by Halley Suitt

Somebody Cares

in Social Issues

Thu, 12 May 2005, 05:19

I have been going to the awesome forums (see the link up there in the far left top corner) and finding so much support and help there.  (Thanks Tom for kicking my butt to visit.)

They make me know that somebody cares.

But how totally weird it is that it's really a bunch of software, strangers, a screen full of little letters of the alphabet, avatars and late night assurances that we can make it through, and it actually works.  How the hell does that work?!? 

It shouldn't work.  It's not real, is it?  Shouldn't real people -- my real friends and real family -- care MORE?  Shouldn't it be easier to talk to them?

Forget the shoulds.  It's not easier to talk to them.

And I don't mean to say anything against them.  It's just ... well, the forum is different.  You just go there and the people there GET IT.  They GET IT and GET YOU.  And you don't have to explain much.  You don't have to say why you're there. 

You're just there and everyone's glad to see you.  Not really SEE you, that is.  Listen to you.  Hear the tippy tappy of your fingers.   Oh, whatever! 

Come join us and you'll be glad to know somebody cares.  We do.  And we care for one another and that's a big deal.

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by Halley Suitt

Paris Sans Vin

Tue, 10 May 2005, 11:44

I went to Paris last week to attend the Les Blogs Conference -- I'm a lucky brat, I know -- and it was quite a trip.  Here's me drinking coffee.   I had lived in Paris and been a student there and worked there and been to events there -- all when I was drinking. 

So this was the first time ever ... let me think, yes, it was ... the first time ever in Paris "sans vin" -- without wine or beer or liquor.

And the truth of it is, their incredible food is better with wine.  The way they live and the way they eat, it's very hard not to drink wine with both lunch and dinner.  (Although I did notice many of my French friends aren't taking the long lunches they used to and aren't drinking at lunch.)

Here's a bunch of us eating dinner in a restaurant that featured the wines and foods of the Southwest of France -- especially Cahors wine, which was one of my favorites.  There I am, feeling a little odd not drinking.

But I didn't have a drop, during the whole trip.   And if you think it's hard when you don't drink around friends and family who want you to join in, when you're here in America  ... try it in France.  You begin to feel like a criminal.   It's practically a national insult, not to drink their wine with their food. .

Actually, of all the time I spent there (only about 5 days), I visited a family in the country for the first 2 days -- the parents of a good friend of mine -- and I missed drinking wine with THEM more than with my conference friends, because my friend's mother is such a terrific cook and made wonderful meals that would have been even better with wine. 

Was it hard?  A bit, yes.  But, also, with horrific jetlag, I would have been instantly asleep every meal if I'd had even a thimbleful of the stuff.

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