Sunday Enjoying (she said)13 Sep 2012
Thanks to an awkwardly-worded cutting board, a gift of Japanese visitors to Kent’s family decades ago, a phrase has taken root in our lexicon. The cutting board shows a couple, done in delightful 60′s graphics, enjoying lunch at a stylish table surmounted by the words “Sunday Enjoying.”
The French do Sunday Enjoying better than any other culture on earth. In France, everything stops while people stroll, visit friends and families, enjoy the outdoors, and allow the cares of the world to recede for one, glorious afternoon per week. On Sunday afternoons, most shops close. You can’t can’t run errands and you can’t get anything fixed, all you can do is Sunday Enjoying. Only a sparse few cafés and restaurants (and the occasional ice cream shop) remain open.
Moored along a popular promenade in Moret-sur-Loing this past Sunday, we did our best Sunday Enjoying by lounging on the deck of Après Ski, alternating between reading, people watching and dozing in the sunshine. As it turns out we could do better, and our French boat neighbors offered us their sage advice.
The two captains of the boats at the end of the pier, with deep concern for our Sunday Enjoying, stopped to chat on their way back from town. “Have you tried the gelato shop in town? It’s really amazing, just as good as ice creams in Italy.” Really? As good as Italian gelato? Having lived in Italy and eaten an impressive amount of gelato, I knew we must visit this shop.
We milled patiently in the half-block long line of folks awaiting the creations of Les Mille et une Glaces, Artisan Glacier (A Thousand and One Ice Creams, Craft Ice-Cream Maker) and were rewarded with superior gelato. About 10% of Moret-sur-Loing seems to be eating ice cream at any given time, and we joined other folks as they strolled along the river-front promenade eating their ice cream. Now that’s Sunday Enjoying!
There’s something delightful about a culture in which almost all consumerism stops so that everybody can enjoy an afternoon off, together. Of course there have been times I’ve wished the post office, the shops, or the grocery store stayed open on Sunday afternoons. But after I’ve taken a breath and realized I must relax, I get on with my Sunday Enjoying.