Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas for the Mistress

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through Paris, men made their lists and checked them twice.

Cartier pour Carole…

Boucheron for Brigitte…

And last but not least, a little Van Cleef and Arpels for Valérie.

Yes, Christmas is usually when the Other Women make out like bandits.

But not this year.

According to an article in Point de Vue, the recession will penalize multi-millionaires – and in particular their mistresses.

A study recently done by a consulting firm in France (they don't say which one) states that 12% of those surveyed will end their affairs for financial reasons. And a whopping 82% of men envisage a reduction in their mistresses' expenses.

So maybe it wasn’t so much of a shocker to the salesperson at the ultra-chic Maison du Chocolat that I was planning on giving upscale candy bars to the mistresses for Christmas.

Wait, let me back up a minute. Last Saturday Big Cheese and I were running errands with the French Fries getting some gift shopping done. Since I didn’t pitch in for the Chloé bag for Big Fry’s teacher (see I’m (not) Dreaming of a Handbag Christmas) I needed a little something to show my appreciation. Hence, the stop by Maison du Chocolat.

As I was perusing the pricey assorted boxes and Big Cheese was wrangling the Fries, I asked the assistant if he could recommend a gift for a “maîtresse”. Well, that’s what Big Fry calls his teacher.

All I got was one raised eyebrow.

Les maîtresses de l’école,” Big Cheese added drily as I turned beet red. “I thought Madame was very, uh, open,” said Monsieur Maison du Chocolat.

Open, schmopen – in our house, there better not be anyone on the receiving end of luxury gifts but moi! registered & protected

Monday, December 8, 2008

Jolly Old St. Nicolas Sarkozy

Christmas came early to La Mom’s house this year. We’ve been reading a frayed copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas since sometime in July and I’ve been fielding Big Fry’s questions about Santa Claus ever since.

The other day, though, he floored me:

Big Fry: “Mommy, I want St. Nicolas Sarkozy to bring me a jump rope for Christmas.”

La Mom: Saint who?

Big Fry: St. Nicolas Sarkozy – like in the Christmas book!

Luckily, St. Sarko generously subsidized my pelvic floor physical therapy sessions after the French Fries were born, or I would have wet myself laughing.

But this got me thinking: what would my Christmas letter to St. Sarko look like?

Dear St. Nicolas Sarkozy,

I’ve been a very good girl this year. I paid all of my taxes on time and I even learned three new irregular verbs! Here’s what I’d like for Noël:

A raise.

Yeah, yeah, I know I already get 650 € ($ 825) per month for staying home with 2 kids. But if I were paying a nanny, she’d be getting a whopping 1200 € ($ 1525) per month in take-home pay! The way I see it, the government owes me an extra 550 € every 30 days (not to mention back-pay). As much as I love my French Fries, trust me, staying home with young kids is definitely a full-time job.

Bigger parking spaces.

You know what sucks? Having to back all the way out of a sardine-sized parking space just to be able to squeeze your kid into his car seat. People start honking and making rude gestures, then you’re forced to bust out the emergency French cuss words that you don’t want your kids repeating…not a pretty picture.

Stroller-friendly Métro stations.

Actually, I’d drive a lot less if I could just get a stroller through the stupid Métro turnstiles. Or get someone to help me carry a MacLaren down the stairs without resorting to begging or bribery. (How much you wanna bet that Frenchmen would respond to flashing? But I’m not that desperate – yet.)

Sunday store openings.

It’s nice that Sunday is still a day of rest in France. But La Mom never stops going! There’s no way I can get things crossed off my to-do list in six days and pretty much everything is closed on Sunday. Or, if by some miracle a store is open on Sunday morning, it’ll definitely be closed on Monday and Tuesday to make up for it. How about you boost the economy by letting me squeeze some grocery shopping in at the end of the weekend? It’s a win-win situation!

A private serenade by Carla Bruni.

How did you guess this one came from Big Cheese? Actually, his word-for-word request also mentioned a certain high-end brand of lingerie. Anyway, don’t bother with this one – I guarantee that Big Cheese was nowhere near good enough to get a gift-wrapped Carla under the tree! registered & protected

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