Thursday, April 23, 2009

I Love Paris In The Springtime

There's nothing like living in Paris in the springtime.

The city is at its most beautiful. The minute the sun comes out the café sidewalks are crowded with chic Parisians soaking up the rays while sipping a Perrier and reading Le Monde.

Big Cheese loves spring in Paris because the women practically walk around naked (in a classy way -- this is Paris, after all) at the first sunbeam.

I love Paris in the springtime for two very important reasons - because I can start wearing my white jeans again and, best of all, flirting season is officially declared open!

Eh oui, there's nothing like spring in Paris to put the pep in your step. Take what happened to me the other day as an example.

Armed with my favorite accessories - my wedding ring, sunglasses, and a very cool Chloé bag, I was out running errands sans the French Fries. As I walked passed the elegant café up the street - lightning struck.

I was frozen in place as sparks went flying, staring back at the very handsome monsieur who was devouring me with his eyes. We stared at each other for what felt like an eternity.

Then his eyes moved on to examine my left ring finger for evidence of a man in my life. Monsieur obviously missed the post pregnancy muffin top I had hiding under my shirt because he continued to eat me for lunch! It took a few more seconds to register who monsieur was - France's equivalent to American Idol's Simon Cowell.

Merci André Manoukian for making La Mom feel like La Hot Mom! Leave it to French men, Paris, springtime, and flirting to make you feel like a million euros!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Snappy Parisian Comeback

It’s something in their DNA. The way the French can fire off a right-back-atcha snarky comment that puts you in your place.

It’s the world-famous Snappy Parisian Comeback.

I gotta hand it to them – they’ve turned cussing someone out into an art form. And they manage to do it oh-so-politely.

Some examples:

You want this parking spot? I would like to cordially invite you to go to hell, Madame.

I’m the next one in line at the post office. I regret to inform you that your lack of manners makes me want to take a crap, Monsieur.

Now how am I supposed to compete with that?

Last week’s experience in the Marais really takes the cake. A British friend and I schlepped our younger kids across town to enjoy a bit of sun in the Places des Voges. After stopping for a coffee at our favorite sidewalk terasse, we realized our Fries needed fresh diapers ASAP. We paid up and started discreetly changing them in their strollers next to the café. (I’ve got this down pat – no café is ever equipped with a changing station!)

Little did we know that we weren't discreet enough for one tough Frenchwoman.

Bitchy Boutique Blonde: Madame, I ask you to move away from my shop window.

La Mom: Pardon? We’re just on the sidewalk.

BBB: I do not want this kind of spectacle in front of my boutique.

London Mom (whispering): What’s she saying?

La Mom: What, this is bothering you? (Did she note my heavy sarcasm?)

BBB: Baaa, oui!!!

La Mom: Fine, I’ll scoot down.

London Mom: What? No way is she getting away with that! If I spoke French, I’d ask her since when she owned the public sidewalk, for Chrissakes!

La Mom: Oh. Yeah, that would have been good.

But London Mom got the last word, so to speak, as she presented a stunned Bitchy Boutique Blonde with a plastic bag filled with toxic toddler waste.

“Could you just toss that in your poubelle for me, love?”

London Mom, 1. BBB, 0.

Yes, everyday life in Paris offers limitless possibilities to practice my “pardon my French”. I just have to get the couilles to actually do it.

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