Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I'm marking up the maps. Tomorrow Thrippie goes international. First stop: Paris.
My colleague Leonard has given me insider info like where the best ice cream place is (Berthillon's, and Lonely Planet agrees). The weather report looks good for three days of walking (with respites, of course, in churches, museums, and cafes).
I confess that I may have squealed when I got to the "Dress for Less" Paris guidebook page. My Francais lexicon is about the size of a petit-four, but I've committed to memory my new favorite word: depot-vente (second-hand). Note: the first "e" wears an ascending accent mark like a quail feather and the "o" a peaked hat. I can't wait to paw through Parisian ladies' castoff vintage wear. As a courtesy to my bro (whom I might start calling Sancho Panza, even though his build is more Don Quixotic), I'll keep an eye on the clock when we happen upon these houses of treasure.
I've been home in West Virginia for a few days, and to keep my thrifting skills sharp, my grandmother and I trolled through our nearby Goodwill last Saturday after we feasted at the Waffle House. I tried on a few light sweaters, but I didn't love anything enough to take it with me all the way to Europe in my pink turtle bag.
The night before our Goodwill outing, I picked Nana up from her dance at the Junior League building downtown. I arrived later than I'd promised (shock) but several dances before the music stopped. I couldn't help but feel self-conscious as I searched the room for my tiny grandmother on the dance floor, veering left at the potato chip table when I should have cut right. There's something about seeing half a dozen senior citizens tearing up the Cha Cha Slide that does a heart good.
As I wrote about in a post from last fall, the prescribed gender roles of dance can be a relief. Nana's friend Jack asked me to dance. He's really good, because even I looked good. I work through my nervousness by asking questions: how long have he and his wife been dancing? How long did it take until he didn't have to count steps in his head?
Jack said he dated a girl in high school, and they'd go out dancing all the time. He broke her sternum once while trying to flip her over his shoulder. Is that why you broke up? I asked. No, he said, I wanted to go to college. I glanced at Patty, his wife, with her blond curly hair and silver shoes, chatting with my grandma. I said it seems like things worked out OK.

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