What happens in Paris……….can come to America!!!
I have a friend who just returned from her first trip to Paris, France. It was a gift from her sister. She had reservations about going and up until the day she was leaving Oklahoma she wasn’t all that excited. She said, “Is the Eiffel Tower really that big of a deal?”
She was in Paris for four days. During those four days she made the following observations:
“There seemed to be so much love. I saw couples walking together, holding hands, kissing at times and appearing to really enjoy each other. People were walking and walking and walking but no one seemed to be in a rush.
When we ate a meal I noticed the tables were smaller, usually round, creating more intimacy when talking. Eye contact was so easy. Even if the restaurant or cafe was crowded and noisy my sister and I continued our conversation.
The plates were smaller, therefore the food portions significantly smaller. I remember thinking I will never get full on this small amount of food. But I did!! Parisians around us seemed to be so relaxed while dining. Eating small portions, some drinking wine, some not, smiling, laughing and talking to each other. I rarely saw an overweight person.
So what do you think I noticed almost immediately? No one had their phone in front of their face. No phones!!!! Where am I?? People were engaging with each other without the distraction of their phone. They noticed and seemed to enjoy what they were eating; they noticed and seemed to enjoy who they were talking to.”
OK so let me see if I get it. People were walking (ok so lets be fair, Paris is a walking city, Oklahoma City is not), they were not in a rush. Couples displaying love made you feel love. Meal time was intimate with closer contact, there was as much focus on communicating as on eating. You ate less because there was less food to eat. Meal time was not rushed. You were not stuffed.
No phones!!! What?? (That’s not to say no one in Paris gets their phone out during meal times, it just wasn’t observed). So it can be done…….dinner with no phones/lunch with no phones. Real connection with another person, eye contact, listening…….OK, I think I am getting it.
Oh, by the way she also added, “The Eiffel Tower really is magnificent!!
Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City
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