Since Shannon hasn’t banned me from her blog yet (which means she trusts me enough that she knows I wouldn’t post those really embarrassing photos of her) and even though her and baby Codi are home and safe, I figured I would still take this opportunity to shamelessly promote my own blog That Kind of Girl.
I’ve recently been reading a book called True Pleasures: A memoir of a women in Paris by Lucinda Holdforth. To summarize quickly, it is the book of a 40-something women who takes off to Paris after a turning point in her life. She has a background in French literature and wants to further research the allure of femininity of these famous women who lived in Paris and of Paris itself. “Paris is a great beauty. As such it possess all the qualities that one finds in any other great beauty; chic, sexiness, grandeur, arrogance, and the absolute inability and refusal to listen to reason.” Fran Lebowitz.
The book covers all sorts of Parisian’s, women from the time of Louis XIV to the likes of Gertrude Stein and Coco Channel. The author explores the life, loves and passions of these famous, extraordinary women. Many of these women where not natives of Paris, or France at all. Many of them were Americans, or English. They felt a certain pull from the femininity they found in Paris. There is a common theme among many of the women who the author choose to highlight. The idea that Paris was a place to reinvent yourself…you become the person you always wanted to be. To be the independent lover with her pick of suitors, the powerful business women having a glass of wine at 12 in a cafe, the mistress being supported by her lover or the bohemian intellectual with suitors forming a line down the street.
There are examples of women moving halfway across the world, escaping from lives of a submissive married wife. Escaping the life of being a mother. Escaping a life of persecution or boredom. One of her subjects left a life in the English countryside, with four children, to move to Paris and live the rest of her life out as a single women in Paris in the 18th century. She never looked back and filled the remainder of her life with lovers, suitors and late nights filled with intellectual conversations. Some of the women choose to never have children, some choose to incorporate their children into their lives.
The question arose, after reading this book, if I had the chance, would I give it all up and reinvent myself? Would I choose a life filled with passion, power and intelligent conversation over a life filled with love, children and family?