Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Story

The Plot
What to give Big Fry's teacher for Christmas?

The Players
La Mom, New Jersey Mom, La Maîtresse

The Email
Dear Parents:

Madame Blanc (Julie's mother), has kindly offered to extend her employee discount at Chanel towards the purchase of a Christmas gift for our children's teacher, La Maîtresse. If you would like to donate for a watch, an envelope is available with the school secretary until December 19th. The children will present the gift to her at the class Christmas party on December 20th.

Merci à tous,
Toronto Mom & New Jersey Mom
Homeroom mothers

Thought #1: Back in my primary school days, we gave teachers candles, chocolates, or home-made gifts for Christmas, not luxury watches.
Thought #2:  Zut, I had planned on giving La Maîtresse an 8€ tea box.
Thought #3: If La Maîtresse gets a luxe watch for Christmas, what will the homeroom moms want to give her at the end of the school year? )

The tea box

The Courtyard Scene
It's the day before the class Christmas party. New Jersey Mom is chatting with La Mom at the school gates when La Maîtresse interrupts us.

La Maîtresse: Bonjour Madame New Jersey. Are you, by chance, coordinating a group collection for my Christmas gift?

NJ Mom: Why yes, it's taken care of.

La Maîtresse: You mean you bought the gift?

NJ Mom: We've identified the gift. One of the parents is using her employee discount to buy your present.

La Maîtresse: Ah, bon.

NJ Mom: Is something wrong? The gift is from Chanel, so there's nothing to worry about. If you must know, it's a watch.

La Maîtresse: Oh, I have several watches and certainly don't need another one! I was hoping for a Longchamp leather bag.

NJ Mom:  Baaa, baaa, baaa.

(Sidebar: New Jersey Mom could not stop baaing like a French sheep she was so taken aback.)

The Christmas Party Scene:
There was no scene.

New Jersey Mom was a no-show because she was so annoyed with La Maîtresse that she decided to boycott the party.

The kids gave La Maîtresse her Chanel watch.

Big Fry gave La Maîtresse the tea box. La Mom wasn't touching this Christmas story with a ten foot pole.
Joyeuses Fêtes, dear readers. Thank you for your comments, emails, and support in 2011. A bientôt en 2012!


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a complete fabrication. Stop trying so hard.

Fifi Flowers said...

My... how times have changed!

Jill said...

I, too, would love a Longchamps sac...but I think its crazy that a teacher should expect that. A Chanel Watch, crazy...what's wrong with a box of candy? I assume your kids go to private school? do they go to the American School over in the 16th? I guess there are probably more than one. My baby is only 4 months old, but a box of tea sounds about like the most her maitresse will be getting. I guess I just have a hard time wrapping my head around living in that type of world. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have that type of salary, but I don't think I could handle keeping up with the Joneses....

Lost In Cheeseland said...

This is unbelievable. I would have just baked her some cookies! :) But also, WHY IS SHE INQUIRING ABOUT HER GIFT? How ungrateful!

Kiki said...

Chanel? Longchamp? i want to be a teacher at Big Fry's school. la maitresse is one lucky lady. my son's teacher received an ornament and gift card to her fave bagel place. happy holidays to you and your family! take care, La Mom.

Lisa said...

WOW - I want to leave a comment, but I am speechless.
I love your stories and blog!

Shawn Stephenson Schumacher said...

Okay so I teach in the States and Iit has never crossed my mind to ask for a specific present for Christmas. I get lots of cookies and chocolates and my all time favorite was a cheesy eagle with spread wing statue made out of porcelin for the fireplace.... that I did not have at the time. Chanel watch send it my way. I will gladly accept it and could send you a few nuts and chocolates in exchange.

Simony said...

OH my Gosh!!! Incredible! I want to be a teacher in Paris! Where else do they get spoiled that much?
Our poor teachers here in Ohio are happy enough with a box of chocolate, a box of tea, or some cute jewelry.
Sometimes I am glad I am here...
Have a wonderful Christmas my dear!!

Rosabell said...

I thought only in post communist countries teachers need/ask such gifts for what should be their normal day to day work ! Flowers, chocolate maybe, a Christmas card but certainly not bribe !

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

@Anonymous - I couldn't make this up even if I tried. By the way, why don't you leave a comment with your name next time instead of hiding behind "anonymous"?

@Fifi - Unfortunately, yes. My, oh my.

@Jill - My kids don't go to the American School and I thought our school was one of the more "normal" ones in the area, but apparently, I was wrong.

@LostInCheeseland - Agreed, ungrateful and shocking that a teacher would request her Xmas present and complain about the one her class planned on giving her.

@Kiki - I think La Maitresse assumes that since she teaches in a nice neighborhood, she's entitled to extremely nice gifts.

@Lisa - Thanks for your comment and merci for stopping by!

@Shawn - Hey there!! Thanks so much for reading the blog. Can you arrange for a teaching exchange in France? Then maybe you'll end up with a luxe watch.

@Simony - Back in my day, my teachers were happy with simple gifts. Maybe it's like thi, too, in posh schools in London and NYC?

@Simony - Agreed, indeed!

Paris Paul said...

Wow. Just Wow.

Even as a half-Parisian (I've been living in Paris 21 years) I find this... excruciating is as close as I can come without offending your delicate readerships' eyes. My ex is a school teacher in French public school and if she got a hand made trinket or a box of chocolate, she was in heaven.

Baaaa. Wow, c'est tout.

PS Happy Holidays and I'm looking forward to another year in your entertaining company!

Sara said...

I just love reading your blog, and hearing your "happenings" of the day. This one is amazing, to say the least! Good for you, I wouldn't have touched that w/ a 10 foot pole either!

Robin said...

Even paradise has a few imperfections.

Thank you for another wonderful year of entertaining blogging.

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!


La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

@Paris Paul - Merry Xmas to you and Paris Karin! Baaa, baaa!

@Sara - Merci for reading!

@Robin- Yes, Paris always perfect . Merry Xmas to you!

Sweet Freak said...

Do you think it's a nationality thing, or just one maitresse tres gauche?! In any case, out with the ingrates in 2012! Bons fetes, La Mom! xo

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

@SweetFreak -I think it's a La Maîtresse thing ..

The Armchair Parisian said...

Once I snapped my jaw shut (it was hanging open in "what.....???"), I decided perhaps I should be a teacher in, what perks!

Emilie said...

I guess only teachers from the 16th arrondissement of Paris ask for Longchamp bags... my parents were teachers and they never asked for presents. People are sick! You did good by boycotting the party. WTF (and I mean what the fuck! haha)!!

Shawn Schumacher said...

I have to say, when I worked in Mexico I came away with the best teacher gifts for Christmas and Day of the teacher. I got a few name brand things that unfortunaelty I did not at the time (not that I do now either) know they were chic. So I geuss I am stoked with the gift cards etc. I did see a puppet that is made to look just like you, and I was thinking of asking my students to buy it for me. It would be my alter ego... Speak English and help the kids who are clueless understand. I think it would be quite entertaining.

MademoisElla Coquine said...

I'm just catching up on all of my Paris blogs and am DYING over this. Good for NJ mom for boycotting the obnoxious of the teacher to be poking around about her xmas gift! I gave my teachers prosciutto di parma and if they seemed 'veggie'; clip-on book lights!

@Anonymous - this sort of stuff ALWAYS happens in should visit sometime and see for yourself! :)

Frenchie said...

Hello La Mom,
it strikes me that you keep saying this behaviour is specific to the one La Maîtresse, yet most comments say "I want to be a teacher in Paris"... Like Paris Paul said, teachers in France do not get anything for Christmas! Not even the box of chocolate/ tea most readers seem to think of as "regular" presents. Just wanted to clear things up a bit, as a French teacher.

Jill said...

i agree--it must just be the maitresse. i taught in the 19th (cringe-worst job ever. i almost decided i didn't want kids after that. i am ow a happy but poor stay at home mom). the most we got was cookies.
So your kids go to public school?? i guess i just assumed this kind of thing happened in the private school circle. but it is the 16th...

La Mom-an American Mom in Paris said...

@The Armchair Parisian - Our jaws were hanging open, too!

@Emilie - I know, WTF!

@Shawn - Hey there! Thanks so much for visiting (again)! The puppet sounds so cute, but I think gift cards are more useful, don't you?

@Ella Coquine - Where ever did you find a clip-on book light in Paris? What a great idea! Very useful.

@Frenchie - Thank you ver much for leaving a comment with a French teacher's perspective. I know that for the most part, French teachers don't get gifts from French mothers. In this case, I believe La Maîtresse was quite accustomed to receiving Xmas gifts from the anglo moms after so many years of teaching, that it just became and expected thing on her side.

@Jill - Glad you didn't let your experience deter you from having kids. Congratulations on the birth of your little one! This is private school - that's the problem.

tegel outlet said...

nice post Thanks for sharing


View my page on Mom Bloggers Club