Lord knows we had plenty to keep us occupied during our three weeks in the States. There was unpacking, hanging up blinds, odd jobs around the house, and of course, filing, which is what kept me busy most of the time. Not only was Mom a meticulous record keeper, but a newspaper-clipper extraordinaire. There were clippings of comics, clippings about computers and the internet, clippings about managing credit; there were even files with my and my sister's names on with clippings inside that Mom had clipped especially for us. In any case, a whole truckload of unnecessary papers were carted down to the recycling plant and there's still a few boxes lying around that are ready to go.
I'm sure I would have gotten so much more done during that three weeks if it weren't for one major distraction, calling to me from the living room, glowing in all its English-speaking glory: the television.
It all started the very morning after we arrived. Awake before dawn thanks to jet lag, I made my way to the couch and fumbled with the all-in-one remote. I flipped past the infomercials and landed on my dear old friend, who always kept me company, singing away in the background, VH1. I flipped back and forth between that and MTV (did you know they actually play videos first thing in the morning?), until I'd seen all ten videos in current rotation (indeed I think I saw only the same ten videos the whole time I was there). After that, I visited all my old friends; Discovery, History, A&E, Bravo, CBS Sunday Morning... it was like old home week! I was glued to the boob tube, and before long, Steph was taking my place whenever I did get the wherewithal to get up and do something. His poison? Old Westerns, old episodes of MacGuyver, The A Team, old World War II movies... all the things he grew up with (and he's only a year older than me!).
But soon, I knew I had taken my addiction to far. On more than one occasion, much to my shame, Dad would call for me and I'd think, "Why can't he wait for a commercial?" FOR SHAME! Eventually, I managed to withstand her shiny charms and get back to work.
Even so, it was with much disappointment on Wednesday afternoon when I flipped on the tv here and was greeted with jarring French blaring out of the set. I stared at it for a full five minutes before I realized where I was and why I was getting a headache. I promptly popped a DVD in to relax my brain; I may have been a bit premature when I said that my culture shock upon returning to France was minimal.