Monday, April 12, 2010

Mommy Profile Du Jour

La Mom realizes how lucky she is to live in the most beautiful and romantic city on earth.

So it really gets her down when she meets other moms (collectively referred to as Jennifer) who can’t find one thing nice thing to say about living in France. Jennifer complains about everything French.

I mean, how can you complain about living in a country where:

-It’s OK, and even encouraged, to drink wine at lunch time. Heck, anytime of the day!

-If you play your cards right, you can get the French government to pay for the spider vein removal on your legs after your pregnancies.

-Wine! Cheese! Pain au chocolat! Croissants! Dr. Hot! Carla Bruni!

-People cheek kiss each other all the time. Even in business meetings.

La Mom's met a lot of complaining Jennifers over the years. They’re everywhere from playgroups to the Parc MOMceau.

Mommy Profile du jour: The Complainer

Natural Habitat: The US. Except for the last two years spent in exile in France. Jennifer is crossing the days off her calendar until she moves home.

Hangout: Anyplace where she can buy American or hang with Americans because “why can't the French speak English, why do I have to learn French?” : Starbucks, McDonald’s, playgroups, The American Library/Cathedral/Hospital/Embassy/School, WHSmith, Thanksgiving, The Real McCoy

Raison d’être: Complain about the French 24/7.

(Sidebar: Oui, ze French, especially the Parisians, can be très difficult to live with during the winter months, but I don’t see how Americans are any better?)

Uniform: Jennifer love love loves her Ralph Lauren American flag sweater during the week, The North Face polar fleece jacket in bubble-gum pink for le weekend, Levi’s jeans (imported from the US because, “Why can’t I find any high-wasted jeans in this city? The girls all walk around with their jeans cut down to their minous”),and Nike trainers. All American, all the time.

How to spot her: Jennifer’s the one complaining at the park about everything French.

1. "Why do they eat snails and frog legs? All I want is a decent piece of cheesecake in this town and I can't get it. Gawd I want to go home."

2. "No, we're not going to Italy for spring break. My husband works for a French company which means he makes NO MONEY. At least not enough for us to stay in a suite at the Hotel Angleterre for a week."

3. "Why can't the French scoop up after their dogs? I'd never have to think of watching where I walk in the US. This city is so gross."
(Sidebar: I'm afraid I have to agree with her on that one ;)

Profession: Se plaindre.

Vacations: Definitely.Not.France. Find Jennifer vacationing in London ("Harrod's sells Krispy Kreme donuts!"), Malta, or Scandinavia (“Thank gawd the Swedes speak English.”)

Think La Mom can dish it, but can't take it? Rendez-vous next week - same time, same place, for another Mommy Profile...this time about La Mom!


Paris Atelier said...

Hi La Mom,
I can't even register these words in my mind! I relished every single second I was living n Paris. I dream of going back and shipping my family out there every day. Jennifer and I should switch places :)

Jasmine said...

High waisted jeans!!!!!!!! Can you even find those anymore? If she/they wants to leave so bad I'll trade with her!

the Armchair Parisian said...

There's a Jennifer in every group, isn't there? Rather than embracing the experience (that some people only dream of) as a fun, learning, wild ride, they choose to cling as close to the comfort of "home" as much as possible. Reminds me of my mother & brother who returned from a trip to Europe proudly proclaiming that they'd tried every Pizza Hut they came across...

GutsyWriter said...

I grew up in Paris, attended the British School of Paris and now live in California, so I can relate to everything you said. I agree.

svenskaussie said...

Oh My ! sorry I just fainted a little bit as the description of the "uniform" do some American's living in Paris truly dress like that? extraordinary !!! PS Love your blog, I'm a recent follower and can't wait for my weekly La Mom fix.

Anonymous said...

omg....or should i say omd!!!! well get that girl back to the states...she gives americans a bad name..

Kiki said...

great profile and i look forward to next week's edition. there are "jennifers" everywhere. guess i'm sort of a "jennifer" in regards to my attitude towards my town. thankfully, my husband got promoted and we are moving to a chateau in Atlanta, okay, most likely a cottage. i'm tres excited. have a fantastique week, La Mom.

le style et la matière said...

So funny - and sadly so true !

ParisBreakfasts said...

Love it!
But what's weird is I found SO much cheesecake in Paris!
And The French LOVE Ralph! Note his new eagerly-awaited store in Saint Germain.
Are Nikies next?
Oh Noooooooooo
It's bad enough they love our cupcakes :(
I just heard there are more McDos in France than in any other country!
I'm seriously worried that The French are going Jennifer-esqe
Please make them stop

ParisBreakfasts said...

No one can top The French in the mastery of Se plaindre, and I'm not complaining about it at all.
I rather enjoy hearing them moan on about stuff.
I just wanted to note that...

Under the Influence said...

I've only traveled to Paris, and though I can think of one or two things to complain about (along with where I live and every other city I've been to or lived), I mostly LOVED it!

I'm happy to see I DO NOT fit the Jennifer wardrobe description!

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

The Armchair Parisian and Kiki are right, there are Jennifers everywhere, huh. (Now I have this song going through my head, lol.)

You sure nailed the profile of the reluctant expat. I chortled at the Mom Jeans thing, too. Aaack! Who even *wears* those anymore, eh? (Okay, I guess I *do* have one renegade pair of high waist Lucky jeans circa 1999 that are in my closet, heh. They are also my Fat Pants. I make sure to wear shirts that hang over the waistband so no one knows what I'm wearing...).

In defense of the Jennifer, I have to say that my best friend's French husband turns into a version of Jennifer when he is in the States, except he cannot let go of his Frenchness. We all want to kick him when he gets that way. Ugh.

A lack of adaptability, flexibility, and grace is ugly no matter who is doing it where, eh?

debbie in toronto said...

there are complainers everywhere...and I found most folks in Paris spoke English anyway long as you tried a bit of french they knew you cared and then they like to dazzle you with their english which was always better than my french...

high waisted jeans...american flag sweater..too funny

Duchesse said...

Expat packages to Paris are wasted on some people...

Laura said...

Oh goodness, I know someone who is the equivalent of that in Germany. :-( OK, it's not perfect here all the time, but is living in the US always perfect? Brighten up, we're living in Europe and our husbands get 6 weeks of vacation! :-)

Kelli said...

La Mom, how I have missed you! I'm so sad to hear "Jennifer's" thoughts and complaints. While living in Paris, I certainly had some complaints but PLEASE... let's stay positive. She will regret her views someday along with her time wasted when she could have enjoyed pasteries, wine and long strolls along the Seine.

Amelia said...

I love this post! But I wonder if Jennifer will return to the States and begin boasting about her life in Paris...

Milla said...

You know, the funniest thing about your blog is just how accurate you are!

I cannot deal with these Americans (no offence) running around Paris acting like this is little America, just with better food! Ralph Lauren American flag sweater? Nike? Are you kidding me?! This is Paris AKA the city of style (okay, and lights), why dress like you're about to go work out? La mom, I need not tell you that any logo flashing here in Paris is a major faux-pas!

I concur re the dog mess. Just hideous!

Kathleen said...

Oh my! Why can't I live in Paris instead of Jennifer!! What an ingrate!!

Virginia said...

I'll find Jennifer on my next visit and will cheerfully strangle her till she turns red, white and bleu! Paris is wasted on that bitch.

The said...

I had a friend like her when we were ex-pats in Paris. She refused to learn the different centiemes (sp?). Her husband was also found in a Franprix asking (quite loudly) in English where the French kept the grape jelly.


View my page on Mom Bloggers Club