Friday, February 09, 2007


I got the wine we bought in Provence this afternoon and I went through some of the pics I made of MA and her Mom walking in the footsteps of Cezanne there in the downtown hotbed of Aix. Dr. Mary was oblivious but her New York Mom was terrified of that tall black dude walking behind them. Well, I'll admit to being oblivious too. Of course, the city fathers of Aix knew a good thing when they saw it... they mapped out all of Cezanne's favorite brothels and gin joints and marked them with copper inlays in the sidewalks.... look at that crowd of touristolas out following the footsteps of the famous painter. And there's a couple of typical American girls out looking fer some kulture.
Strange holiday this year. I was eager to get home and get moved into the new house in Sanford... but the pride of UF's contribution to the American Doctors Without Borders (the tired kid cutter on the left who didn't have any comfortable shoes was just amusing her mama, who is a devotee of the French painter). Said daughter/doctor had just arrived from the bowels of the Peruvian slope after driving to Paris to pick up her Mom (the frightened Brooklynite and the aging boyfriend and then driving all the way back to southern France in a overly large Mercedes rental car so that we could "relax" in Aix and the ladies could do some shopping... including the purchase of a box of local red along with a case of local olive oil (damned good... believe it or not). You know you are getting old when you're more excited about some wonderfully fresh olive oil and just only mildly pleased with a box of superb grapery. Anyhow.
Well, the ladies survived the paranoia engendered by the close call with the French version of the heart of darkness, and somehow I survived the grimly determined program of well placed hints from the mom-in-law about me making her daughter into an honest woman (oh, lordie) and I left unscathed when I escorted the senior mama back to lovely New York and I went south to don my academic gowns and begin a year of teaching at Excel (a program for naughty high schoolers who have been court assigned to an alternative school for budding Sopranos.
Strange. Me and the Doc have had a summer jaunt nearly every summer for the last twenty years... (my God, we are getting old) ... but this is the first time I have squired the lady and her mother around the south of France, only to leave Dr. MH finish the tour of Cezanne's home town and then fly back to god forsaken Peru without us and leave me to carry her mama home.
And you know what? I felt like a gawky high schooler sneaking smooches from his prom queen date under the eagle eyed supervision of the disapproving mother. And... it was entirely my bad. The senior doctor is one of the original mega-femenistas who graduated from Johns Hopkins in a pre war era when little wemmins just didn't become one of the smartest and urbanest and most sophistocatedest (sic?)... babes that I've ever met. Yeah... the first doctor in that family was frightened by a little Mandingo action. Heh! Man.... what's wrong with me?
I'm glad to be back on terra firma (last month now) here in the ole US of A. It all came rushing in at me this afternoon when the UPS guy came up the new house in Sanford to hand me a box of Aix's finest (both vino and olive oil thank you). Now I can just settle down to the dull life of an alternative ed school teacher.
The official daughter has already informed me that she has been talking to MH about a trip to Europe with the maximum allowable grandson. Maybe next year I'll just send the ladies solo with the kidlet and have the mother in law there to play gramma. Hmmm... I'll bet that would lower the heat a bit against me. Hmmmm.