In Memory Of Silliness
The Baroness is in France right now, and has posted about her adventures in the Louvre. This sparked a memory that seems so...er, memorable, that I can't believe I haven't thought of it in the fifteen years since it happened.
It makes me inexpressibly sad to wonder about what other delicious life moments are hiding back there behind the grocery lists, to do lists, school and sports schedules, doctor, dentist and orthodontic appointments....
What things am I missing that I don't even remember I forgot?
This particular memory takes place in the Louvre. It was our honeymoon, and Husband surprised me with an 8 day trip to London and Paris. WOW. The trip was everything I had imagined it would be, and then some. It was easily one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
I took 7 years of French, and, predictably, became quite a Francophile. For years I had listened avidly and with great affection to tales of Versaille and all it's splendor, The Louvre and all it's majesty, the Tour Eiffal, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur. I even embraced the French disdain for foreigners, because I believed the French to be the epitome of culture and refinement. Why wouldn't they be disdainful of us boorish Americans?
But my parents didn't have the money for me to travel to France with the French class my senior year.
It was a huge disappointment. I knew before they told me that I wouldn't be able to go, but I guess a small part of me hoped that maybe, somehow, someway, they would pull it off. The trip was simply beyond their parental magic, however. I thought I may never see all the things I had dreamed about for so long.
So perhaps you can understand my complete and utter rapture when I found myself standing in the Louvre, in a vast marbled hallway, in front of the most famous painting in all the world. I was absolutely beside myself.
The painting itself? Not so impressive. It was small. Tiny, really. And not all that pretty. There were innumerable paintings in the Louvre that were much more beautiful, compelling, and inspiring. And bigger. Much. Much. Bigger.
It was completely encased in thick, bulletproof glass. Getting a clear picture of the silly thing was impossible because of the glare. There was a barrier erected in front of it that prohibited anybody from getting any closer than four feet.
People thronged around the painting, jabbering in a multitude of languages. I wondered if their thoughts about the painting were the same as mine, and if they felt a similar sense of letdown about it.
Husband enjoyed the Louvre as well, but was not as enthralled as I. He lacked what I felt to be a suitable level of reverence for the ground upon which we stood; the corridors we walked, and the events that took place there.
You see...Husband is a goofball. He likes to caper and cut up. And the Louvre did not subdue this proclivity in the slightest. So he mucked around, pretending that he was going to steal the Mona Lisa. The Mona. Friggin. Lisa.
He tiptoed up to the painting in an exaggerated fashion, looked about furtively and sized it up ostentatiously by holding his thumbs and forefingers aloft in a picture frame formation. He winked. He held his finger to his lips.
A few onlookers frowned, a few chuckled.
The security staff was not amused.
After watching him for a few moments with dark looks and whispered consultation, one beleaguered gaurd stepped forward, wagged his finger and said...
"Monsieur! Ce n'est pas amusant."
Husband look at me with a blank expression. I sighed.
"He said...'That's not funny'." I translated. My tone was accusatory.
Husband looked at the gaurd, hung his head and dropped his shoulders in an exaggerated attitude of chastisement. Then he shuffled to a bench, sat down, and slumped forward like a small boy who has been sent to the corner.
Again, some people frowned, some people chuckled. I shrugged my shoulders, affecting extreme nonchalance, though of course, I was embarassed beyond belief.
"Il aime faire la pitre." (He like to clown around) was my oh so casual explanation to the curious onlookers.
Then I stalked off, leaving husband to follow or not.
I scolded him for acting like a court jester in a place so refined, so cultured, so....FRENCH. I was well and truly piqued. I was hot under the collar. I was hopping mad. Was my new Husband a thoroughly uncultured swine???
Ugh. It seemed so important then.
But after that? I forgot it. I didn't remember that incident until reading the Baroness's post yesterday. It came to me so clearly then, that I was a little stunned to realize it had been lost for so long.
It's funny also, that now, I don't feel nearly so outraged by his buffoonery. I chuckled at the memory. Yes, that's classic Husband alright. He's still a clown. But I've grown so accustomed to his antics that I rarely even take notice anymore.
Silliness is a gift, I think. And I'm not silly enough. It just doesn't come naturally to me. So I'm thankful that I have him to "faire la pitre" for our boys.
One day they are going to have a random memory sparked by something mundane. They will remember their Dad and his silliness.
And I'm glad.
Thank you Barroness. I would have hated to lose that one.