|Read Magny's book. You will die laughing.|
1) I will never feel guilty about eating.
Magny discussed the popularity of the cafe gourmand (little versions of molten chocolate cake, creme brulee, and a macaron served with with an espresso) in Paris. The cafe gourmand allows Parisians, especially the female of the species, to partake in a bit of dessert without much guilt. He also talks about the perpetual diet that many Parisians are on. I am not an obese American. I believe in eating healthy and well. But I also believe that a good meal with friends should be a pleasurable activity and not a calorie counting fest. If forced to choose between some amazing, TO-DIE-FOR dessert and a cafe gourmand at a fantastic restaurant, I am gonna go for the former. Sure, I can't fit my butt in those skinny little jeans that Parisiennes wear, but at least I have a booty...and dessert. I am not a pants girl anyhow. :) I like ribs and steak and duck confit. With fries. Why not enjoy from time to time?
|Can I get 5 of these? To go?|
2) I am not convinced that grandes ecoles are defining characteristics.
I am a recruiter. In France. Nowhere more than in this realm do you see people go crazy over a Polytechnicien, Centralien, ancienne de HEC than among these professionals. Before moving here in 2009, I knew about these schools. I, however, was not prepared for the social fascination, almost borderline worship, that the French have for students and graduates from these schools. They are prized candidates in recruitment, with some people wanting to hire directly from these schools and no others. They are immediately thought to be incredibly intelligent, from excellent families, and in a good social class. If you didn't go to these schools, you have to work pretty hard to prove yourself. It's all about your diploma in France baby. This drives me NUTS. I went to a really good school in the States, which even outranks many of these schools. Yet because it is not "well-known" here in France, they don't think I am worth much. I have to work to prove my intelligence and professional worth. I so wish I could yell at so many French people and tell them that some of the world's best business leaders didn't go to grandes ecoles. But you can't overturn decades or centuries of beliefs...
3) I really like beer.
I mean A LOT. It doesn't make me less feminine. It doesn't make me a drunken slut. But to all those wine-sipping Parisiennes, I might as well have 4 heads. It's ok though...I'll raise a pint to their health!
4) I cannot be rude/huffy/lacking in accountability
|I cannot be this...|
In the metro, I let people off first before getting on. This kind of gesture to descending passengers is generally undone by others pushing me on, which consequently gets an old lady worked up and cussing at me. When someone comes to me with work, I do it. I even sometimes *gasp* take initiate and do things that aren't my job. What I wouldn't give to have the deluded self-confidence that French bureaucrats are noted for. The ability to say "Ce n'est pas ma faute, j'ai fait mon boulot, ce n'est pas ma responsibilite." (It's not my fault, I did my job, it's not my responsibility.) But that pesky combo of Puritan work ethic and Southern politeness screws me everytime. I can't elbow people to get a seat on the metro during rush hour. It is physically impossible.
5) I can't give up tennis shoes and white socks.
I gave up sweat pants and flip flops at the grocery store. But I CANNOT give up tennis shoes and white socks while walking around Paris or while running. Sorry Paris, but this girl needs comfort from time to time.
I've accepted my fate of being a beer guzzlin', non-elitist, hamburger eatin' Parisian wanna-be. Skinny jeans might not be in my future, but I think life, laughter, love, and dessert in the City of Light definitely are.