Cheeseburgers in Paradise

“Oh my god, it is so annoying!”  I say this to MB as we walk down the street.  “I mean, how does anything even stay in business?  It’s ridiculous!”

MB rolls his eyes.

“You complain about this every Sunday,” he says.

“Because it annoys me every Sunday!  I mean, look at this, what if we wanted to make cheeseburgers?  Not possible, no store to buy buns, or lettuce, or cheese…I mean, cheese for heaven’s sake!  We are in France, right?  I mean shouldn’t there be like a 24-hour cheese shop or something?”

MB tunes me out as I continue on my tirade.  It is one he has heard many times before.  Suddenly, he stops walking and clutches my arm.  I am still rambling.

“I mean, can you imagine?  Going to the 24-hour cheese shop at 3am after a night of drinking; that would be a great way to gain wei—what’s wrong?”

His grasp tightens.

“Are you okay?”  I follow his eyes; they are fixated on a building across the street.

“Those people are there, yes?”  He looks at my shocked face.  We lock eyes.

“They are there,” I say, stunned.

We turn back to look at the building and suddenly the clouds part and a beam of light comes shining down upon our neighborhood Casino Grocery Store.

That is open.

Past one pm.

On a Sunday.

We approach slowly, as you would a cool, pool of water in a desert; convinced that at any moment it might evaporate.  But no, it is real and in that moment, the world changes.

I remember whinging to my Mother about everything being closed on Sundays.

“It’s horrible!  It makes everything so crowded on Saturdays; when are you supposed to do your grocery shopping?”

My Mother had sighed, wistfully.  “It reminds me of when I was a little girl.  Nothing was ever open on Sundays.  It was kind of nice.”

I remember thinking she was crazy.  “Try it as an adult,” I had thought to myself.

But now, staring at the Casino Grocery, for the briefest of moments, I feel regret…as though something has been lost.

MB laughs, and it snaps me out of my reverie.

“HA!  Now what will you complain about?”  He looks at me with a smirk.

I give him a face but laugh anyway.

“Don’t you worry, buddy, I’ll find something!”

He puts his arm around me and kisses me on my forehead.

“I know you will, baby.”

“So, cheeseburgers?”  I ask, knowing there is ever only one answer to this question.

“OUAIS!”  MB responds before crossing the street.

For a moment I hang back and look at the grocery store.  “The end of an era,” I think.  And then, I cross the street.

14 thoughts on “Cheeseburgers in Paradise

  1. Just catching up on your recent posts (hilarious and eloquent as ever)..While you’ve discovered something open on Sundays, am sure there will be plenty else to complain about/comment on (perhaps capitalism’s encroachment on the traditions and loveliness of France?). PS. Am super envious of all the cheese you’re eating (We had to cancel our long summer trip–work, ugh–so hope that France is marginally tolerant of la vegeterienne americaine whenever I do visit). 😉 Hope to be back in Memphis for the holidays and see you in person!


    1. Thanks so much!

      HA – as long as you eat cheese – you’ll be fine!!! 🙂 So sad about the summer trip but hopefully y’all will make it over while I’m still here. I will be in Memphis for a few weeks in December so let me know when you will be in town!!


  2. it IS amazing! I’ll have to check if our Casino is doing the same thing.

    I went on the same rant when the ice rink at a hockey game ran out of ALL of its concessions after the 1st period (umm, 1 period is only 20 min). I mean, Seriously? I’m starving and they could have actually made a profit if they had ordered enough supply to meet the demand.


    1. Haha – that sounds terrible and typical. I think I’m just going to start carrying snacks with me everywhere I go in France.

      But yes – check your Casino…could be the wave of the future?


  3. We’ve been back in the U.S. for 2 years (after 2 years in England). One of the things I miss the most was the shorter hours during the week (nearly all the shops except the grocery stores closed by 5), the closed shops on Sundays and the shortened hours around holidays. It took a while to learn, but I found it peaceful to be able to stroll around towns on Sundays, enjoy a cafe au lait at a bistro and just enjoy the quiet. I know it drives a lot of people nuts, but I was just complaining to my husband yesterday about the crazy hours workers here in the U.S. work! (I think that was my favorite part, was realizing it meant all the workers got to be home more with their friends/family.)


    1. What a good point! It is nice on a sunny Sunday to know that everyone is out enjoying themselves and not stuck behind a register. It has definitely made me a better planner in terms of the groceries though!


  4. When we lived in Lyon everything was pretty much shut on Sundays apart from in the Old Town which had some special derogation and could stay open. Here in the country, there are loads of places open on Sundays, it’s taking some getting used to 🙂


    1. Isn’t that always the way? Once you get used to one thing, it changes! Although, I must say, I am surprised that more is open in the country – it is nice to have the option of shopping on Sundays… 🙂


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