I spent a significant portion of 6th grade lunch devoted to lemon yogurt.
In my on-going quest to convince my parents that I wanted to be a vegetarian (it started in 3rd grade when Liza and I gave up bologna and hot dogs after my dad warned us of what was hiding inside), I won the battle that yogurt could constitute the main part of my lunch. As much as I had loved roast beef on marble rye with mustard, lemon yogurt was a relief. It was different. It was tangy and comforting as I transitioned into those lonely middle school years.
One day at the Pompidou cafe, I was attempting to use one of Liam's cheques de restaurant to purchase cookies and tea when I spotted this yogurt.
Something about the glass container, the pieces of lemon rind, the salted butter short breads in between spoonfuls and sips of Earl Grey did it for me. It was my new favorite snack.
Devotion to Lemon Yogurt: Part II. Except it's citron yaourt not Dannon Lemon, and the setting is usually a Parisian apartment, not the left-side of the Herberg Middle School cafeteria.
It's this kind of snack that gets me through the waiting for the package. The snack that keeps me calm when Liam's birth certificate arrives from Rhode Island with an apostille attached while my mom drives across Massachusetts secure mine and then drops a small fortune to return it to me by Monday (in order for me to get it to the translator to have it back by the end of the week to give the paperwork to City Hall to wait 10 days for our intent to marry to be public and then, only then, can we set a date).
This kind of snack makes me glad to be here, almost makes me sad to leave.
Last night, as we stood in line to see Sex and The City: Le Film, an American behind us interrupted to ask if we were also in line for it, "the movie starts at 7pm and it's 6:55 and we're still in line!" I re-assured her that this was normal, "this is how they do it" I responded confidently as she wondered aloud when she'll get her popcorn.
It was not lost on me that with less than a month before I depart, on a day I'm fully appreciating small pleasures like yogurt, that I would find myself in a "this is how they do ..." conversation.
I'm not sure that I ever figured out how to make it through middle school, but I'm just figuring it out how to make through living abroad. At least that's what I tell myself.