The most important thing about learning French is looking French. This is one thousand percent the most important thing. As you can see by the picture to your left, I have mastered this. You may say, “No you haven’t” and then I will hold you up by your collar and say, “Yes. I have. I never specified what decade you effing has-been” and then you will stop interaction with me because you will feel scared and also wondering why I called you a has-been. I will also wonder this, but I will not let you know that. I will instead continue talking, which is the best thing to do whenever it is not clear whether you are right or wrong. I will say, “I do look French. I may look like I’m from the 1950s and from a dishwasher detergent commercial shot in France, but still . . .it’s French.” Then you will say, “I have an appointment that I have to get to” and then I will wonder what appointment but I will just nod and say, in a small voice, “I hope it’s nothing serious.”
Okay. So, another point is looking French while speaking French. This involves practicing in public places with Vincent when he is definitely not embarrassed that I am speaking nonsensical French things really loudly and using my hands in what I consider a “French” way but really most people would consider “Italian.” Regardless, they are both cool cultures. So, I curve my mouth into this rounded, kiss like posture and I say things like “Monsieur Gateau quoi une super beau” and then people who don’t know French think in their heads, “Wow. What a genius. She must have done really well on her SATs” and then they don’t realize that it took a lot of Saturday mornings in a SAT prep class for me to get an “average” score. Maybe if the exam had consisted of just blogging about things you want to write about I would have done well.
The other part of learning French is going to French places. Vincent and I went to this place in Buffalo that was apparently “French.” I don’t really want to name it because this isn’t a restaurant review blog, but it just wasn’t so great. I support local businesses. I think it’s great to have restaurants like this. The thing is I used to love this restaurant, but all I can say, is that when we left, a very French person, who may or may not be Vincent, exclaimed, “This place is not French!” Yes. It’s true. And you know what, I said “Je suis d’accord” (I agree!). And, by “French enough for us” I mean: it didn’t sweep us away as many French things do (for instance, the online store: Cafe du Cycliste–that place just sweeps me away. It is so neat and French). I guess we weren’t that happy with how long our food took and I am not one to complain about this because I am seriously one of the worst waitresses in the entire world. I have the waitress ability of a lost otter. However, we just got a bad vibe. Our waitress spilled our coffee on our table and everything was really late and slow and it was just . . .meh. Meh isn’t always bad except when meh costs $31.95 for two people. Then meh kind of sucks.
Okay, so we go to this one French place and we’re like, “This isn’t French” but then, our afternoon changes and we go to this second French place, which I will name because you should go there: Pour L’Amour Du Chocolat and we order the hot chocolate. I have been there six times for the hot chocolate. One in two times, the hot chocolate is absolutely amazing. It’s like tasting Paris in your mouth. It is like this dream state drink where you drink it and you know your life is going to be okay and good things will happen to you. However, sometimes, I go and I order it and I get this “other” drink. It’s water and chocolate and it’s like hockey rink hot chocolate and your toes are freezing and you’re drinking this super sweet, gross hot water and just counting down the moments you can leave because you don’t even really like hockey. I’m telling you this because this could happen to you, but if you read the next sentence it won’t. This is what you say: “Hi! You guys have this hot chocolate drink here that is like made with milk and it’s like real chocolate and it swirls around and it takes five minutes to make and it’s so good. Can you make that?” Then, if the barista says something like, “Yes. I know what you’re talking about. It will take five minutes to make.” If she says “five minutes” you know it’s right. That’s what you want. This time she said, “Yes! That’s the hot chocolate from the special French hot chocolate maker.” SPECIAL FRENCH HOT CHOCOLATE MAKER: SIGN ME UP! Yes. That’s what I want.
We got it and we drank it and it was like giving our minds a massage and everything was so good for like twenty minutes. It was like this therapeutic hot chocolate. Like ambrosia. Oh moi dieu! C’est super!
Anyway, I am slowly learning more and more about France and am going in the summer, but unfortunately I can’t go to the Tour de France because my traveling companion “doesn’t want to be a crazy person on the side of the road.” If however, the Tour de France, let women race, I would definitely go and maybe I can see if someone like Evelyn Stevens is riding her own race and I can see that or something.
As long as I keep drinking this hot chocolate, I know it will work out. I just know it.