Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Cheating...


On my hairdresser that is.

And one of the expat moms told him.

I've been seeing Michel, my Mane Man, since I was La Single Girl in Paris. He's been with me through all of the milestones in life. He massaged my scalp during a big break-up and gave me a new lease on life with a great cut and sexy highlights. He's been with me through the fun stuff like marriage and French Fries.

Yet over the last year, I've felt my love for him weaken. Maybe its's because he doesn't give me fabulous massages anymore while washing my hair. Or because he offers free manicures to some of my expat friends and not moi. Or maybe it's because I'm jealous of him kissing everyone's derrière but mine the minute they walk in the door. I only get a kiss on each cheek.

(Sidebar: The derrière kissing is endless: Claire Chazal (France's equivalent to Katie Couric), the US ambassador's wife, Barbara & Lauren Bush when they pass through town, Saudi princesses, French actresses... Message to Michel: La Mom needs some lovin' too OK?)

So I started an affair with another hairdresser. He's filling my needs in between visits to Michel. My love tank is full again. He gives my locks the love and attention they need while shamelessly flirting with me and making me feel oh-so beautiful. Wouldn't you cheat too under these conditions?

Last week, my friend Jennifer happily informed Michel (then bragged to me about it) that I was cheating on him. Can you believe it? After all, I was the one who introduced her to Michel after she moved here from Dubai and was fed up with flying back to her old hairdresser there every 6 weeks.

(Sidebar: Honestly, I think her "hair appointments" were just an excuse to do some Duty Free shopping back in Dubai where her favorite designers were 30%cheaper than in Paris.)

So when I popped in to see Michel yesterday I told him that my four month absence in his salon was due to a long visit to the US. Michel winked at me and said, "Oh La Mom, you are lye-ing. Zjennifer 'as told me zat you are coiffing your 'air zomewhere else, you petite coquine."

Red face. Watery eyes. I almost cried! He knew I'd cheated and would shave me bald as punishment!

"But eet ees OK, I knew eet and I also knew zat you would come back to me zooner or later chérie."

Eh oui, I guess the French are so used to their spouses and lovers cheating so it's perfectly natural to assume your hair client will too!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's Official...

(Photo courtesy of Le Journal du Dimanche)

France's Sunday newspaper, Le Journal du Dimanche
confirmed something that I've been thinking for years, with this front page headline:

FRANCE IGNORES SUN DANGER

The headline and two page article about skin cancer increasing and how the French are ignorant when it comes to protecting themselves from the sun was like having a big present wrapped with a beautiful ribbon dropped into my lap!

I just know I'll be refering to this newspaper article for...the rest of my life in France!

You see, La Mom and her expat friends have been on the receiving end of far too many smarty remarks about how ridiculous we are protecting our kids from the sun.

And then there's the passive-agressive approach witnessed by Texas Mom. Her kids just spent a month on vacation with grand-maman in Cannes. When Texas Mom picked them up, not only were their faces dark brown, but their noses and eyelids were still sunburned! While emptying their suitcase she found the bottle of SPF 50 pediatric sunblock she packed unopened and in it's original packaging.

French Mother-in-Law: 1, Texas Mom: 0. Can you say 'what the heck' in French?

Tanning is a national sport here. At la rentrée, when people come back from their long summer vacations, Paris turns into one big tanfest. Everyone - granparents, the local butcher, the newspaper kiosk salesman, French poodles, and even small children are all competing to hear, "Oh la la! What a nice tan you have!" The deeper and darker, the better.

So I've decided to do my part to help educate zee French! I'm going to photocopy this article and give it to all of my expat friends to whip out when we hear comments from the Frenchies like these every summer:

Why doesn't she just dress them in winter coats to go swimming."
(Muttered behind my back as I was dressing the French Fries in UV protectant swim shirts)

"You never let the kids do anything. Why can't they play in the sandbox? It's hot outside."
(Of course it's hot, it's 1PM and the sandbox has zero shade, why would I let them go out there even with sunblock on?)

"Why do you waste so much time putting sunblock on them? They don't need it. They're white, some color is what they need!"

"A tan is a sign of social standing. It's shows everyone that you've been on vacation."

"What do they need hats for? The sun is out, it's not raining."
(My point exactly)

And my favorite comment of all courtesy of my very own Big Cheese,

"Lay off the sunblock! I'm sick of being the only one who has kids coming back from vacation white!"

Looks like I have a long road ahead of moi, but education begins at home right?
 

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