by- Posted on Jul 14, 2017
I’m not much of a Franophile and I don’t speak French well enough to call myself a Francophone, but I do believe in celebrating Bastille Day or at least I celebrate it in a certain way every year.
It all happened more than a couple of years back when my old college roommate David and I were looking for a time to get together for lunch. We finally found a moment: July 14, it turned out. The date didn’t register with either of us but we happened to meet at a little French restaurant—long since gone—with kindly, bossy Breton waitresses and while we were looking over the menu for a summery salade niçoise or celeri remoulade they announced excitedly that they had a blue, white and red tart just for the day.
That’s when it dawned on both of us: Happy Bastille Day! David and I caught up on a lot of news as we happily ate our way through steak frites and duly ordered the patriotic tart with blueberries and raspberries and white cream. "We’ll have to do this again next year," we said. And we have. We both get pretty busy and it’s a way to keep in touch, to keep friendship on the menu, and it reminds me of the value of having holidays in the first place, especially religious ones.
Of course it’s good to be thankful everyday, but isn’t it good that we have one day to single out that virtue, the way we celebrate moms on Mother’s Day and dads on Father’s Day and love on Valentine’s Day?
And so in my idiosyncratic, non-French way, I’d like to propose a day to celebrate friendship. Pick any day on your calendar and pick out that good friend you haven’t seen in a while and be thankful for all that they’ve brought in your life. David and I will do that at lunch.
Happy Bastille Day!
Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.