2/18/2010

Love Is A Plastic Baggie Of Poop Scraped From The Ground Of The Local Doggie Park



Instead of elucidating on why, today, Love is a Pile
of Poop...I shall illustrate 10 charming and bizarre
little facts and differences about France--namely the
south of France--that you perhaps did not know.

1.  There is a southern accent even in France.
It is slower, wider, more nasally, and pronounces all
of the letters with gusto.  If bread in Paris is: Pan,
bread in Toulouse is: Paing

I speak French with this southern accent.
 Imagine, if you will, a French woman speaking 
English with a Mississippian accent.

Adorable.  I know.  I know.


2.  Vous ne pouvez pas passer la serpillièreYou may not mop!!
 In France, "mopping" is the measure of all activity.  
It is understood here that all women do the mopping.
And apparently (something I never understood as I had never
actually mopped, but am of the old school where one gets
down on one's hands and knees and scrubs the kitchen floor)
this is a somewhat boisterous activity.  If, like me, you are a
somewhat high-risk pregnancy, you can depend on it: you will
be forbidden to mop.  And sweep.  That "to sweep" is the Italian
slang term for boffing is a deliciousness not lost upon me.

Neither is the deliciousness of boffing.

I am, however, permitted to pick up a few dishes, walk around
a bit, cook certainly (hah!),  and spend hours in the bathroom
obsessing over possible blood debutants.

3.  The French are almost horrified when one brings up 
Prenatal Vitamins.  They don't even sell them except in very 
small quantities in the pharmacy.  When I was pregnant
with my first miscarriage adventure, I called the gynecologist
to schedule a check-up and after a bit of chatting with the
assistant I said, ok, so I should start taking my prenatal
vitamins now, right?  And she said: Why would you do that?

And for all you future commenters (hee hee, hint hint),
the French like to put forth the idea that their diet is varied
and healthy...and if you believe that, you have not eaten in
a French country home as of late.  Certainly the produce is
the best...but even the happiest carrot loses all of its vitamins
once beaten into submission by tons of heat and butter.
And a few leaves of lettuce does not a salad make...at least
not in Cali.  AND how many amongst us can brag of being
ABLE to eat 9 SERVINGS OF BREAD STUFF PER DAY!!

4.  The French refer to their cats not as "kitty kitty," but
rather "le chat, le chat!" or "the cat, the cat!!!"
I find this hilarious.  
My Man does not understand why.
And then he continues to chase the cat around yelling-whispering:
"le chat le chat le chat le chat." 

Our cat is the most mature item in our house.
5.  At the French Ob-gyn office you will not be offered a delicate
paper robe.  You will not even be invited to fully undress.
Instead you will find yourself dressed in whatever shirt you were
wearing, legs spread and bare, bottomless from the waist down
on the old torture bed.  I am quite sure and positive that I am the
absolute ONLY pregnant woman in France who has been ass naked on
an ob-gyn table while wearing a Batman Hoodie!  Yeah Boyeeee!!!!!

6.  Many French women feel that it is more stressful on the fetus to
quit smoking than to continue smoking.  I need not go any further
with this particular curiosity.

7.  It takes 3 times longer to say anything in French.
Let Please be your example: S'il vous plait.

8.  People do not smoke joints made up solely of pot.
All joints are mixed, thoroughly, with tobacco.  One calls
to mind a Blunt (LOVE that term), except cigarillos are
not involved in the mix.  Incidentally, they think the
American race indecent to smoke weed as we do.  
And, considering my own attempts and failures-due-to
paralysis-and-paranoia at smoking weed in the US, I 
can see their point.

9.  If you ask a room filled with French people what their favorite
type of food is they will all ALL say, without hesitation: FRENCH!!

This was a particularly shocking event for me, coming, as I do,
from the cities of america where we love all kinds of food.
My confusion and surprise was not understood, however.
All my friends, all of whom are French, are now on a mission
to convince me, by their own hand, of the superiority of the
French cuisine.  I particularly enjoyed the Indian sandwiches
The Neighbor man made for us last night (Quoi!!).

10.  French women are the absolute most jealous nation of women
I have encountered.  This includes Italian women.  If you are at
all attractive, the French women at the party will diss you and 
spit their eyes at you.  EVEN IF THEY DON'T HAVE A BOYFRIEND
FOR YOU TO STEAL!!!  They are just, in general, jealous.
Of your height, of your looks, of your life experience, of your
foreignness.  It's pretty impressive.  I tell no French woman anything
about myself now, as it will in no way be celebrated...but rather
fodder for future hatred.  This in complete contrast to my experience
with american city women who band together and push each
other forward with pride.  It is very very sad.  And I believe, after
much questioning and pondering, that it is the result of a very
macho (though covertly so) society that constantly pits women
against each other.  I mean, stick my head in the toilet, French
women were not given the vote until 1948!!!!!!!!!!

So I feel for my French sisters, and I wiggle my way into their
graces with genuine complements and thoughtful attention.

Exhausting.

HOWEVER: I do love living here.
And I found that, on a my recent trip to the US, I truly and
deeply missed the level of politeness and friendliness that now
seems to be missing from the streets of the US city.

Bonus Item: The above photo is NOT a stereotype.  I have
seen this image, and varieties of it, frequently in my 'hood.
This could have been taken 2 minutes from where I live.

(More later on why love is poop...if I can muster the energy).

Also to note:  Pinkish Discharge has Ceased and Desisted.
Unable not to note:  My Porno Boobs.

10 comments:

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Very interesting. I speak very little French, even after two years in school and being the highest grade earner both years. I don't know how old you are (and I'm NOT asking), but if you are over 35, you need the prenatal vitamins AND folic acid. Very important to prevent neural tube defects (like spina bifida). Any pregnancy questions, feel free to ask me. I've done it 9 times to produce 2 children. Lost the rest. I practically have an honorary medical degree in OB/GYN. LOL.

corine @ hidden in france said...

Heehee.. I loved your remarks on France, from an America perspective. I'm French and have lived in LA for half my life.
I do remember the competition between women, that sense of never being safe, always being judged, which disappeared entirely when I arrived in the States. i did not trust it at first, all the lovely benevolence. You and i should do a comparative sociological study. It would be interesting. I love american women. I aspire to become one.
I'm here via belette by the way.

A.G. said...

i liked this very very much.

The Pliers said...

I stole a hospital gown from my local HMO before cutting the umbilical cord precisely so that I could walk into my local French doctor's office prepared for both an office visit and cultural diversity medicine–even if I have to institute it myself.

Nice post!

La Belette Rouge said...

My list in response to your list:
1. Hilarious post.
2. I am thrilled to hear that French women are jealous. Seriously, it isnt' fair that I am just jealous of them. They should share in the jealousy.
3. Is there any part of France that would correlate to a Jersey accent?
4. Not mopping is a very good thing.
5. The #1 way people get to my blog is by searching "prenatal vitamins".
6. I am delighted that the gorgeous, beneficent and all out lovely Corine found her way over here. She is a French woman I envy. Her hair is enough to make me feel dreadfully and boringly American.

French Shelter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
French Shelter said...

Lady Evil Twin's Wife: my beloved speaks very little English after 8! years in school...so feel not so bad. And, being 41, I have a whole battery o thingies that need to be done and taken. You are so right. With questions I shall come to thee, as well as the enormous internet that is.

Corinne!: Tu m'as fait rire!!! Ca me rassure que il y a une francaise qui est d'accord avec moi!

Lady A.G.: Thank you very very much!

Lady Pliers: That! Is a great idea!

Madame Belette: your list and attentiveness warms my cockles. I shall research the Jersey thingy immediately (in French time).

Fantastic Forrest said...

You are brilliant! I am laughing my lips off at your fun writing.

I have to say, though, that we differ greatly on the 9 servings of bread stuff per day. I love bread.

Thanks for following my blog. I am now following yours. So we are going round in circles. But we'll be laughing all the way, so it's okay. Just throw your extra bread stuffs back toward me. Or in front of you, since I'll be there too. You know, since we'll be moving in a circle.

Iheartfashion said...

Love your list.

French Shelter said...

FANTASTIC FORREST: Thank you! Crap! What lovelyness is flowing at me!!! Wait, my bread is calling!! Want some??

IHEARTFASHION: Thank you Madame Fashion. Love your kitten!