2017 + some gossip
Well, the New Year has come and gone. After thinking we wouldn't really have any plans, we ended up throwing together a last-minute NYE party for nearly 20 people. It was a great time, even if I was slightly cranky that all of the smog was blocking our view of the Eiffel Tower at midnight.
I've been thinking about it these past few days, and I don't really have any solid resolutions for 2017. With the exception of the US political situation, 2016 was a pretty good year for us, and I will be perfectly satisfied if 2017 continues along the same path.
And in today's episode of karma is a b*tch, before I left for the US, I made a short trip to Bretagne for work. Fab, my ex - as longtime readers will remember - had contacted me after the US elections results were announced to basically ask WTF. We started chatting a bit, and I asked if he was going to get in trouble for talking to me, and he was quiet for a second before very sheepishly admitting that he had gotten divorced this past summer. My first thought was "Ha, serves you right!", and my second though, which I voiced, was "That is sad for your daughter".
In even sadder news, he also mentioned that his father, a dear man with whom I was very close, had had a stroke. He is unfortunately mostly handicapped now, and needs a nurse to come three times a day to take of his daily needs. He also can't speak really say anything besides Oui or Non. So I'd had him on my mind for quite some time when this Bretagne trip came up, and I decided to ask if I could stop by the farm to see him.
It was pretty surreal to be driving through the winding country roads that used to be my home. When I pulled up to the farm, Fab came out to great me, and brought me to his 'house', aka a very sad-looking trailer behind the main farmhouse. My face must have shown my surprise because he said "Alright, you get five minutes of laughter and then you have to move on". It was pretty obvious that he too was aware of the irony of the situation.
He explained that was living there because he had lost a lot of money in the divorce due to the fact that he had brought his wife into the family business, something myself and everyone else in his family had strongly advised him against, and so he had no choice but to live there. He also lost his organic certification after an inspector discovered they had been trying to cheat by using non-organic feed (as a side note, this is one of the reasons I don't often buy organic in France - in my experience, most of the farmers are doing it purely for the extra money it brings in, not because of their convictions - which means they cut corners and make substitutes wherever they can).
I felt pretty gratified actually that he was able to acknowledge that I had been his moral compass, and he admitted that there is some truth to the saying that behind every great man is a great woman, and that he had unfortunately been too weak to push back on all of her suggestions. We had a long chat, and he apologized very sincerely for what he had done, and said it had weighed on him every day for the past nine years.
I was also surprised with how much he remembered of our life together. He asked very specific questions about several of my family members and co-workers, not to mention names of places we had been, etc, many of which I had long forgotten about. Although I guess I have a horrible memory in general, and can barely remember what I blogged about last year, so I shouldn't use myself for comparison lol. It was very obvious though that he missed speaking English, contact with other foreigners and our regular trips to the US.
But this is getting a bit long, and I haven't even gotten to the best part yet, so I think I'll continue on with the rest tomorrow!