Monday, May 18, 2009
Have you ever had a friend who's sugary sweet on the outside like a sugar covered almond? Then you take a bite and the darn thing not only tastes bad, but cracks your tooth? You know, like the almond dragées the French serve up at baptisms?
Welcome to my world. I've just realized that one of my friends has everyone fooled. She's all pink and sweet on the outside, a bit sour on the inside. It only recently dawned on me after I became a victim. Once the deal was sealed I was tossed out with the trash.
Maman du Jour: La Mooch
Natural habitat: Paris’ most expat populated neighborhoods – the 6th, 7th, 8th, 16th, 17th, or the suburbs - Neuilly, Le Vesinet, Saint Cloud, Versailles, Saint Germain-en-Laye.
Hangouts: Wherever she can meet well-connected expat moms.
(Sidebar: You can also find her at the Buddha Bar trying to mooch a dinner. She likes getting the gals together for a night out of annoying music, bad food, and sky-high prices. That's because she's still referring to her 2001 copy of Zagat's best Parisian restaurants - when the Buddha Bar was the hottest place to hang. Now it's just full of tourists.)
Uniform: Dolled up one day, dressed down the next. It's hard to describe her style, but there's one thing she's always wearing: her luxury French watch.
How to spot her: She's got a new best friend every month.
"I didn't know your sister-in-law works at Cartier! What a coincidence - my watch needs to be serviced. Can she get me discount? Oh hey, let's have a standing playdate every Thursday. Our kids will play so well together I just know it! And you and Big Cheese must come over for a champagne brunch this weekend!"
Raison d’Etre: Mooch anything she can off of her well-connected expat friends.
Case in point - When she dropped off the envelope with her luxury watch inside, oops!- somehow a second one made it into the envelope too. Two cleanings for a quarter of the price of one? You can't beat that n'est-ce pas?
Another example? - Her BFF six months ago was courted, seduced, and mooched for her wine connections. Once the deeply discounted wine order was delivered, October's BFF was kicked to the curb.
And another one? - Last month's BFF was L'Amie's neighbor whose husband is on the admissions panel at one of the most exclusive schools in Paris. La Mooch's kid just got into that school. Coincidence? Now La Mooch doesn't have time to meet the neighbor at the park anymore. Hmmmm.
Just one more! - The new Saturday morning sandbox playdate gets unbelieveable private sales discounts at one of the big French fashion houses. Guess who's got a VIP invitation to the private pre-sale in June?
Vacations: Wherever she can bum a free stay. Last August was with her BFF from New York. February ski holidays were with January's BFF at her chalet in Megeve. This summer it's with May's BFF on the French Riviera.
Children’s names: Anything with the word FREE or MOOCH in it.
Boys: Freederic, Freeddy, Freencis, Freenklin, Freebie, Moochamed, Moochacha.
Girls: Freederica, Freederique, Freeya, Freeda, Moochesha, Moochie, Moochelle.