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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Paris musings

Although it seems a bit like a distant memory, it's only been a week since we returned from Paris. Here are some of the observations that stuck with me:

The first thing I noticed about Parisians was the return of a retro fashion trend. Hold on to your hats late 70s/early 80s fans, the white lace up canvas (and leather) sneaker is b-a-a-a-c-k.

Both women AND men wear Capri pants. Let's pray that one doesn't take hold here in America.

An iPad is a conversation starter in any language. Excuse me, do you speak Apple?

Carbs are no match for the French. French people aren't fat. They eat, they drink, but they walk. Everywhere.

It's OK to sit at a cafe for several hours. No cares, no agenda, no server staring you down willing you to leave already. Just good conversation and people watching. Life in Paris doesn't suck.

The rest of the world is not a debit card society.

Smoking is culturally significant. As is espresso.

Your stiletto Banana Republic heels are stylish walking five blocks in Saratoga. The same pair walking ten blocks in Paris - ridiculous. Oh, that's why I've noticed that French women don't wear heels. Hello, ballet flats.

The Eiffel Tower is outstanding at night. All lit up, it's breathtaking. I visited the Eiffel Tower in 1986 & 87 during the day as a student. Just not comparable to the night time display. Or, am I just experiencing the Eiffel Tower for the first time as an adult?

Walking the Champs Elysees on a picture perfect sunny day - not a cloud in the sky - is dangerous. We stumbled upon the Hermes store a short block off the fashion thoroughfare. By stumbled upon, I mean I was determined to find it. For the record, I've spent the last decade dreaming about the day I'd replace my Hermes scarf which was lost (OK, stolen by an ex who figured out I loved IT more than him in the end). Needless to say I was both nervous and outright giddy when I entered the inner sanctum that is Hermes. We're talking the Paris boutique people, not the store in NYC. I narrowed my selection to two scarves, then I let my husband weigh in on my choice. This isn't his decade long dream, but he's sharing the moment (and the expense). Once we both agreed that the turquoise blue and purple scarf "looked like me", I sent him back outside. I knew he didn't have the stomach for what came next...

As I shelled out some serious cash to right a wrong from long ago, I peeked out at my husband who was (for the most part) more than happy to share in my quest. We had three romantic days in Paris and I couldn't be happier, I had a super guy by my side. So what if the checkbook is lighter and my waste line is thicker. Was it worth it? Totally. I mean, it's Paris.

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