2007-08-01 - 12:50 p.m.

I've been growing my fingernails out. I used to have beautiful hands with perfectly formed fingernails. Then I went to massage school and had to start cutting my nails and after a year or so I decided that I liked having very short fingernails and so I stopped painting my nails, stopped filing my nails and my hands, over time, began to look more utilitarian than they did pretty. (although I find utilitarian hands to be more "pretty" than a manicured hand) Anyway, I don't know why I have decided suddenly to have pretty hands again...but lately I've found myself slathering lotion on my hands, exfoliating regularly and filing my nails every morning. My hands feel strange like this. But I know that it is just a matter of time before this will feel normal and returning to the short fingernailed, rough skinned hands would feel odd. We are what we get used to.

Which is what I keep reminding myself when I catch myself getting depressed about leaving Europe. I am used to this lifestyle now and when I think about living a life as an American in America again I get really sad. Don't misunderstand me...I am so ready to leave Spain that you don't even know...and I am really, really homesick (it's been a year and a half since I've been home)...but I just wish that the Germany thing would have worked out. The thought of going back to a country where we are so repressed and riddled with issues...ugh. I like it here where having a beer with your lunch isn't a big deal. Where it is just a beverage, like a Coke, and not something you can only have on weekends or special occasions. I like it here where there aren't advertisements every five seconds for personal injury attorneys. I like the restaurants here, I like how meals are unhurried and the waitstaff isn't expected to check on you every three minutes (one of the biggest complaints I hear from non-Americans who visit the U.S. is that servers in American restaurants check on tables way too often. I have to explain that this is the way they are trained AND that this is expected of them from the typical American customer. This is something that the rest of the world does not understand. They want their meals unhurried and when they need something they will flag the server.).

Oh anyway. I am a little sad to be leaving. I am going to be sad being so far from Paris.

But I am also very very happy...I keep thinking about December. We should be moved into our new house by then and I should have a job by then and will be able to buy Eric lots of cool presents. We will be able to sit around on Sunday mornings with coffee and snow outside and read the paper and I will be able to jump in the car to visit my mom, Amy, my brothers at any time that I want to. December...I can't wait. I can't wait to take walks in the snow again. I can't wait to sit in a snow drift.

I know it will just be a matter of time before I get used to being American again and then everything will be perfect and then the thought of moving back to Europe (which we are dreaming about already) will seem a little traumatic.


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