I never got store bought pizza at home. At least it feels like it to me. Every Friday was pizza night, but for the earliest and most recent stages of my life it was always home made. And sure, there was that period for almost all of elementary school and middle school where we went to Mama Illardos and Pizza Boli's, but for some reason that never seemed to count to me. Of course, there isn't really much difference between Pizza Boli's and Pappa Johns, but to me it seemed like if my parents chose Pizza Boli's it made it different, less "real". Maybe it also has to do with the fact that we picked it up ourselves and didn't get it delivered. I don't know. Whatever the reason, the greasy, American, pepperoni and extra cheese delivered in a red box by a bored teenager is a special occasion thing.
Store bought pizza tasts like late nights and early mornings. It tastes like holidays that run to the next day and sleepovers that aren't supposed to happen. It tastes like cast parties and pool parties and birthday parties and random parties. It tastes like friendship and laughter, and it tastes like home when home is the only place I want to be.
It's officially the weekend for me here in Paris. On Friday I only have to watch Eben until the early afternoon, and then I'm off until Monday. It's been an interesting week. My three year old charge and I have gone out every day: to the American library, to a Polish playground installation next to the Seine, on the RER to a flower garden, across the Champs-Elysee to a park. It's been a rather specific view of Paris, but it's a perspective I've never had before. We eat breakfast at 9 and lunch at 12:30. It's nap time around 1:30, and I hand him back to his mom at 6.
I'm not used to this, and maybe I shouldn't say too much because I've only seen a sliver of the city, any observations right now might be too hasty and uninformed, but at the moment, Paris honestly seems way more unobtainable than Lyon ever felt. It's skinny and rich and fashionable, but not in a way that makes you think that if you work hard enough you can fit in. Paris is old money, families with reputations they have taken generations to build. It's intimidating. I've felt more homesickness this past week than I ever felt with AFS.
I ordered a pizza from the Dominos near the apartment (in the 7eme) to celebrate my first week. As left the shop, I saw the Eiffel Tower down the street, lighting up the dark sky with an orangey glow. For the first time since I got here, my stomach flipped. Just once, but it's a start.
I ate my pizza in the dark apartment, looking at the Eiffel Tower through the living room window as it sparkled and blinked in it's nightly show.
Store bought pizza tasts like smiles and happy endings. It tastes like being the winning classroom and long running girl scout meetings.
It tastes like staring out at a new city, and thinking that everything may work out after all.