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Paris, at Home and Away
By The Last Good Name Left


Paris, by nature, is driven. She has a vision for herself, and she already knows how her life will turn out. Sometimes she re-adjusts her expectations to better suit new information, but she doesn't quit, doesn't falter, and never, ever gives up. It's just that sometimes, what Paris wants and what Paris knows she can achieve are not exactly the same thing.

Paris wants a house with a white picket fence, with a gray cat named Tobermory and a tabby cat called Hodge.

Paris wants to live in a small New England town, with a town square, and a community that supports each other, and a butcher and a baker and a candlestick-maker, although she will accept the Yankee Candle Company as the candlestick-makers. Paris wants her house to be painted slate blue, with white trim. Paris wants the house to have one and a half stories, with a cozy bedroom and a bathroom with a claw-foot tub large enough for two upstairs, and an overstuffed library downstairs. Paris does not want her house to have a formal dining room, but she does want a fireplace in the bedroom.

Paris wants to have a cottage garden, with climbing roses and daffodils, and herbs, lots of herbs. Paris wants to do the gardening herself, and get dirty, and have her knees ache from weeding, and cut flowers every day to bring inside. Paris wants to fix the plumbing and clear the gutters, and she wants to paint every room a different color each year and always get some paint on her nose and she wants to be able to laugh about it when it happens. Paris wants photos of herself with lavender on her nose from the first time the kitchen was painted to have a prominent place on the mantle.

Paris wants to be the editor of the town paper, something small that she and perhaps ten or twelve other people could manage mostly by themselves. Paris wants to go to work at 9am, and come home at 5pm every day, and not work on the weekends. Paris wants everyone in her town to know her by name, and she wants them all to like her, and accept her terseness, her intelligence, her caustic wit.

Paris wants to make berry pies that win awards at the county fair; not first place, but second, or third, or even an honorable mention. Paris wants to make bread from scratch, and homemade cranberry sauce, and she wants the kitchen to always smell of cinnamon and the freshly ground coffee that she makes every morning. Paris wants to be invited to the kindergarten class to talk about her newspaper, and she wants to see the sheriff at the coffee shop every morning when they both stop in for a donut and a chat, and she wants to know her mechanic by name because he's also her next-door neighbor. Paris wants to go on vacations that are really road trips, that involve packing up and driving for days just to see something new.

Paris wants Rory Gilmore to live in her New England cottage with her. Paris wants Rory Gilmore to spend every night in bed with her, wants to fall asleep with Rory while a fire flickers in the winter or while they both kick off the covers in the summer, wants to spend mornings cuddling and kissing and afternoons playing hooky and making out in the town square. Paris wants Rory Gilmore to help paint, and to compliment her flowers, and to appreciate that Paris comes home every night at 5pm, even on election night, so they can watch the returns together. Paris wants to hold Rory Gilmore's hand on the way to the grocery store.

This is what Paris wants. What Paris is going to get is something else entirely.

Paris will end up not married to a perfectly nice man, a professor or a lawyer or a doctor. They will not get married because Paris will refuse to, but they will live together, separate lives in the same spaces.

Paris will vacation alone in the Hamptons in the summer and on St. Maarten in the winter, and will take trips to France in the spring and England in the fall. Paris will avoid meeting people's eyes on the street, and will only make small talk at politically advantageous events, but never on street corners. Paris will have an espresso machine in her kitchen, but will buy coffee from the cafe on the corner every morning, speaking only to the barrista. Paris will drink too many cups of office coffee during the day and late into the night, and will never, ever use the espresso machine in her kitchen; she will not even know how to turn it on. Paris will avoid sugar and work out four days a week.

Paris will be an editor for the New York Times or the Washington Post or, at worst, the Boston Globe. Her section will be the world news, or perhaps book review. She will work 70 or 80 hours a week, and more on weekends. Paris will be known as the "bitch from hell" editor, and her writers will fear her. People will whisper about her in the hallways, but her section will win awards and her writers will always have perfect grammar.

Paris will have some subtle and interesting sculptures in her downtown loft; there will be a few posed pictures from formal events, weddings and graduations and awards ceremonies, but most of the walls will be covered in abstract artwork. Paris will pay an exorbitant amount to the cooperative association to deal with maintenance, and will hire people to repaint her off-white walls the exact same color every five years.

Paris' books will be secluded in a guest bedroom, and Paris will hold perfectly bland dinner parties where the guests will exclaim over her caterer. Paris' loft will be decorated in shades of boring, with matching contemporary furniture and a blond and black kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Paris won't know any of her neighbors, except to say hello in the elevator, and when she does grocery shop, it will be at boutique delicatessens. Paris will order take-out from the most exclusive restaurants. Paris will live in the middle of a city, have no pets, and Paris will never see Rory Gilmore again.

Paris knows she won't get what she really wants, and so contents herself with what she can achieve, and she never, ever gives up.

The End

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