I’ve resisted that annoying hashtag for as long as I could. But I found a gem a few weeks ago in a big stack of old photos and thought it was too good not to share, hashtag or not:
Oh, just 13 year old Erin hanging out (in parachute pants!!) at the Musée Rodin in Paris in the summer of 2000. I wish I could tell you that even back then I was enamored with what is now my favorite city on earth, but the truth is I was such a little shit at 13. Sure, I may look like I’m smiling, but I am somehow, inexplicably, miserable. I’m sure all teenagers are to some capacity, but I couldn’t even shake my hormonal angst on a 10-day trip to London and Paris my mom was kind enough to take me on as an 8th grade graduation gift. Nay, instead I moped through the entire trip, complaining at every turn about having to get up early to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, and (I hate myself for this) making mom suffer through a ham and cheese sandwich every. single. day. in Paris. What was wrong with me?? Of the many things I would change about myself from ages 13-17 (don’t date that boy! don’t try to give yourself dreadlocks! stop listening to O-Town!), the biggest regret I have was not appreciating or remembering every detail of that trip.
Sure, I remember having fish and chips with my great-aunt in Westcliff-on-Sea, served wrapped in newspaper from the local stand near the sea. I remember making my mom laugh with my ability to clear a crowd of tourists around the Venus de Milo at the Louvre by pretending to sneeze really loudly, thus setting up the perfect solo photo-op. I remember what every hotel room looked like, experiencing my first heated towel rack, finding out our Parisian hotel served as the Gestapo headquarters during WWII, and even the flavor of yogurt I ate from the breakfast bar in the morning. But what I can’t tell you is how I felt the first time I laid eyes on the Eiffel Tower. That is a feeling I wish I hadn’t taken for granted, though I’ve more than made up for it on my last two trips when I bawled all over the place upon seeing it.
So yes. Throwback Thursday. Sorry I was such a brat, mom.