10 signs I am francisée

1/ I know that franciser* is a word. Further more, I know that its a verb and I can conjugate it without looking in Le Petit Bescherelle, because I know it is in the 1st group of regular verbs (those that end in-er). It comes up when you get your French citizenship and they give you the opportunity to francisé your name. “Yes,” I yelped, “I’d like to be Coco. Coco Chanel.” “Oui, mais non.

2/ I wear high heels. The first thing I did when I learned we were being transferred to Paris, was to try on a gorgeous pair of CFM heels (Prada, emerald green, croc print if you must know). I promptly fell on my ass in front the entire sales team at Neiman Marcus on Union Square, a team of 3 handsome gay men who nearly fell on the floor beside me in mocking laughter. I’d like to see them try and chase me down in a pair of stilettos today. (Now is not the time to remind me of my Vogue Fashion Night Out fall)

3/ I Dress, with a capital D, to take out the garbage. IN my building. I don’t even have to go outside, but I still put on a proper pair of pants and decent shoes, because I know that if I don’t, I’m bound to run into a neighbor. They’ll think I’m sick just because I’m in pjs at 4 in the afternoon (I work from home, clients contact me online, no one ever actually SEES me!!!). Then, I’ll hear about it from my butcher and my baker as they inquire after my health. And if it is a Saturday, Mr French will hear about it, too, and he’ll know I was in my pjs until 4 in the afternoon. Besides, it is no fun answering, “Non, je ne suis pas malade, je suis feignante.“**

4/ I love sitting in the sun. Preferably in a wicker bistro chair on the terrasse of some café as fabulous people stroll by. In California its all about SPF, sun hats and parasols. Who cares about skin cancer, I’m going to die of second hand smoke.

5/ I enjoy a glass of wine with my lunch. Not everyday, of course, but in my past life that was simply unheard of decadence that would have friends signing you up for AA.

6/ My bra matches my panties. At this very moment, even without planning it. I don’t have to plan it because even the Petit Bateau cotton underwear for kids at Monoprix is sold in sets. Recently a US based friend talked about buying plastic wrapped multi-packs of 10, and WHOOSH!!! was that a startling blast from the past. I don’t even know if those exist in France.

7/ Bad teeth. Yup, my teeth are going brown. Blame it on the café terrasse where I sit in the sun. Fortunately they’ve finally started importing Crest whitening strips, so I’ll no longer have to smuggle them in by the case load.

8/ Late dinners. I can’t imagine having dinner at 6pm. I am going to have to start thinking about it, because we are going back for a visit in a month, but the idea just strikes me as so odd. Mr French is rarely even home before 20h!

9/ I enjoyed Rabbi Jacob and several other politically incorrect jewels of French cinema. It was filmed in 1974, and I’d say the main character is something like Archie Bunker on acid. Even more hysterical is Tati Danielle, who kills her housekeeper so that she can go sponge off family in Paris. How is that for a nice evening in with he kids?

10/ I cut in line. I know, BAD Sylvia, Baaad. I usually try to do it respectfully, with pre-purchased online tickets, learning about side entrances, or getting VIP passes, but if all else fails, I walk to the front of the line like the rest of the world does not exist. To be honest, I don’t even think about it, at some point living in this city it just became Darwinian. Survival of the fittest and all that. (non, I don’t do it at the grocery store and I still respect little old ladies, I am going to be one soon enough!!!)

* To be made more French.

** I’m not sick, I’m lazy.

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8 thoughts on “10 signs I am francisée

  1. I’m loving these series! You’re so witty! Like I’ve said before, you are the expat expert.

    So I need to get six down. I’m afraid my French partner will grow tired of the same strapless bra I wear every day with whatever panties I pull out of the draw. At least they’re lace thongs though…eh?

  2. This is indeed very witty Sylvia. And so much in contrast to me who will NEVER be francisée as long as I live here. Vive those inexpensive, great-quality plastic-wrapped multi-packs. Even if you wear them, you don’t have to be dépareillée, but I will remain so just to prove that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it!

  3. Pingback: Alms, alms for the… | Finding Noon

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