Thursday, June 11, 2009

French Boxing

It was boxing day in France today. Did you hear about the all-star boxing match?

If you didn’t have a ringside seat, allow me to fill you in on the details.

In this corner of the ring - La Mom. In the other corner of the ring - La France.

If you’ve lived in France long enough like La Mom has, you’ve learned how to verbally box with the best of ‘em. Who are the best verbal boxers this side of the globe? The French of course! And nothing makes La Mom happier than throwing an upper-cut to a rude French salesperson (feel free to insert “customer service rep” as well.)

This is what went down as I was shopping at H&M for a Hello Kitty belt for Small Fry.

(After 15 minutes of waiting in line, I finally arrived at the cash register and handed over the belt.)

H&M salesperson: There’s no price on this.
La Mom: Oh sorry, I didn’t see that.
H&M: So how much is it?
La Mom: I don’t know.
H&M: Well I need a price.
La Mom: So call for a price check. It’s not my problem.

(I know this sounds extremely snotty, but you have to understand the “it’s not my problem” is a standard line most customer service & sales people use in this country when they can’t be bothered to do something. My advice to you: use it on them first and catch them off guard.)

H&M: I can’t, you have to go get me another belt.

So I went to get a belt only because I just wanted to be done with this stupid exchange. I handed the salesperson the exact same belt, but with Strawberry Shortcake on it instead of Hello Kitty. Silly moi, I shouldn’t have assumed that same belt style + different cartoon character = the same price (especially when they are displayed right next to each other.)

H&M: It’s a different belt.
La Mom: I know, there aren’t anymore Hello Kitty belts.
H&M: (Insert ginormous Gallic shrug and eye roll) Well you could have told me that!
La Mom: Aren’t I telling you that now? And maybe you could try having prices tags on your belts and keeping some in stock. It's not my job to figure it out for you.
H&M: That's ok, I'm used to customers like you.
La Mom: That's ok, I'm used to horrible French service and salespeople like you.

So have you ever had to box in France? What are your boxing stories?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

French-American Playdate

You know you live in France when no playdate is complete without the three 3 L’s:

Louis (as in Vuitton)
La Perla (as in lingerie)
Lanvin (as in shoes)

The French Fries had a playdate today and it was centered around what any kid whose DNA is half French would care about: food and fashion, of course.

The Fries played dress up and went shopping for baguettes (French bread) at the boulangerie. They insisted on wearing La Mom’s Lanvin heels, my favorite Vuitton Nomade handbag which was used as the bread basket, and my La Perla panties. Small Fry imagined they were pretty necklaces and draped herself in at least 5 different ones.

Big Fry made me proud when his American DNA made a guest appearance as I overheard them playing:

Big Fry: Bonjour Monsieur, I’d like one traditional baguette and one normal baguette, s’il vous plait.

(I’ve been living in France for a very long time and I still don’t know the differences between baguettes.)

Small Fry: Oui, baguette please.

Big Fry: Let’s walk home this way Small Fry.

Small Fry: Oui, this way Big Fry.

Big Fry: Oh la la! Be careful where you step! You’re about to do a bétise (something stupid). La Mom will be very angry if you get dog crotte on her shoes!!

Clearly, my nagging about where to walk on Paris streets has paid off!

The French are going crazy for La First Mom - Michelle Obama. Here she is visiting the Eiffel Tower Friday with les filles. She was spotted shopping today at one of my favorite children's boutiques - Bonpoint.

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