I hate to admit it, but I went outside yesterday for the first time since Monday. Gui's mom was coming over for dinner and I knew I would be getting everything ready from about noon because I'm kind of neurotic like that. Leaving the apartment was like coming outside after being swathed in a cocoon for a few days, curious but unsure of what the world would be like now. It reminded me of that movie, I Am Legend, when Will Smith has to stay in hiding all night long until the sun comes back up. Locking the door of the apartment, I felt hopeful that I'd be greeted by warm temps and flip-flop-wearing pedestrians. But, I wasn't. The first guy I ran into was wearing one of those Russian-style fur hats with ear flaps and an ankle-length coat. My hands immediately began to freeze, but I shoved them in my pocket, put my head down and trudged along to Franprix. It was about 10 degrees colder in the store, and my hands went completely numb as I tried to get everything on my list. Neither asparagus nor strawberries were available (madness!), so I had to come up with a new side and dessert dish for the evening. I settled on a salad and moelleux au chocolat (small molten lava cakes).
Everything managed to fall into place for the evening, and I think I'm getting better at hosting dinner. In the past, I always felt a bit of pressure to serve things the "French way," but I'm loosening up a bit more and realizing it's fine to be different. We broke in some new Mikasa glassware we got for Christmas, and dined well on roasted chicken, salade composée, gratin savoyarde, and a nice red wine. I decided that I really enjoy dinners like this - at a dinner table and with proper dinnerware - as Gui and I tend to be more casual when we're getting our grub on (read: eating on a serving tray in front of the TV).
While I was preparing the gravy, Gui let his mom know that we're seriously considering moving to Austin in a year or so. It's something we discussed during our last trip and we've been talking about it since. I'd always known that we'd move back to the States someday, but it was a surprise to hear Gui tell me he'd like to move there soon - like in a year. Of course, I'm ecstatic about the idea, but there's still loads of stuff to work out before we make any concrete plans. It's difficult for me to think about Gui leaving his family and friends because I know how hard it's been for me. Despite his overwhelming reassurances, I still feel like he'd really miss his home, and I don't want him to have any regrets or disappointments once we leave. I could tell his mom was sad when he mentioned it, a little surprised and slightly disappointed. It's hard not to feel like I'm taking her baby away from her.
But, we have a lot of time to work everything out and make some final decisions. These past couple of weeks, though, I've really enjoyed being back in Paris. Sure, Winter in Paris blows, but I've still managed to stay light-hearted and optimistic even through the dreariest days. I know that Spring and Summer are around the corner, and despite having been properly seduced by the charm of my hometown, I'll admit that I'm a little worried that Paris might win me over yet.