Friday, November 8, 2013

Part Two of Dichotomy of a Good Girl

Continuation of Dichotomy of a Good Girl

Months after I would think about that little evening in the student house fondly.  How Remi had timidly touched my arm to ask if I had freckles like another redhead he knew.  It was innocent enough, but I wondered if he was the slightest bit interested in me.  In my most hopeful moments I flattered myself that maybe he was. 

Back in the US after my internship I pined away, not just for him, but the fun times I'd had in Holland.  I had felt freer in Holland in some ways, free to explore another side of myself, perhaps to escape from what others expected of me.  I was definitely still a good girl, but one who could let loose, too.

The French boy and I started exchanging emails and chatting online and one day when I kept telling myself, you've got to be kidding yourself that there could be anything more than a penpal here, I wrote something  that would change my destiny.  I figured this thing had run its course and as a way of saying "goodbye" I said, well, if you're ever in the US, I'll be happy to be your guide.  And I thought that would be the end of it. 

And darned if he didn't write back that he'd checked out prices on flights to Alabama.  In the end it was New York (far more touristic than my city) where we met for a week in December 2001 and where two relatively shy people realized there was maybe more to our friendship than we'd dared to hope. 

We vowed to make it work, to find a way for me to come to France.  It was very unlike me, straight-laced, homesick me who'd chosen a university just two hours away from home instead of more prestigious ones which were eight hours away.  It was perhaps in part the fact that this was so out of character for me that it attracted me to the idea.

Eleven years later, the initial haze of infatuation and discovering a new culture and country have of course faded.  I've settled into the routine and am likely to roll my eyes at my hubby (for he is now my husband) for requesting a sauce with his meat or grumbling that we don't buy wine often enough.  The good girl is still there but has a tougher skin and is starting to speak up more when things bother her, at work or at home or at the in-laws.  But I still have moments where my good girl complex makes me bite my tongue and when I wish I could lash out, sing out, tell people to "talk to the hand"! 

Some people would call me quiet, but I'd say they don't know me well enough. I certainly feel there is a lot of chatter in my head!  I sometimes feel like surprising people.  It's not that I want to be a "bad girl" or even a Bond girl (or just for one night ;p) but just free to be whoever I want. 

So to all my fellow "good girls" out there, pamper yourself, dance on your coffee table and make yourself happy!  Good girls shouldn't finish last.

3 comments:

I Say Oui said...

Still waters run deep, I say. :) Ain't nothin' wrong with being a good girl.

Jenenz said...

You are a winner! Good girls finish first.

Crystal said...

This is beautifully written, and I really enjoyed reading more about your past.

You may call yourself a "good girl", but I simply call you a good person; a person who is kind, and loving and respectful of others. A person who is strong, and positive even when things are hard, and a wonderful friend and mother.

When I see you next, we'll drink some wine and dance on some coffee tables ;)