Wishing one another a happy new year is an important custom in France. To not wish someone ‘bonne année‘ when you first see them after the holiday is a real faux pas.
New Year’s Day, while I was lounging around contemplating another mimosa, Frenchman was busy calling every relative one after the other for a quick, repetitive but heartfelt new year’s greeting. For each when the conversation turned to me I called a quick bonneannéehappynewyear from across the room. Thorough emails went out to everyone not reachable by phone.
At work on Monday, everyone pointedly wished each other happy new year first thing. As each person entered to room, bonne années were tossed around. If you sent someone a question, it was immediately followed up with “oh and happy new year!”
It’s an interesting social obligation to have to wish each other good health and happiness in the new year. Not a bad custom, but interesting to see how seriously it’s taken. It is, for sure, an obligation.
New Year’s in Paris
This New Year’s Eve was a quiet one, once again. When a nice dinner for two is nearing the cost of a washing machine, the appliances win out. So we had a nice meal at home, starting with the requisite foie gras of course, sipped our champagne and enjoyed a simple night in. We ventured out at 11:30 or so for a walk to the Seine (maybe to catch a view of the fireworks at midnight?) but very quickly decided it was just too cold and packed it in. We watched the fireworks from the comfort of our pajamas as the clock struck midnight.
Frenchman and Mrs. Frenchman have had a big year. We became Mr. and Mrs., for one. I’ve been on more planes in 2016 than I think I have in any other year. I experienced lots of travel, lots of stress, and lots of exciting milestones in the last 12 months:
- Flew back to the US for an indefinite amount of time for work & visa stuff
- Began filing marriage paperwork in France
- Became an aunt!
- Returned to France and got married! (the first time)
- Showed my parents Paris
- Quit my job and became fun-employed
- Got a new, French job
- Flew back to Boston for 3 days for a wedding dress fitting
- Flew to Boston for our second wedding
- Went to Barcelona
- Bought an apartment
And here we are! Not as much fun travel as 2015, but definitely not a bad year. Cheers to never doing that much paperwork again, and to just as many flights but to twice as many places in the new year!
Planning for 2017
What’s on deck for l’Américaine in 2017? Here are a few of the plans on the radar for the coming year for Mr. and Mrs. Frenchman.
- Move into our new home
- Start the process to renew my Titre de Sejour (so much for no paperwork)
- Business trips – possibly to London, Madrid, or even Boston!
- Return of the Parents for a trip to Normandy
- Summer in Provence, at least for a weekend
Well, I might not get my dream of no paperwork after all, but at least there should be less of it. It’s exciting to see what’s coming up this year, and I’m sure this list is only the beginning.
Here’s to whatever comes next.
Oh, and Happy New Year!