Third date with Mr. Cupid. We were sitting in a bar in Belleville, where I had dragged him to my friend’s spoken word song night. (Yeah. I know. Long story.) But it was there, scrunched in between boho expatriates and enduring the sounds of bad slam poetry, that we kissed. A quick peck initiated by him that turned into a full-out make-out session when we left and had a drink at an outdoor cafe. Coming up for air, I looked at our nearly-drained glasses and back into his eyes.
“So … did you want to get something to eat (we both hadn’t eaten yet), or get another drink?” Keep reading »
You believed French women looked gorgeous naturally, didn’t you? Quel suprise! Airbrushing is causing unrealistic body images and encouraging eating disorders, said a French politician on Monday as she proposed warning labels on digitally enhanced images. Parlimentarian Valerie Boyer and 50 other French politicians want a “health warning” on airbrushed pics. All enhanced photos would be accompanied by this line: “Photograph retouched to modify the physical appearance of a person.” Under the proposal in France, a company that didn’t include the warning on their retouched ads would be slapped with a trés mal fine of a $54,930, or up to 50 percent the cost of the advertisement. The French proposal comes on the heels of a suggestion by British pols for warning labels of their own. But what we want to know is how long until such a proposal comes to the States, where we just love our Photoshop? (And can you imagine what Anna Wintour would have to say about it?) [Yahoo] Keep reading »
Yesterday, I met a man in the street and let him touch me. I let him take his hands to my body and caress and rub me all over.
Not like that, you perverts. Keep reading »
Thanks to motion picture hit “Julie & Julia,” Julia Child’s image has been experiencing a feminist revival, as reflections on the movie have meditated largely on what the “French Chef” did not only for American cuisine, but also for the women who cooked it. True, there’s no denying Child was a woman who made a huge impact on domestic society. Yet, I’ve had to take issue with the quick compulsion by reviewers and blogs to laud her as a “feminist icon,” where the term refers to her as someone active in the women’s movement. To be sure, Child can now be classified as such for the overarching effects of her career, but promoting women wasn’t her original goal. It was to cook, write her book, pay homage to her beloved France, and find success. (If you read her autobiography, My Life in France, you know that after the publication of her cookbook she was actually quite conniving by choosing not to disclose much of her subsequent work to her female colleague, Simone Beck.)*
This week “Julie & Julia” came out in France, and The New York Times highlights an illuminating (and perhaps not greatly considered in this feminist dialogue) point—the French are excited about this film, but the draw has nothing to do with their own country and its cuisine. It’s all about Meryl Streep. Julia Child could not be farther from a feminist icon there. Keep reading »
“I can’t believe it … you’re in Paris for two weeks and you already have a boyfriend,” my sister said on the phone to me last night. She was exaggerating, for sure.
“Oh Jesus, hardly. We haven’t even kissed.”
It’s true, Mr. Cupid and I had our second date this week, and there was no kiss on the lips, despite the many obvious ins I gave him. And while this lack of progress would normally drive me insane in the U.S., it’s just how things are here, I guess. Keep reading »
While I had so many thoughts about French dating customs, and how I should act, I could hardly parse out my ideas before my date with Mr. Cupid once I realized that the real dilemma was what to wear. I tore apart my closet, feeling every outfit was too cliché. Jeans made me look too American; all black was like I was trying too hard to be French. A dress said I was trying to look older, but a pink top screamed young and girly (it must be said the Mr. Cupid is in his early 30s, which he clearly sees as a big age difference; I don’t). I settled on a stretchy but not too-tight plain navy dress with 3/4 sleeves, oxford heels, a black blazer, and a few gold necklaces.
Keep reading »
France is so paranoid about swine flu that French health officials have been asking citizens to forgo “la bise,” the country’s traditional double-cheeked kiss greeting. Especially in schools, children have been forbidden to use the kissing salutation to their friends, which is a common courtesy even among youngsters. Instead, schools have come up with what seems more like a ridiculous American solution: “In schools, teachers are telling their young charges to forgo the bise, and instead capture their displays of affection in heart-shaped greetings to slip into ‘bise boxes.’” (This is almost reminiscent of the teenage hugging epidemic.)
How do the French feel about these measures? “La bise” is such a cultural standard that they’d sooner kiss off the prohibition. Bring on the swine flu! [CNN] Keep reading »
I have one dating rule: if you don’t kiss by the second date, you’re just friends.
Problem is, this will not be applicable in Paris because the French have no dating rules. And not “no rules” in that oh come on, everyone knows you can’t call him way. We’re talking “no rules” in that no one in Paris dates; therefore, no one knows how to date. It’s true—there is no word for “dating” in French. They don’t even employ the English word with an accent like they do for “business” or “cool.”
Keep reading »
I’m feeling a bit disappointed at the moment. OKCupid guy just canceled. Normally, I’d shrug this kind of thing off; it happened all the time to me in New York. But a few days ago I realized how great it would be to have a French boyfriend. (I actually have this reverse fantasy of being in a relationship with one and getting into fights, him yelling in French and me in English. Followed by post-argument sex, bien sûr.) That night I had met up with a girlfriend from college who has been living here with a Parisian boy for the past few years. Her French is now impeccable. Becoming fluent is one of my top goals for the year, and hearing her talk made me face the unfortunate reality that my French is good, but, um, not that good.
Keep reading »
These government-sponsored condom ads have been causing a bang in Paris (heh, heh). Translation of the dog-themed slogans: “Man’s best friend.” And because France is so egalitarian: “Woman’s best friend” too. OK, boy, now lie down! Keep reading »