I wasn't prideful about going to Paris. I was humbled and excited at the prospect of this long-awaited anniversary trip with the love of my life. Oh, no, it wasn't that. It was how I was going to look on this trip that was my downfall.
I was not going to be just one more tourist in shorts and T-shirts, looking more as if I were headed for the gym than for some of the most beautiful and famous museums and palaces and churches in the world. I was going to treat my host city and its residents respectfully, and I was going to look tres chic while I was at it. So I carefully, lovingly, pridefully packed darling little summer dresses and comfortable but cute sandals. I even got a pedicure before I left. I meant business.
You know what's coming. On the third night of our trip, just before bed, I ran to the bathroom. And my right foot had a fight with the door facing. I'm ashamed to admit that a not-very-nice word escaped my lips as I sat down. Man, that hurt. And it hurt even worse the next morning to discover that my little toe was a sickening shade of purple--almost black.
Yep, I went to Paris with my cute clothes and shoes and proceeded to break my toe.
Luckily, I have experience with toe-breaking, my youngest son having done it twice before. I wasn't really alarmed as I iced it and elevated it and took ibuprofen--just in pain. But I certainly wasn't going to sit around in the hotel room. So I visited some of the most beautiful and famous museums and palaces and churches in the world wearing tennis shoes.
Here, for instance, in the hall of mirrors at Versailles. That would be me wearing jeans and tennis shoes in the palace.
Oh, well. My pride suffered more than my toe, as it turned out. My husband was a good sport about hailing cabs and matching his pace to my hobbling gait. My toe is mostly well now--the swelling is gone, and the bruises have faded to shades of grey and green.
And there was one good by-product of my pain. One afternoon we sat down on a park bench near the Eiffel Tower so that I could rest. My sweet husband said, "Why don't you just lie down? Put your feet up." So I did. Right there in the middle of Paris, I lay down on a park bench.
And I discovered that the view from a humble perspective was a good one.