Pura Frencha.

When I’m in other countries, I often try not to speak and just hope everyone assumes that my nationality is French.  I find this to be a very good strategy until speaking is required.  Then I usually say English words with a French accent.  This is really what I do quite well.  I have a real talent for speaking English with a French accent, like:

Oh!  I am zo happy zat zo have ze bread.  I love zee bread.  Ze bread is like ze love.  It is warm and doughy and fills zoo right zup.  C’est la vie!

Basically, if I speak in English but then end it with “C’est la vie!” then everyone’s like, “Wow.  What a great speaker of our language.  Man, she is good.”  I wish there was a job where all you had to do was pretend you were French but you could still speak English.  Maybe I could see if I could be like a stereotypical French character in an American cartoon.  Yes, I will look into that.  I’m sure my parents would be very proud of that career choice.  I know I would find it personally satisfying.

Grave.

I just said the French equivalent of “totally.”  I learned this at a French picnic I went to and when I said it, my French friends were tres impresse!  I am unsure if this means I am talking like a French surfer.  God, I hope so.  I think I could really pull that off.  Minus the surfing and the speaking of French.  I am amazing at holding a surf board on sand.

Grave.

Recently, I was in a foreign country that spoke Spanish: Costa Rica.

Here, when someone asked us where we from, I really wanted to say “France.”  However, I said, “New York.”  This gives the impression that I am from New York City, when in fact I am not.  I am simply from the state of New York.  It does not matter though.  There are many ways to create a personal image and this is one of them.  I like to call it “part of my brand” or “that’s just me being charming!”   It’s like when I say, “I was super good at Clarinet when I was young, like nearly professional.”  This is not really true.  I was very good in seventh and eighth grade and then middle school ended, I stopped practicing and I became incredibly average and then suddenly, below average and then even more suddenly, no longer a part of the high school band.

I say that I want to be French, but really I don’t know.  I like saying in French, “Je suis Americanne.”  It’s like, “I’m American, but I’m a very certain kind of American.”  It adds to my endless allure.  It’s like, “I’m a hybrid species.  I am the amphibian of cultures!  I was there on the wall watching you, but you hardly noticed me because of my excellent cultural camouflage.”

Being in a Spanish speaking country and not speaking any Spanish except for five words (gracias, buenos dios, buenos tarde, si, buenos noche) , made me realize how quickly I need to learn French.  Like super quickly.  Currently, I am 33% fluency in Duolingo.  I keep getting tripped up when Duolingo wants me to repeat the phrase back to them.  Today I was angrily yelling into my computer “That newspaper is current!  That newspaper is current!”  I wonder what my neighbors think.  They’re probably like, “Wow, don’t give that woman any outdated news.”

And, speaking of news, this just in: I need to go listen to a French podcast while I cook a healthy and delicious meal.  Anyone got any recommendations?  Also, I really like your high top sneakers.  It’s cool they glow in the dark.

A bientot, tout le monde!

 

 

 

 

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Where I realize how French I have gotten.

Oh mon dieu!  Is that you?  Is it okay if I touch the hem of your sweater?  Can I place my hands on the inside of your wrists?  Can I smell the remnants of perfume on your neck?  Did you have Chipotle recently?  Yes, I can tell by your mesmerizing aroma.  

I’ve been alone for so long here.  I hardly remember what a human voice sounds like.  Are you smiling at me or is that a look of anger?  Oh you’re confused about where you left your vape cigarette.  I think it’s in your cargo jeans.  Did you just say, “I miss you and can’t live without you?”   Oh, you didn’t?  You really said, “I am so sick of avocado toast and podcasts about avocado toast.”

Well, I’m not sick of avocado toast.  I can’t get enough.  When I serve it to myself in my kitchen, I pretend like I am at my favorite cafe and then I wink at myself and say “Where’s your tip jar?”  And then I say back to myself, “We use an electronic system here on this ipad so you actually just press the amount.”  And then I respond to myself again and say in an enticing whisper, “Oh I love technology.”  And then conversation usually drops there because I don’t want to hold up the line and I can’t really tell if you/I want to keep talking.

So, even though I haven’t been hanging out with actual humans,  I have been volunteering at writing events.  At the last event, a tres cool femme, and complete etranger said to me, “You look exactly like . . .” and then she thought about it for a moment.  I didn’t  know who she was going to say.  I was thinking, “ A Four Time Olympic Gymnast?  The woman from the most recent Hall’s cough drops commercial?  Someone from the hit show ‘Blossom?’”

But no.  She did not say any of these choices.  She said, “Juliette Binoche . . . or Audrey Tatou.”  I was like, “Say what!”  I had this immense feeling of unearned pride: my physical prescence (which I cannot really control nor have done anything to make it look this way) looks like the face of not one, but two, coincidentally, French actresses!  Wowsa.  I knew then that I was getting really French.

Yes.  That’s right.  I’m getting super French.

The other day I was at a very chic cafe having a very cheap beer with my very jolie French friend and we were having a full conversation in French.  At the end she was like, “Your accent is good.”  And, I was like, “Wait, what?”  Even though she was speaking in English I couldn’t hear what she said.  So then she repeated it and then I was like, “Thanks!”  Then I was like, “I’ll buy the next round” and then I thought it my head because I am French and cool and drink beer on patios but to the outside world I just looked like a normal person with a seriously short haircut.

As the date of my wedding gets closer, my hair seems to be getting shorter.  I hope that for the wedding in France, they think “Wow, Juliette Binoche seems so normal.  Look she even wears shoes with holes in them and she is looking at price tags while shopping.  How relatable.”

Anyway, even though I have not been “leaving my house” or “having conversations with real people” or “talking about anything other than mortgages,”  I still feel pretty satisfied with my life.  I think maybe the fact that I am so reclusive adds to my Frenchness.  Even though my French friends are way more sociable than I am and actually way more fun and lively,  I think I am mysterious and hidden.  I am a celebrity hiding from the constant adornment of her fans.  C’est tres difficile mais c’est la vie.