Reading through a new Twitter follower's past few tweets, I came across one that really sent my senses in a tizzy and started a chain reaction of thoughts about what little things I've totally forgotten about since I've left the US. Her tweet was simply this: "community Pumpkin Spice creamer in the office kitchen. My coffee is scrumptious! Totally made my morning!" Pumpkin spice creamer might seem like a silly thing to blog about, but besides making me verbally exclaim "YUUUM," it got me thinking about all the great things that come with the Thanksgiving season, and it even reminded me of what it is I miss the most about working.
Last weekend, at a party full of Americans (and a Canadian) the topic turned to Thanksgiving dinner. After listing off all of our favorite dishes - greenbean casserole, mom's stuffing, homemade pumpkin pie (my absolute favorite) - we got on the topic of eggnog. A few people have spotted the milky holiday beverage at various grocery stores around Paris, and someone verified the name in French to look for on the next trip to the market. I was never crazy about eggnog, and in fact usually only drink it when it's spiked, but somehow it seems to be more important on my list of holiday specialties than ever before. Talking about the drink conjures up memories of Christmas Eve finger-food dinners, holiday office parties, and winter dinner parties with friends. We have plans to replicate a perfectly American Thanksgiving dinner here this year, so I'm hoping all my seasonal cravings will be fulfilled.
As for that pumpkin spice creamer, I could actually see that in the community fridge of any one of my jobs of the past. My lovely friend (and old co-worker), Jen would totally bring that in to share with our department in celebration of the cooler temps or just to brighten everyone's day. She'd make her coffee at her desk in the miniature French press that was stashed in her office and come to the breakroom for a splash of creamer and an earful of the latest gossip. We'd compliment each other on our latest buys - her new kitten heels or my new pencil skirt - and talk about what's on the agenda for the coming week. That's the kind of work camaraderie that made working an often less-than-thrilling 9 to 5 job so worth it. And, there are those little things - like the pumpkin spice creamer that someone thought to share with the rest of the burned-out office - that seriously made life that much happier. Is it silly for me to be dreaming of artificially-flavored soy-milk when I can indulge in freshly-baked baguettes and tarts all day if I want? Perhaps. But, isn't the grass always greener?