Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Anything But That!

For the moment, Jube can't work. Sometimes that is annoying (like when I get another bill from my student loans), but I think he's enjoying his life of leisure. When I leave in the morning, he is usually still in bed, either sleeping or on the laptop. When I come home in the afternoon, he might be making lunch--or he might be playing either the guitar or the Dreamcast. He enjoys watching the morning talk shows, too.

He's a pretty laid-back kind of guy. A few years ago I asked him what was annoying about me, and he was quiet for awhile. Finally he said, "There's only one thing I can think of that really annoys me. It's that when you make lunch, sometimes you don't think about making lunch for me, too*."

I think this is a big cultural difference between America and France. His family always ate together, at a set time, and they all ate the same thing. I appreciated it when I was in France. My family, on the other hand, didn't always eat together. On Sundays we always ate the same thing, but during the week we all did different things, and so would eat at different times. For lunch on Saturday, I usually made myself a sandwich or some pasta, and everyone else made themselves something. When we go back to my family's house for holidays, the same patterns hold, except now I know to make Jube something at the same time as myself.

This morning we woke up late and I poured myself a bowl of cereal. "What am I supposed to do?" he asked me. "Now we won't be able to eat until four o'clock because you won't be hungry!"

"Come on, Jube," I said, "we never eat until late anyway."

He gave me a dirty look and said, "I'm going to have to call Dr. Phil so we can have a talk about this."

*This is either really laid back, or really diplomatic, because I have lots of other annoying habits.


Jube said...

To open the fridge and help myself without asking feels like a very unnatural and rude thing to do when I am at other people's houses. It's like entering someone's house without knocking on the door.
I guess the fridge is a more private appliance in France. Or at least in my family.

Brooke said...

I think it's individual (at least here in the u.s.). I feel the same way as you do. I have friends, however, who feel perfectly alright to not only enter my house unannounced, but also to walk *straight to my kitchen* from the door and open up my fridge/cupboard whatever. Not that I would be inhospitable... but why are they such friggin' hippies about it? I guess I'm just not a communal person. Anyway, it makes me feel like *I'm* the weird antisocial one.
(Also, in my family, we often ate willy-nilly and not together, but if you make something for yourself, food or drink, you are supposed to ask if anyone else wants anything. My man never asks me if I want a drink when he gets himself one, and it actually causes arguments!)

Lady Iphigenia said...

While growing up with my parents and brother, we use to always eat together as a family everyday, usually for supper, because my brother and I always had lunch at school...

Now with hubby we kind of have this habit of sitting down at the same time to have something to eat, but we don't always have the same meal (he doesn't like veggies, and I can't eat too much meat either). Plus, my schedule is a mess and "regular meal times" hard to fit in.

shakesrear said...

My family always ate meals together, even though my brother and I ate at the coffee table in front of the tv. It wasn't such a big transition to life in France. But, when my sister came to visit me and she got up in the morning and made herself some coffee before the rest of us woke up, we were all disappointed and I was actually hurt.

Whenever we visit my family (with my sister's and brother's kids), my hubby comes away traumatised by all the liberal access to the fridge and the willy-nilly mealtimes.

But, sometimes it is so nice when my hubby goes on a business trip so I can eat what I want when I want and in the way that I want (in front of the computer with a coke!)

Hey, I have a friend in Phoenix with a Belgian husband. He couldn't work for 3 years (yes, the green card took forever). Now that he's got it, he still doesn't work because he does so well at internet trading. Maybe Jube can do something like that?

jube said...

I do not have to wait for the greencard. I should be able to get a work permit within the next 2-3 months.