"Because it's Paris, bitch."

I made my final decision regarding drupalcon Paris this morning. In the time since I've known about the location of the event I've gone back and forth on the question until it felt like madness and whiplash. Do I spend the money? Is it worth it? How will I explain to my friends? Am I right to burn vacation days on this madness?

Until this morning, I had plausible deniability and weasel words.  "I think I'm going," I would say. "Not sure, though."

This morning's announcement on twitter forced me to choose. I knew that drupalconDC sold out, so I knew I should make my decision quickly. I wasn't expecting the decision this morning, though, while sitting on the couch in my comfy shorts and contemplating quilty goodness.

I do not always live my life to its fullest potential. I am aware of this. I am also aware of no one who actually manages that lofty goal. We have day jobs, commitments, cats to feed and Wednesday meetings to attend. I may take pride in the fact that my friends may set their watches by my daily schedule, but I don't always have to like it.

I asked myself one question this morning:

"Are you living life, Amy, or are you marking time?"

It's a question worth asking every now and then, to ensure you're making good choices. I'm too much the pragmatist to ever fully embrace hedonism, but some chances are good gambles. Not every adventure is a shot in the dark.

"But," I thought, "the circumstances."

True. They aren't great. I'll miss part of dragon*con, and more importantly, Jeff can't go. But dragon*con will roll around again during Labor Day next year, and I can treat this trip as a sneak peek, so that next time I come back as an insider and show Jeff the city in a way that does it justice.

It's not perfect. But, I whispered to myself, there will never be a perfect time to go, nor the perfect circumstances. I booked the ticket before I could change my mind -- and with that, I was in, I was committed, I was utterly scared shitless and dialing the phone to call two East Coast friends as I headed to Kinko's.  I had made up my mind, and the first ripple effect was already in play: I needed to renew my passport, and to do so I needed new passport photos.

The second call made me laugh.  "I thought you were going to talk yourself out of it." I admitted that I very nearly had, and he laughed, "because it's Paris, bitch." I agreed I'd need an empty bag just to bring nibbles back for my friends for what could be a legendary Saturday-night dragoncon feast.

Life's been a long, frustrating slog for the past three years. It shows in the entries that don't get written and the sadness in the entries that do. I've felt -- dampened, muted, like I've lost track of the qualities that made me live life a little more brightly, a little more loudly.

I don't know if I'll ever have another chance to go to Paris. I intend to shape my life so that this is just the first chance of many, but life is a capricious, unpredictable wench.  Yes, I'm nervous as hell about this trip: I don't speak the language, I've never been there before, and I'm going alone. But you know what? This is the opportunity I have, right here, right now. Maybe there won't be another.

Detroit reminded me of something: I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.

It's been too long since I tackled a new city with little more than my hiking boots, fare for mass transit, camera gear, a compass, and a map. It's time to remind myself of what life's like when you can't predict what the day will hold.

Let me know what you want from Paris. You've got a couple of months to make your requests, but so help me Air France, I'm going.


 Yay :) :) Good for you! I hope it is amazing and that the con goes well too :D 

I'm glad you've decided to go! Learn a few phrases from Joyous other than the typical "Bon jour", "Bon soir", "Merci", "Merci beaucoup", "S'il vous plait", "Ca va", & "Parlez-vous anglais" (Good day, Good evening, Thank you, Thank you very much, Please, How's it going/Going okay, & Do you speak English). Knowing even a little bit can help a lot! 

One thing to expect - personal space is MUCH closer than in the US. Don't be surprised when folks come right up to your face to speak to you. My coworkers at EuroDisney would habitually kissed both cheeks (well the air next to both cheeks) in greeting - thought it was odd when I got there & missed it when I left.

My sister & I were addicted to Kona chocolate bars while we were there, but they're no longer made.

Good on ya. I didn't weigh in when you had earlier asked for opinions, but I would have firmly weighted in on the Paris side.


The only thing I want from Paris is pictures, which I'm sure you'd deliver anyhow. :-)

 There's something I want from Paris, but I think you'd want it even more: Cuir de Russie Parfum. It's now the only place on the entire planet where it's sold. Surely, you're not coming back without some?

Congrats on making a fantastic choice. Enjoy the trip.

Edit: a great (albeit not perfect) crash course in making sense of the French is this book: www.amazon.com/French-Foe-Getting-Visiting-Working/dp/0964668408. At least, my French friends say it's "reasonably accurate."


I didn't realize it was still sold in retail stores anywhere, period.

...and yes, I want it in parfum strength.

 It's agonizingly difficult to get any info on Les Exclusifs parfums, but they definitely existed in the Parisian boutiques in 2008. Judging from the lack of anguished perfumista chatter, there's no reason they've been discontinued since. I know someone else who will be going to Paris in the fall, and I've been thinking of asking her to buy a bottle of No. 22 for me. That's the only reason I know what little I do.

One quick tip: call all three Chanel stores when you get to Paris; don't just walk in and hope they have it in stock. Or better yet, have a (French-speaking) hotel concierge call for you, after you make it abundantly clear how heartbroken you'll be if you have to go home without it. Much as I (and, taking an educated guess, you) hate being demonstrative with strangers, desperate, etc., theatrics are the spice of Parisian life.

Besides, if nothing else, it'll give you something funny to write about.

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *does a happy dance for you*