About three weeks ago, my host mother told me that she will be hosting a nice Easter lunch in her home this upcoming Sunday. Not knowing whether or not I would be using the weekend to travel, she very graciously invited me to join the family for the holiday. While the idea of making small talk for several hours with French strangers continues to make me a tad uncomfortable, it was a great relief to have something to fall back on should I not find something more exciting to do with friends.
I know I promised a math lesson, so here it comes… A few days ago, my host mother started thinking more seriously about how many people she’ll be cooking for – her family is 5, then there’s her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her spouse, the single brother-in-law, and her brother, his wife, and their daughter. Throw me in and you’ve got… 13 guests. Now, have you read Harry Potter with a nerdy tenacity that rivals my own? Remember the scene where Professor Trelawney freaks out because there are 13 people at the Christmas table and she is convinced that if they dine together, one of them will die? Apparently that superstition isn’t just part of wizard folklore; in fact, it thrives in France. 13 people gathered together is just insupportable (unbearable) – so much so that I was dis-invited altogether from Easter brunch!
Although the conversation left me shocked, I could tell right away that since I was more apt to laugh about the situation than cry over it, I must be adjusting well to the whole roll-with-the-punches mentality it takes to study abroad. In fact, at this point I’m only sorry I wasn’t smooth enough to just tell Madame that I’d invite a friend so we’d be 14! Next time I’ll be ready.