What does it feel like to fall out of love? Could it be happening to me?
French is supposed to be the “language of love,” is it not? We had a sweet, sweet honeymoon phase, French and I. Every day we seemed to know each other twice as well as we did the day before. I was blissfully unaware of my relational faux pas, and everyone else just thought they were cute. Every little sentence was a triumph. Every lesson brought new possibilities. And the grammar… Oh, the grammar! What passion we shared, those participles and I. The verb tenses! The day I first learned passé composé, and could finally talk about things that had already happened… Stories started sprouting everywhere!
It’s true, French and I did take a little break at one point. I spent two months sequestered among Anglophones over the summer, but I never stopped longing for the langue de l’amour. I signed out workbooks from the library and continued the relationship in a one-sided, long-distance kind of way. When I returned to the Moroccan Promised Land of language acquisition, I was disappointed to find that both my teachers had deserted me (as if I didn’t already have an abandonment complex). “I miss you! I love you! I want you back!” I wailed into my sorry little unilingual void.