Friday, September 26, 2008

"Clean Up The Crap" Local Ad Campaign






Here's the very explicit ad campaign the mairie has been running in my neighborhood lately. What do you think the photographer said to himself when he got the job assignment for taking pictures of fresh dog crap? Oh Merde!!?? I can just imagine the project brief:









Picture wanted: Dog Crap




Size: Long




Color: Light brown (i.e. fresh)




Texture: Firm




Age: New (none of that dried up, day-old crap here!)




Recommendation: Station yourself on almost any sidewalk where there is lots of foot traffic in 16th arrondissement and follow the old ladies taking their dogs out for a walk at 4pm. Once a dog craps - snap it!









Mommy Profiling - The American

I love Fridays because we have a playgroup date every week. This gives La MOM a chance to:

  • Bitch with the other expat moms about kids, the French, Paris, our husbands, whatever
  • Stuff her face with fabulous French pastries (my fave: croissants!)
  • Let her kids run around and mess up someone else's apartment

Fridays also give me an opportunity to study the new crop of moms who have arrived in Paris and joined our little playgroup. This is always an entertaining mix of Americans, Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Irish, Canadians, & South Africans. The moms who always seem to have the most to say about Paris vs. home and complain about the differences instead of embracing them for their short little expat stays of 1-3 years are...the Americans mommies.

Which brings me to the next Mommy Profile du jour:



L´Americaine
  • Natural habitat: Almost anywhere in Paris - until she discovers that there are backyards to be had in the Western suburbs. Clusters tend to form around English-speaking international schools, sometimes referredto as « The American Ghettos »
  • Hangouts: Starbucks, the Park Monceau, EAB, Galeries Lafayette (gotta love the 10% discount for foreign passport holders
  • Uniform : Faded jeans, running shoes, The North Face polar vests in cotton candy pink, styled hair and full make-up complete the look.
  • How to spot her: Her open smile with perfectly capped & whitened teeth, fluorescent orange Bugaboo stroller, and gargantuan diamond solitaire are dead giveaways.
  • Raison d´Etre : Get Frenchified. She´s only in Paris for a couple of years, so why not soak up the culture?
  • Profession: Trailing spouse. Gave up job as ad executive/IT consultant/HR director after first baby.
  • Vacations: Europe´s capital cities - gotta pack in all the sights while she´s here!
  • Children´s names : Boys - Cade, Ethan, Jacob. Girls - Madison, Kaitlyn, Emma
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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dodging Our Way To School




It's that time of year again when the leaves start to gently fall from the trees and dust the beautiful streets of Paris. It also means it's a very dangerous time to be walking these streets. I seriously consider it a health hazard.



Why you ask? Two words:



CRAP CAMOUFLAGE



Said leaves do an excellente job of camouflaging dog crap. This is quite hazardous to my health and the health of my French Fries. On our way to school this morning, we had to dodge our way through hundreds of leaves and I'd estimate about one fourth of them were hiding fresh dog crap underneath.



So what are the health hazards?



Slip on it ==> Break a leg!

Catch a sniff of it===> Faint and hit your head on the crap-covered sidewalk!

See it ===> Blindness. This isn"t exactly eye candy.

Touch it (Big Fry picked up a leaf to take as a present to his teacher at school and it had a fleck of crap on it) ===> Get your finger cut off by Mom!



Besides crap dodging, we were also jumping around dog pee puddles and barf basins. Not sure if it's human barf or doggy barf, but it's barf and it's très nasty! In fact, things are so bad in my chic neigborhood that the arrondissement's mayor has started an ad campaign teaching us how to keep our streets clean.



La MOM will post pictures of the campaign later. It's quite hilarious! Look for more soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PILB = Papas I'd Like to Baise

I just noticed how many cute dads there are at Big Fry's posh school. I love the fact that the Papas drop their kiddies off at school. It gives me a reason to get dressed in my designer duds and put makeup on in the morning. All this just for the school run.






Inspired by the English acronym MILF, but putting a French twist on it, I think I may start calling these hot dads, "PILBs" - or - "Papas I'd Like to Baise."
(translation: baise = f***)






Please note: I really don't want to "baise" the dads because I love my Big Cheese dearly.

Big Fry Gets French On Me

I knew there would be a day when I would have to stop hoping the American half of Big Fry's DNA would take over. The day has come.



Big Fry came home from his posh school today and when I asked him if he had fun he answered, "Oui." Not just "oui", but the kind of French oui that makes me gasp for air because that was what Big Fry sounded like he was doing. It's a combination of saying "Oui" while at the same time breathing in rapidly. It could be mistaken for the hiccups actually.



Then it got worse. When I asked Big Fry what he did at school, he answered, "Sais pas" (translation: I dunno). Not pronounced "Say Pa" but "Shay Pa." Then he stuck his little chin out and shrugged his shoulders. If you've lived with the French long enough, you know what I mean. This a typical French mannerism. Let's put it into context:



La Mom: "Bonjour Monoprix Saleslady. Can you help me? I can't find the lightbulbs."

Monoprix Sales Lady: "Sais Pas" (shoulder shrug & chin jutt).

La Mom: Well, since this is the electrical supply department, you don't have a clue as to where they are?"

Monoprix Sales Lady: "Sais Pas" (shoulder shrug & chin jutt). Ask my colleague over there (points to the tableware department). This isn't my department."



I think the combination of Oui + Sais Pas + shoulder shrug & chin jutt could actually become the next dance craze. Kind of like the Tektonik is now or the Running Man was back in my high school days. I'd call it, "Doin' the Shay Pas."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mommy Profiling - La Bourgeoise


I read an article about how people who get the cold shoulder perceive the temperature in the room they are in to be chilly (3 degrees less than the actual temperature). Coincidentally, it was très, très cold today when I did the school run with Big Fry. Pourquoi?



La Mom was on the receiving end of a very direct stare down from one of the French moms in front of the school gates. I couldn't understand why. I mean, I was dressed in my designer jeans, Paul & Joe top, Tod's mules, Prada bag, diamonds, and had my hair blown-out. I looked very chic (or so I thought). So what was wrong with me?



It took a few minutes of studying my habitat before it dawned on me that I wasn't one of them.



Who?



Well that brings us to La Mom's fun new game called, "Mommy Profiling."



Today's Maman du Jour:







The Bourgeoise







  • Mom Natural habitat: Paris´ 7th, 8th, 16th & 17th arrondissements, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Western suburbs


  • Hangouts: church, the clothing stores Cyrillus & Acanthe


  • Uniform : This mom likes to camouflage herself in shades of loden and navy blue. Her armor screams, « I´m old money and have a crumbling family château - back off, chèrie. »


  • How to spot her: A true bourgeoise mom can always be spotted by her efficient and very boring bob, requisite velvet headband, either a scratched leather Longchamps handbag circa 1995 or the Longchamps foldup nylon bag, and telltale jewlery: a ruby, emerald, or sapphire engagement ring surrounded by small diamonds (I think the style is referred to as a flower) and of course the gold signet ring (with the family crest)on the right-hand pinky. Oh, and I almost forgot "CPCH" - colllier de perles (pearl necklace) carré Hermès (Hermès scarf).

    She won´t let her kids set foot in the Parc Monceau sandbox because there´s "caca de chat" in there.


  • Raison d´Etre : L´education. Not as in "I´ll die if petit Jean-Baptiste doesn´t get into Harvard"-- more like, "How can I hold my head up in public if Louis-Pierre can´t cut his entrecôte properly by age 2? "


  • Profession: Her life is completely dedicated to raising her 4, 5 , or 6 children. See "Raison d´Etre".


  • Vacations: Family´s country house in Normandy


  • Family name: Most likely has a "de", "de la", or "double de" mixed in. For example, "Bonjour, I'm Victoire de Varenne de Royal."


  • Children´s names: Boys - Jean- xxx (insert: Louis, Pierre, Edouard) Auguste, Girls - Marie-XXX (insert: Marguerite, Claire, Marie, Ange, Louise) Philomène, Apolline, Sixtine, Faustine, Domitille


Coming soon...profiling pictures!
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