. It feels pretty good to REALLY start to make the effort, to try to string French words together. to speak French to French-speaking people who will correct me and help me learn. And it feels good to actually be able to piece together some funnies en Francais. I learned that the proper French term (ne pas Quebecois) for “bra” is “soutien-gorge,” literally “throat support.” When our French teacher then asked the class how to say “underwear” en Francais, I was able to hazard a silly guess…soutien-fesse? Hahahaha! (“Soutien” = support, “fesse” = butt.) Between the French classes that started this week, my second husband’s visit, and the new friends we’re making, je suis tres excité! (I am excited!) It’s a strange new life, but I’m trying new things, being challenged, having to work for something. Even if I can’t actually get a job for the foreseeable future here, I can work. I can set my will on something.
Life is good! The husband is texting me smiley things from sa petite vie (his little life, 600km away from mine for the moment), and life is full. I have some of my Saguenay friends coming to dinner to meet one of my Forever friends. (Pour toujours? is “forever,” I think. Mon ami pour toujours.) The Francophones I’ve met recently are so generous with their efforts to use their English and to help me use and improve my French. I even managed to make a bunch of quite off colour jokes with a man who speaks less English than I speak French. Harold (sounds like “Errol” en Francais) and I are friends and shared some laughter, despite the language barrier. I’m going to keep chipping away at that barrier. The wall will fall before my formidable will. And I’m going to enjoy the ride.