petite anglaise

July 12, 2005

dizzy blonde

Filed under: Tadpole rearing — petiteanglaiseparis @ 12:36 pm

I hang up, reluctantly, after another long conversation with my absent lover, and feel around on the bed for my glasses.

Odd. I thought I had put them down on the pillow beside me.

I scrabble around pointlessly on the bedside table, then the computer desk, narrowly avoiding a calamity involving a large glass of tonic water and some vital electronic equipment, not reputed for its fondness for fizzy drinks.


I slide off the bed and try the bookcase, the fireplace, the chest of drawers.

Patience is not a virtue I possess in large quantities, so I begin cursing under my breath, not exactly seeing the funny side of the ridiculous catch 22 situation in which I find myself: need glasses, in order to find glasses.

I feel something yield under my bare foot.

First rule of living alone: if you have soft-focus eyes, never place your dark brown Gucci glasses on a dark brown hardwood floor.


Tadpole and I bundle ourselves into the lift. We are late. Again. She is carrying her Miffy bag, which accompanies her to the childminder’s every day, and I am carrying a weekend bag, a handbag and two bags of rubbish. It’s a tight squeeze in our minute lift, and I can’t even see Tadplole, as she is below the bag horizon.

“Mind your fingers!” I caution, as the lift doors strain closed around our luggage.

I empty the recycling rubbish into the yellow bin, wondering who will have the job of separating papers from cans and plastic. I suspect no-one does. I have a rather pessimistic theory that all the rubbish all gets taken to the same place, and that the yellow bin is just there to lull us into feeling like we have done our environmental duty. The bin in question is almost empty, and comes up to my chest.

Rubbish bag duly emptied, I grope for keys in my handbag.


I try the front pocket.

Still nothing.

A long, thin icicle slides down my spine as I realise that no-one in Paris has a spare set of keys to my flat, the letter box or the pushchair room. Taking a deep breath, I mentally retrace my steps and can almost feel the cold keyring dangling loosely from my index finger, just seconds before I started to empty the rubbish into the bin. I peer downwards, gloomily, looking for a glint of metal and the hair bobble attached to the keyring.

“What has mummy done now?” I wail at Tadpole, who looks rather puzzled as the top half of mummy disappears into a stinking dustbin.

Arms flailing, I stir the junk mail and packaging around a bit, straining to hear the muffled jangle of keys. My hair is falling unhelpfully across my eyes and my glasses have slid to the very end of my nose, where they threaten to fall off – a fact not unrelated to the earlier incident which saw them bent rather out of shape.

I withdraw my head for a moment, surfacing for air, only to see the sun glinting off something metallic in Tadpole’s tiny palm.

I have no recollection whatsoever of giving them to her. Sometimes I fear for my sanity.

Second rule of living alone: give spare set of keys to nearby friend (Mr Frog) to avoid repeated coronary incidents.


  1. AHHHHHHH Petite – that post made me laugh – we have all had those mornings. I myself have been going through the bin to find my sunglasses, only to find them on top of my head……..or be desperately asking the salesgirl “where’s my wallet” when I’m wanting to pay for a purchase when said wallet is jammed under my arm so I could hold all my purchases! She pointed to it and couldn’t contain her laughter.

    So, yes, we’ve all been there :)

    Comment by Kasey — July 12, 2005 @ 1:12 pm

  2. This does remind me of David at the hotel the morning we were supposed to go to Disneyland, when he stepped on his glasses and snapped off an entire earpiece, at the joint.

    He therefore spent the majority of the day at Disneyland with his glasses scotch taped to his face.

    And then, we ran into his coworker at the carousel. Who took pictures and sent them to many other coworkers the following Monday.


    Comment by kim — July 12, 2005 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Hello there

    I have been through emotionally difficult spells lately, and I always ended up locking me car keys, home…inside it, hanging next to the steering wheel. So got stuck many times, near home, at the cinema, restaurants, work , 200 miles away on work site visit…..
    I have now bought a toy ( a frog would you believe) that I have to squeeze proudly (and which goes quizzzzzz) before getting out of the car, temporary mental incontinence.

    I just hope to remember to squeeze that damn frog

    Zed Zero

    Comment by Zed0 — July 12, 2005 @ 2:12 pm

  4. We all have days like that I think- and once they begin badly they can go from bad to worse. (Reminds me of feeling for contact lenses on the floor of a ladies’ loo in Greece! If you’re not wearing them you don’t stand a chance of seeing them!)
    Happily you manage to put it over with a sense of humour – keep smiling.

    Comment by Sandy Bootman — July 12, 2005 @ 2:24 pm

  5. I was also totally convinced that the recycling bin was just one big scam. BUT then I was talking to someone who said that in their town all the recycling was sent to the prison to be sorted. And this then seemed like a possibility for Paris trash. I don’t have any idea if they actually do it, but atleast now I can imagine how it might be economically feasible to have the recycling hand sorted. (Or maybe I am just starting an urban myth…)

    Comment by Nicole — July 12, 2005 @ 2:43 pm

  6. Have you got to the here-I-am-in-the-kitchen-but-what-the-hell-did-I-want stage?
    I think it’s linked to the now-what-have-I-done-with-the-phone syndrome and highly likely to be caused by the not-enough-room-in-my-head complaint.

    I suffer symptoms daily. Fortunately my 7-year-old is observant and on the ball and can usually point me in the right direction.
    I know I’ll be able to rely on her in my dotage, assuming it hasn’t already started.

    Comment by Susan in Rennes — July 12, 2005 @ 3:09 pm

  7. I can often look for my glasses and it turns out I’m wearing them. My mother often puts the icecream back in the microwave. I’m not there yet.

    Comment by Gab — July 12, 2005 @ 3:11 pm

  8. Or do what i have done, give everyone you know a set of your keys as on the days when i misplace my keys, if i only had one person with a copy, then they would be on holiday in Outer Mongolia.

    Comment by Victoria — July 12, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

  9. Before going on holiday I always put those keys that I won’t need somewhere safe and it takes hours when I get back to remember where that was.

    Comment by pww — July 12, 2005 @ 4:17 pm

  10. Having a lover with the exact same degree of nearsightedness has saved many a pair of glasses–a quick ‘borrow’ from the other bedside table, and the soon-to-be-squashed specs are spared. (good excuse to lay over still-sleeping one as you reach….)

    Needing them, in order to find them, reminds me of the brutal decision of what to have in the morning at the coffee bar; please, I need caffeine of some sort just to give voice. Nice to have a regular spot, where after a familiar greeting, you wait blearily, while they express your usual macchiato, or cafe creme…………


    Comment by millie — July 12, 2005 @ 4:54 pm

  11. Oh goodness. I always have those moments of loss and forgetfulness, usually when I’m stressed or dealing with a Major Event in my life.

    I agree– spare keys. Lots of spare keys, if you have several people who can hold them for you. I can’t help with the glasses because I can’t find mine from one day to the next.

    Comment by Kris — July 12, 2005 @ 5:38 pm

  12. Always ask your kids first if you can’t find something. Even if they don’t have it, they are closer to the floor and see things when they’re dropped. :)

    Comment by Bob — July 12, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

  13. I’ve been in the glasses situation many times. I usually wear contacts, though, and now have reached the point where I need reading glasses with the contact lenses. Luckily they’re cheap enough that I have several pairs. More than once I’ve caught myself with one pair hanging from the front of my shirt (handy storage spot) and another pair on my face.

    Comment by Bluegrass Mama — July 12, 2005 @ 7:21 pm

  14. I feel bad, ’cause.. um… I used to do that to my parents on purpose. It was funny.. *shrugs shoulders*

    I’m so sorry now! I’m sure that will come back to haunt me someday… *sigh*

    Comment by theinsider — July 12, 2005 @ 7:36 pm

  15. I have a very large airing cupboard in my flat which is so high I have to climb up in it to put things on the top shelf. One day whilst doing so I appear to have thought that it would be a good idea to take them off… only found them 4 hours later.
    I have also been known to put tea bags in the dishwasher and spoons in the bin… and im only 20!

    Comment by Ellie — July 12, 2005 @ 9:43 pm

  16. I, too, kept forgetting my house key. I had a touchpad lock put on my door. Now I just have to remember what the code is!

    It is quite convenient because if guests or workmen need to get into my house I don’t have to give them a key–just the code. Then, after they leave, I can change the code.

    I recently stumbled across your blog via Expatica, and have been enjoying it very much. I love Paris, but the countryside is wonderful, too.

    Comment by Elle — July 13, 2005 @ 1:13 am

  17. At least you can blame forgetfulness…

    I sleepwalk, and tend to do things in a dream state that I only vaguely remember/understand upon waking.

    Like the time I ripped the earpiece off of my $200 steel glasses frames because the inside of my ear itched at 3 AM (and I couldn’t be troubled to walk 10 feet to the bathroom for a Qtip.)

    Or the time I called my resident manager (of my apartment) at 2AM because I couldn’t figure out how to open the door to let the dog out to pee.

    Sometimes I feel like I’ve a split personality, or a split life.

    I wonder if I am more fun in my sleep?

    Comment by Ronica — July 13, 2005 @ 5:05 am

  18. I’m with you on the recycling thing. When I was growing up, we were told in school to remove all staples from paper – that the whole bag would be un-recyclable if we didn’t – the cost of seperating out the staples just wasn’t economically viable. While I’d like to believe that we’ve made progress in the past 15 years or so, I’m never convinced when I dump everything in the recycle bin together.

    Comment by Bumblebee — July 13, 2005 @ 5:22 am

  19. I am SOOOO glad I don’t wear glasses … yet. I have a hard enough time getting into the elevator in the morning with my “did I lock the door” thingy and the “did I shut the coffee maker off” thingy and etc. etc. If I had to add glasses to that, and I’m sure I will someday, I will need an extra 10 minutes in the morning.

    Comment by magillicuddy — July 13, 2005 @ 9:46 am

  20. Exactly the same thing happened here this morning! Scrabbling around the bedside table for the glasses which I usually find under the pillow but hadn’t – a tumbler of spring water was tipped over. I can say, fortunately that the glasses were found, on the keyboard of the laptop which was narrowly missed by the water… but these glasses replaced the ones I stepped on six months ago.

    And the keys…that was priceless! Very good idea to leave a set with Mr Frog, I think.

    Comment by Bella Ozfemme — July 13, 2005 @ 1:44 pm

  21. contrary to popular opinion, one can crush a human size of plastic frames even with company around. One might even say that glasses crushing odds raise with more people in the house. blame it more on lover-itis rather than loner-itis.

    as for the keys… are you copying me again? I just lost me keys… but that was a in a field next to a stone swimming pool. Fill in the blanks as you like…

    Comment by nardac — July 13, 2005 @ 11:31 pm

  22. Funny, I hadn’t pictured you as a blonde….

    Comment by Kathy — July 14, 2005 @ 2:00 pm

  23. well, I’m not quite as blonde as in the anniversary post photo any more – without the help of a hairdresser…

    Comment by petite — July 14, 2005 @ 2:38 pm

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