It was a long winter, I guess. Not harsh, but by April it was certainly time to exit hibernating mode. First order of business: membership in a sports club.
Duly attired in my suburban athletic garb, I arrived at the gym for the complimentary session with a personal fitness trainer. Adriana was young, kind, and pretty, with the perfect All-American sculpted features one would expect of a Pilates pro. In between the instruction for the postural improvement exercises --“pinch the scapulae in a V” “balance on one foot on the foam block” “don’t forget to exhale!” – we chatted. When I told her I’d just moved from Paris, her eyes lit up. Or … were they actually catching the light as they rolled just a bit toward her raised eyebrows?
“Oh, that must have been interesting,” she offered with a warm smile. “How long were you there?”
“Three years,” I replied, pumping the 6-lb dumbbells from the waist, trying to remember to breathe.
“You know,” she continued, shaking her head a bit, “when I was in college one of my sorority sisters spent a year studying in Paris. When she came back, she was so… different. She had all this French stuff decorating her room, she missed her life there. She got kind of depressed. And she gained weight and complained about it. About driving and American eating habits. She kept saying, ‘But in Paris we walked everywhere!’ She still wanted to do things the French way.” Adriana shrugged.
“Yeah,” I said.