A BIG GLASS (2009)

large-glassAll I want is a big glass. One that will hold 12 ounces. I’ll even take a hefty 10 ounce glass if that is available. It is for my morning smoothies. I am in France. In France, everything comes in 3 ounce glasses, even Coca Cola!

Yesterday I went to the big Carrefour, the supermarket, looking for a glass. The largest thing they had was a nice sized (4 ½ ounce) wine goblet. I do not want a glass with a stem for drinking a smoothie in the morning. I want a big glass. Nothing. As a matter of fact, there was an absolute dearth of glasses. A few that would barely hold the juice of 1 ½ oranges. There were pitchers surrounded by 5 or 6 small glasses, suggesting that any container the size of a pitcher (14 ounces or more) should only be for sharing with at least 5 other people. There was one glass, perhaps 6 ounces: it would have done alright but it cost 8 euros and had “Perrier” written across it in big green letters. I was not going to pay 8 euros to advertise Perrier while I drank my smoothie in the morning.

Well, I thought, tomorrow there is a garage sale, a “vide grenier”, and there I surely will find a glass. That was yesterday. This morning I decided to get there early. If there was only one glass, I didn’t want to run the risk of someone else getting it. There were more than six tables the length of the room filled with objects that people had pulled out of their cupboards and closets and attics. I combed them one by one: three-ounce glasses… more three-ounce glasses, wine glasses that would perhaps hold four ounces if you topped them, three ounce glasses; a few five ouncers that came with a pitcher (I only want one glass, just one, eight-ten ounces, please). Not one, nothing in all that stuff on the tables. I bought a drawing of two woodpeckers climbing up a trunk, a sheet for the bed (here they just put on a throw quilt and no sheet; if you get hot but still want to cover yourself, there is nothing, so I bought a sheet), and a square red woven straw box with a top to use as a container for recyclable material. No glass.

I went for lunch at a restaurant that serves very large portions all on one plate. There was nothing minimal about the serving, at least as far as food went. On my plate there were three lamb chops, a good serving of ratatouille, a nice portion of salad and a generosity of French fries which come with everything. I asked for a Badoit (bubbly water) with ice. The waitress brought me the demi-Badoit, an acceptable 6-ounce glass that said Perrier across it in large green letters, filled with the ice, and a small three ounce glass that was images6snxq7hsapparently to serve the Badoit in with one or two ice cubes from the larger glass (I saw the men at the next table do exactly that). It was obvious that even at a restaurant the large glass was considered a container not worthy of being used for drinking from. Perhaps they were afraid someone would pour the drink all over themselves or the table, or drown while drinking from a larger glass. I resolutely poured my Badoit over the ice in the larger glass and drank from it without a mishap.

Tonight there is an arts and crafts fair in the park below my building. I am hopeful. Perhaps someone has made a large glass as a decoration for a table, or even a small vase to hold flowers, that can serve as a 12-ounce container for my smoothie. As it is, at the present, I make the smoothie in a pitcher and then, using the thimble-sized glass in the apartment, pour and drink and pour and drink and pour and drink: definitely ladylike but not practical at all.

I think of the United States, I think of the movie theatres where one cannot get anything less than 12 ounces even if one wants to. “A small one please” means at least 12 ounces; a medium must be about 16 and a large one probably contains a litre and a half. It seems a bit gross compared to the delicacy of these three ounce glasses, but then, this is Europe and here people drink one or two ounces of coffee instead of a mug; a small cup of tea, instead of a container-full. I guess the smoothie will have to be consumed in three or four goes unless I can come up with that vase that will do the trick.

And, all considered, if my only problems in life are small glasses I guess I should count myself as lucky.

Posdata: Finally found an 8-oz transparent plastic bathroom glass decorated with navy blue fishies. Will do for the time being. Mental note to bring large glass next year.

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