I'm taking a break from musically themed posts this week despite the fact that it's the first week of Jazz Fest and I would rather be listening to music at the Fairgrounds than going to work. Such is life. Instead we return to this year's quest: to be the leading lady of my own life.
This entire quest is inspired by the wonderful character Iris from the delightful movie The Holiday. I love this movie despite the fact that it is highly improbable that any of the events in the movie would actually take place in real life. However, I also love Xanadu so my ability to suspend disbelief for cinematic enjoyment is pretty strong. I identify most with Iris in the movie (Cameron Diaz is a bit difficult to identify with for lots of reasons). Iris works for a newspaper writing a wedding column and pining (artistically) for Jasper Bloom, her colleague and general bad boy of the movie. When she finds out that Jasper is engaged, she has a mini-meltdown which involves crying and wearing very comfy looking sweaters (it's England and winter). Across the pond in L.A., Cameron Diaz is also having guy problems having just thrown Edward Burns out of her house (she probably watched his terrible movies) and is unable to cry about it. The only solution: house-swap for the holidays.
Because that is how life works. Additionally, Jude Law is Iris's brother and Jack Black is a composer who befriends Iris in L.A. Now we have the potential of meet cutes, awkward kisses, my second favorite coffee drink (see above photo), and a video store. This movie has a lot going on. Side note: Jack Black is surprisingly good in this movie. There are some bits of "Jack Black being Jack Black" but he's fairly subdued and has several of the best lines in the movie. (My favorite: "Iris, if you were a melody... I'd use only the good notes.")
In addition to befriending Jack Black, Iris also befriends her elderly neighbor Arthur (played by Eli Wallach). I love, love, love, love Arthur. He tells Iris about meet cutes and explains to her the concept of being the leading lady of her own life. In these few words, Arthur gives Iris the push she needs to be herself and live her life and stop the pining for Jasper. Two of my favorite words, gumption and moxie, are also discussed.
So I've been attempting to do a better job of being the leading lady of my own life this year. I feel like I've been making progress: making bolder fashion choices, going out more with different groups of friends, getting involved with volunteering again. Dating is one area I haven't made much progress on but the year is still young so I'm sure this will change at some point. Or I'll resign myself to wandering the Earth alone like the Incredible Hulk.
Fashion and dating are a small part of the leading lady quest. June will be the true test of whether or not I can do this. I'm finally going to Paris. After years of talking about it, I'm finally doing it. This week I will book my flight (finally) and decide where to stay. I had considered staying at a hotel (which is perfectly normal) but then I remembered The Holiday. Why stay at a hotel when I can stay in a lovely (hopefully) apartment in the neighborhood of my choice? While it's not house-swapping, the idea of staying in an apartment in Paris makes me sublimely happy. I've already gotten some recommendations from friends who have done it and I'm on my way to finding the right place. It's seems more affordable than a hotel and I think it'll be more conducive to my desire to experience Paris rather than just visit the city.
I've been spending time on both airbnb.com and housetrip.com to find my ideal Parisian apartment. It's fascinating looking at apartments in another country. I complain about the tininess of my apartment but it's a mansion compared to many of the Paris apartments I'm considering. It's possible that my closet is larger than the apartment I will eventually settle on but it doesn't matter. No one goes to Paris to sleep and stay indoors.
What matters is that in a month and a half I will be the City of Light and enjoying whatever happens while I'm there. While I do have a short list of things to see and do, my plan is to see where each day takes me. Like Kate, I will embrace the people I meet and become the leading lady of my own life.
And possibly have a moment exactly like this:
Images from http://www.thecinemasource.com/blog/movies/the-holiday/ (top image) and