I haven’t posted here since February or March of 2012. Sorry ’bout that. All 2 of my fans are probably pissed and long gone. Maybe I’ll post again someday – but if you’re bored and want to read a little about an American family’s life in France, feel free to click through the archives.
We have a French friend who’s a maniac for board and card games. He’s fun to hang out with because we learn all kinds of things about the French; not just the games they play but game language, customs, and general French attitudes about winning, losing, and -er- cheating. They don’t really consider it cheating, so much as being creative and smarter than the other players.
One game we liked a lot was called “trouduc” which pronounced sounds like: troh-dook. My friend thankfully helped me with the spelling because I had it really wrong, so you can take this spelling to the bank. It’s good.
Anyway, you have several people playing (4-6 players) and each is dealt cards from a regular deck until all the cards are gone. The person who is dealt the Queen of Hearts starts the game. He is encouraged to rub his superior status and position in the noses of the less fortunate.
He puts down any card he wants (2 is the strongest and 3 is the weakest, so the order of cards from weakest to strongest is 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,J,Q,K,A,2). [This outrageous ordering of cards is typical French stuff - they always like to do shit their own way, even if it flies in the face of reason and sense.]
The next player puts down either the same card or one that has a higher number. So, for example, if the first player puts down a 4, the next player must put down a 4 or higher (5,6,7…).
If one player puts down a card, and the next player puts down the same number card, the third player is skipped and the 4th player is up next. So anytime a number is played two times in a row, the next player skips his turn. [If you are mad at your spouse, and wish to make his or her life miserable, make sure he or she sits directly to your left, as this game is played clockwise. I also highly recommend staggering nationalities - American, French, American, French - around the table. That way you can work teamwork and retribution into your play, yet act like you don't care about world domination.]
If the person who starts the round puts down a pair (like a pair of 4s), all the players following also have to put down pairs. You can also do this with 3-of-a-kind or 4-of-a-kind. So if player #1 puts down a pair of 5s, the next player must put down a pair of 5s or higher (6,7,8,…) and the next must put down a pair, etc.
If a person doesn’t have a card they can play, or if they don’t want to play that round for strategic purposes, they call “pass” and their turn is skipped; then they cannot play again until a new round is started. [They are encouraged however to harass and mock the players still in the round. They are also in charge of refilling drinks and making sure everyone is well on their way to getting drunk.]
New rounds are started when no one can lay a higher card down anymore (either because they passed, or because there are no higher cards – meaning there is a 2 on the table; or maybe because they’ve stormed off in a huff because they’re tired of being the loser all the time.)
The person who was the last one to lay down a card in a finished round starts the next round. This continues until all the cards are gone from everyone’s hand, or until just one person is left with cards.
Whoever rids themselves of their cards first, is the President. Second person to get rid of their cards is the Vice President. The second to last person to get rid of his cards is the Vice Trouduc and the last person to get rid of his cards is the Trouduc. Anyone else in between the Vice President and the Vice Trouduc are just citizens. (sometimes they’re called ‘neutrals’) Just so you know, the word “trouduc” translates into “asshole”. (“trouduc” is the short version/abbreviation for: “trou du cul” – literally, hole of the ass)
So, to be clear, if you’re the last one to get rid of your cards, you’re the Asshole.
So now, you shuffle and deal the cards over again. [Did you know all the French we have played cards with suck at shuffling? Yes. It's true. And they are overly impressed with the American bridge type shuffle, where you shuffle one way and then bridge the cards to force them back down in a reverse shuffle. Wow your French friends with this smooth move but know that you risk making them feel inferior to Americans. They take this shit seriously. If you are worried about maintaining the friendship, flub a few shuffles making sure cards go flying everywhere so they feel better.]
Before the new game begins, the Trop d’Uc is forced to give his two best cards to the President (best cards are 2s, Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks, etc. – the higher the better). And the President gives any 2 cards he wants to the Trop d’Uc (crappy ones). Vice President gives any card he wants to the Vice Trop d’Uc and the Vice Trop d’Uc has to give the Vice President his best card (just one).
Now the Trop d’Uc starts the game as described above, going clockwise from there. You continue the play, and again, once the cards are all out with only one person with cards, you reassign roles if they turned out differently. So if the former VP finished first, he is now the President. If the President finished last, he becomes the asshole. [Lots of cheering and jeering should occur at this point. Pointing across the table and yelling, "ASSHOLE!" is only appropriate if you have drunkeness as an excuse. See next point.]
Try it! You’ll like it. I suggest copious amounts of alcohol be involved…
I’m asked a lot by people visiting or other families starting a French adventure “how long does it take to become fluent?”
The smartass answer: “A lifetime.”
The other answer: “That depends.”
It depends on how you define fluency. I used to define it as: “able to speak, read, and write like a native speaker”. Wow. Talk about setting the bar high. Too high. I have since re-defined this term for myself. It’s now: “able to have a conversation with someone without using charades, able to read a newspaper article and understand at least 75% of it, and able to write an email without using Google translate”.
This is a much more attainable goal. And I got there in about a year, plus or minus a month on either side.
To be fair, I personally don’t speak or hear enough French. This is because I teach English and out of necessity, must insist that everyone at work speak English to me. If I were working in a French business with French co-workers and clients, I probably would have become (my definition of) fluent in about half the time. But here’s a tip for those of you seeking work in France: if you’re not fluent in French, you won’t get a job that requires French fluency! Huzzah! I know; crazy, right?
My kids are all able now to have a much more complex conversation in French than I am, although they aren’t able to tell really when their conjugations are off or when they’re speaking complete slang. Example: I ask my kids “Who left the oatmeal bowl in the sink without rinsing it off?” The answer I hear sounds like this: “Shay pah”. Technically, they should say: “Je ne sais pas” or “I don’t know”. So this is slang, but I hear adults doing it all the time. It sounds like they’re saying “Chez pas” in French which means literally: “the house of not”. Craziness!
I, on the other hand, know when a conjugation is wrong but not necessarily how to fix it. That’s because I learned my French on paper from books and antiquated learning devices. I learn new vocabulary or casual ways of speaking from my kids every day so that has helped me a lot. I will say that all the major French learning systems teach very formal and not often used French. Think Rosetta Stone, Pimsler Method, etc. Today’s French uses mostly expressions and different verbs for things than I learned with those products.
My littlest kid (8 years old now) is in the best spot. She’s speaking with a French accent and has long, involved conversations with her friends. She’s learning how to conjugate verbs right alongside her equally clueless French friends, so her being behind doesn’t show itself much. She’s a superstar in her English classes which makes up for any deficiencies she has in French grammar class.
The bigger kids struggle in some of their classes because of their inability to write French grammar properly. Even when they know the word and how to say it, they often don’t know how to spell it properly. Here’s an example: the word “parler” can also be spelled “parlais” or “parlait” or “parlé” or “parlez” or “parlaient” (all different conjugations of the same verb “parler” = to speak) and would sound exactly the same. So learning by listening and repeating like they do, without knowing the finer points of French grammar (taught to the 7 year olds and up), they are a bit lost. Slowly over their second year of school, they are figuring it out. A few paid-for lessons have helped too.
So if you seek to become fluent in French, I would suggest the following:
- Redefine what fluency means to you. Feel free to use my definition – I think it’s a fair measure of what you need to get along here and make nice French friends who respect you and your desire to learn their language.
- Spend as much time with French teenagers as you can so you can learn the proper slang and cuss words.
- Don’t take the stuff you learn on Rosetta Stone and think it will always be right – be willing to learn new ways of saying things.
You’ll find that at some point in your stay here in France, that one day a light switch just goes on. FLICK! and suddenly you’re understanding a lot more, able to speak a lot more, thinking in French or dreaming in French. It really does happen like that. It’s like your English speaking brain gets to maximum overload and then the barriers to learning and comprehending just collapse. I still remember the day I was in my car, turned on the radio, and realized I knew exactly what they were talking about. Wild! And worth every struggle.
So where am I now? Getting there. I still use some charades. I still use 5 verbs to explain the verb I wish I could say but either forgot or never learned. Sometimes I hear stuff and say, “What the hell was that?” But all in all, I see progress and so do my French-speaking friends. So that’s success. I’m happy. I still love the language, even though it’s still kicking my ass.
My husband? He’s speaking what I call “crockpot French”. That’s where you throw in a few verbs, some adjectives, maybe an adverb and a noun when called for, stir it up so that the order is all mixed up, and then add a bunch of smiles and head nods. No conjugation needed; no ‘le’ or ‘la’ needed; no pronouns or any of that other useless nonsense necessary. Just the basics. He can say “maison, electrique, cassé” to our landlord, and he knows he needs to get his ass over to the house and fix our electricity which has gone out for the 10th time. The beauty is, my honey doesn’t even know if he’s saying “cassé”, “casser”, “cassée”, “cassait”, or any of the other verbs that sound exactly the same but mean different things. He’s happily clueless about all of it and doing just fine.
Whatever your goals, whatever your abilities, you can do this too. French fluency or crockpot French, it’s totally worth it. You just have to try!
Some family members mentioned to me that they hadn’t read anything new on the blog since … August ??? Is that right? Wow, time flies when you’re having fun, eating too many French pastries, and writing a book.
Seriously, I’ve been writing a book. That’s really not an excuse because I should also have been writing a blog. But here I am, hoping you’ll forgive me anyway.
How about, before I shamelessly plug my book and beg you to buy it, that I give you an update? Okay good. So here it is:
- Teaching at two universities in Paris now, even though I live outside of Montpellier in the cutest village in France that is not also a tourist trap. That means a round trip on the TGV each week. Not yippee.
- The kids have all moved up a grade. They are all mostly happy although still struggling with the French, especially the conjugation of verbs. (Also the bane of my existence.) I have decided to speak always using the infinitive. The French can figure out what I mean from there. It will sound like this in English: “I to go to the market yesterday. I to buy the apples yesterday also. I to think to go to the store today later.” You get the picture.
- My husband’s French has reached critical mass. He now can not only slaughter the verbs, he can massacre the nous and adjectives as well. Many French people seem to enjoy listening to him speak. They always seem to be smiling. Our children try not to cringe, but it has proven to be impossible.
- Our now 9 year old is the expert pronunciationist. And we always pronounce every word wrong. Even some of the English ones.
- We have rats. The domesticated pet ones. We wanted only 2. Only females. Then one of them grew balls overnight and impregnated our female who gave birth to 285 baby rats. No, just kidding. It was only 14. See how I made 14 baby rats seem like no big deal?
- American Mom in Paris left to go live in Seattle. Now she has a new blog, I recommend you go read it. She’s the funniest blogger I know, even though I’ve never met her. http://www.seattlemoxie.blogspot.com/ There, the address in case you don’t like hyperlinks. I’m sure there are people out there who don’t like them. Sometimes they make me suspicious.
- I have no plans to move back to the U.S., although I want my kids to go there for college. We love it here!
- The health care continues to surprise and amaze us. We’ve been for stitches (rugby injury) and that was an absolute pleasure. We continue to experience excellent care, top quality drugs, and low, low prices. Three cheers for socialized medicine!
- We live in a bigger house now. Still renting. It was built in 1640 something. Our landlord is prone to stopping by at odd hours, any day of the week. Kind of annoying, but the guy is nice. Plus he sometimes brings cheap wine to share.
- Did I mention I wrote a book? I’d really like it if you’d buy it, read it and leave a really nice review on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Goodreads (or all of them if you want my undying gratitude). The book is WRECKED and the author Elle Casey. Click that link and it will take you to Amazon where you can buy it. It’s only 99 cents for the Kindle. If you’re a Nook person, you can get it here. It’s young adult action adventure novel. Here’s a link to the book page.
I’m working on my next book. It’s called WAR OF THE FAE: Book 1 (The Changelings). It’s a young adult fantasy novel, book 1 of hopefully 4. That’s the plan anyway. I’ve finished the first draft and should have it up on Amazon and Barnes and Noble by February 11th.
So that’s my update. I hope you are still around and haven’t abandoned me, although no one would blame you if you did – I have been a bad, bad girl. Please forgive me!
Gros bisous mes amies!
I returned recently from a trip to the States to go to a cousin’s wedding. We had a blast. And now I hear that another cousin is getting hitched, so maybe next year we’ll do this all over again. I’m gonna have to start turning tricks or something though, because those plane tickets were out of this world. Maybe instead I should save for a plane and some gas and some little bags of peanuts. The kind with 5 peanuts in them.
I read this amazing news headline today:
Paris Hilton loses cell phone in Manila
So this is news now. Kate Middleton wearing pantyhose, I can understand; but Paris Hilton? A lost cell phone?
Well, okay, if this is news, then I have some more for you, world:
Mom, from American Family in France, loses her flip flops!
It’s true. One minute I was casually flip flopping my way around upstate New York, the next thing I know I’m unpacking bags in the south of France, mourning the loss of my black and hot pink puma flip flops. Life is so unfair sometimes.
You see, Paris Hilton and I have a lot in common. We travel. We lose stuff. Neither of us should be in the news because it’s utterly un-newsworthy for us to be there. And yet, Paris is there – on the front page of Yahoo and Google, searching through her bags in the Manila airport, looking for her cell phone.
Poor kid. Life is so unfair sometimes. If she asked me, I’d tell her to check the seat pocket in front of her. It’s probably there with that safety brochure no one ever reads.
Goodbye Amy Winehouse. You are gone way too soon, way too young. I’m sorry your demons were too much to handle. I hope seeing your tragedy helps at least one person seek the help they need. You will be missed…
Our social calendar is filling up. We’ve gone to some dinner parties, had a couple of dinner parties, and just the other day, we were invited over for donuts! Or maybe not.
Having kids instantly fills up the social calendar whether you like it or not. The little ones want play dates, the big ones want to go to the movies, shopping, or sun tanning with their friends.
The other day I got a call from someone. I answered the phone with trepidation like always, worried that the caller would be French, speaking French, and speaking it really fast. I can handle most phone calls these days, but if I get one of those damn fast-talkers, all bets are off. It’s very frustrating. And when I say ‘very frustrating’, I really mean it’s ‘really fucking frustrating’.
This was one of those calls. All I heard was “Bonjour. Sebeasa. Moijessasesgaehoiesef. Fandsdssodif?”
I knew my first move had to be to find out who this person was, because I’ve already been tricked into painful telephone calls by the local phone company trying to talk me into new services and so on. After 3 minutes of back and forth I then realize it’s a sales call and get all pissed off. You tortured me for this? I torture them back a little by switching to English and fast-talking those bastards. They get all nervous and end the call quick, which is [insert singsong voice] Awwwwwesooooome!
Me: “Qui est-ce?” [Who is this?]
Person on the phone: “C’est eeselslwieah” [This is ??]
Me: “Qui est-ce?”
Person on the phone: “C’est seflaewaoisgsag”
Me: “QUI EST-CE???”
Person on the phone: “C’est EEZ-A-BELLE!”
Me: “Oh shit, hi Isa!” [mother of my little one's best friend from school]
Then, before I could stop her freight train of French, she went on to say something like this:
Isabelle: “beaaeewbis sabbeseslit beignet ggajeae après-midi?”
My interpretation of what she said: “Blah, blah, something about a donut? This afternoon?” [a beignet is a sugared donut with something in the middle like cream or chocolate]
Me: Quand? [when] – (I’m stalling for time here, letting my super computer brain try and do some delayed translating)
And on and on it went. We decided Sunday is the best day to go over and have a donut. I think she was as relieved as I was to get off that phone.
After I thought about it for a while though, I started questioning my French. I mean, who invites someone over for a donut? Is that a French thing? I’ve never heard of it. None of my other French friends have said, “Now that we’re such good friends, you should come over for a donut.” I drink wine with these people, and surely donut dates must come before wine dates.
My mind replayed the events. What else could she have been saying? I know she and her husband talked about inviting us over. I know they recently moved to a rental house in Junas that has a…
Wait minute! She doesn’t want us to come over for a donut! She wants us to come over for “se baigner” —- to go bathe ourselves?? NO, WAIT —– not bathe ourselves…. TO GO SWIMMING! Yes, that must be it.
I probably would have gotten this sooner if she had used the stupid verb I learned for swimming “nager” which sounds like “nah-szchay”, but no. She has to use that fancy reflexive verb French that does what French always does which is NOT follow an exact translation of English but DOES take English that makes a little bit of sense and then make it sound funny. “Hey everyone, let’s go bathe ourselves in the pool! And after that, we’ll have some donuts!”
So I think I’m correct. I’m going to put on a bathing suit under my clothes and have towels in my bag. If she brings me to the pool and gets in, I’ll take my clothes off and join her.
But just to be on the safe side, I’m bringing some beignets with me too. I wouldn’t want to screw up what could be a really delicious French custom.
The first time we ventured over to the coast from our house, it was to meet some friends who we do language exchange from time to time with. They suggested La Grande Motte, and we were to meet across from the casino. I thought when they said ‘casino’ they meant one of those casino grocery stores; but they really meant casino as in gambling hall. I didn’t even know they had that stuff outside of Monte Carlo here. Humph.
The beach was pretty small there. There were restaurants and ice cream shops lining the sidewalk in front of it, and a bunch of blow up slides for kids on the beach. Then there were wall-to-wall bodies on the small stretch of sand that was between two rock jetties. Nice, but not really our cup of tea for a full day. We’re used to the more wild and natural look of Juno or Jupiter Beach in Florida.
When we mentioned this to a friend she told us we needed to go to L’Espiguette. It has the more “natural look” she said.
We drove there, heading towards the signs that said “Le grau de roi”. Must be something that used to belong to the king or something. We saw real flamingos standing in the salt marshes and some of those white Camargue horses – pretty. Just before we arrived at the beach area, we passed several businesses that featured horses already saddled and ready, available to take to ride in the sand and through the ocean. I’m gonna do that someday.
We arrived at the beach parking lot and paid 5.50 euros. A friend told us later we can easily avoid that charge by staging a dramatic couple’s argument at the gate where my husband says we have a ticket already, asks me for it, I claim he was supposed to hold it, he yells that I was supposed to hold it, then we yell at each other how the other one always screws things up, I start crying, and then the gate guard to can’t take it anymore waves us through. I’m not sure how that would work if my husband and I were yelling in English – and us yelling in French would be more funny than sad, so I think we are destined to always pay until we bring our friends with us.
Anyway, we parked in a sand lot, passed through a barrier of dunes, and then found our spot on the beach. Umbrella up, blanket down, beach toys out – we were ready for some fun. I looked around and noticed some other sun bathers had brought their beach toys too. One couple, in their 70s probably were playing Kadima, that beach racket/rubber ball game. “Bap!”—–”Bap!”——”Bap!—- the ball zoomed between them. I wasn’t really paying attention, what with all the naked, leathery-tanned, flapping old lady boobs swinging around. What the?!
My head swiveled to the left.
My head swiveled to the right.
I panned one hundred and eighty degrees from left to right.
Apparently, our friend had neglected to tell us that this beach, was a topless beach. And it’s also where all the ladies who should hide their boobs, show off their boobs.
The good news: I felt a lot better about my body by the time we left; my son learned that he doesn’t have to sneak on the internet in the dead of night to see a boobie; and we had plenty of entertainment to keep us busy on the beach. I didn’t even have to stare. It got so crowded there were boobies EVERYWHERE. Except on my beach blanket.
So, my friends, if you want to go to a “wild” beach, with beautiful dunes, cool water, soft sand, and dark brown men hawking sandwiches, water, and beignets from wheely carts – all while exposing your boobies to the world, head on down to L’Espiguette. I recommend it highly.
The news headlines are following me now. I can’t get away from them. I could just ignore them if they weren’t so FRIGGING STUPID. But today, the headline was more than stupid…it was DANGEROUS. Dangerous, I say. So I had to bring it to the attention of my female readers (all two of you), so that we could work our networking magic and stop this horrible trend that was started by the careless and totally self-serving wench, Kate Middleton.
Apparently, whenever Kate Middleton walks out the door, she starts a new trend. No matter what she’s wearing or not wearing, if she decides to do it, all women all over the world must copy her. So what’s the newest trend you and I are expected to start following? You’re not going to believe this, but it’s true.
We have to start wearing FUCKING PANTYHOSE again.
Goddammit Kate Middleton. What the frig is your problem? We women have been fighting in the trenches for years to get rid of those things. And then there you go…waltzing out of your palace and over to the United States – and you know how impressionable those chicks are over there, so you should have been more careful – wearing some stupid polyester/rayon/(probably silk) leg warmers in the middle of summer. What were you thinking?
The alert and undoubtedly award-winning journalist who brought this to the world’s attention mentioned that pantyhose are good for covering up cut-up legs from bad shaving jobs and the splotchiness of fake tans. Let’s ruminate on that for a second….
Okay, rumination over. What kind of an idiot fake tans, ruins the fake tan, and then decides, “Hmmm. I still want that sun-kissed look…what can I do?…WAIT! I KNOW! PANTYHOSE!” A dummy, that’s who.
And about the whole shaving cut thing? …here’s a tip: stop using disposable razors that suck. That’s easy. I recommend the Venus if anyone cares – I’ve NEVER have to wear pantyhose to cover up my cuts because I don’t have any. Then again, I only shave about every 3 days, so I probably have less incidence of razor cuts than someone like Kate Middleton who probably has a royal leg shaver person personally shave her twice a day. Or a royal waxer or a royal Nair-er, or a royal epilady-er. Whatever.
All I’m saying is that people like Kate Fucking Middleton have a greater responsibility to the women of the world. She needs to do a little history homework before she walks out the door, and learn what shit she should NOT be wearing, lest we’re all going to be pressured into wearing it again. Seriously, has she not seen any of the movies from the 80s?
Kate, if you’re out there, reading this (and bully for you if you are, because this blog is totally TIGHT), here is a list of things you should never, ever, EVER wear again:
- pantyhose! duh! of any color, of any material, of any style. Damn you Kate!
- shoulder pads
- high wasted jeans
- (I’m pretty sure you know this one, but then again, I thought you would have known about the pantyhose and look where that got us) a mullet
- high top sneakers with velcro straps
- leg warmers or leotards
- headbands, because you’re older than 10
- heels higher than 2 inches (thought I’d give this one a try anyway. She’s probably going to ignore this one since we know she trapped her husband wearing some stilettos and a see-through dress)
I hope she sees this list. Otherwise, next thing you know, she’s probably going to go around telling chicks it’s not cool to vote and that us women should start wearing pearls when we vacuum.
This blog used to be about my life in France. Now it seems to be about the ridiculous news headlines I shouldn’t have read. I’m sorry about that. At least this headline has something to do with France. It’s fashion. Or maybe not.
First, let’s start with the photo.
Now for the caption that was by the photo:“A model walks the runway during the Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2011/2012 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 4, 2011 in Paris, France. This was 27-year old designer Iris van Herpen’s Paris debut of her futuristic designs. She employs unusual techniques and equipment for her work with materials such as leather, rubber, plastic and metal. Other designs included a vest fashioned from metal piping and white plastic dress. (Photo by Victor)“
Where should I start? How about some photo captions that could have been used:
- Snakes on a Dame
- That’s What Happens When You Wear Your Colon on the Outside
- Should I Wear This or Flush It?
- The 8,076th Way To Waste Your Money
- The Empresses’ New Clothes
I could go on forever. Readers, if you are out there, if you exist, you may comment below and add your suggestions.
And as for Ms. Iris van Herpen, the creator of this “dress”…what can I say? Other than, “Hey, Lady, you’re completely nuts. And besides that, it was incredibly cruel of you to make this model wear your turdle dress. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”
Now let’s talk about this picture, this whole Fashion Week thing, and last, the fashion in France.
Does this model have this face every day, or only the days she has to strut around in a black rubber colon dress? She doesn’t look very happy – in fact, she looks as though she may have sold her soul to the devil. That’s about what it would take to get me into that contraption. Or a lot of money. Hmmm….is there a difference?
I know there are a lot of people who get really amped up about Fashion Week. People who spend thousands, maybe even millions to get there, be there, be seen there, whatever. Until I saw “The Devil Wears Prada”, I poo-pooed them all. Now, I just thank them for keeping their freaky, non-fashion ideas in Paris this week and then churning out wearable fashion for the rest of us normal folk the rest of the year. I don’t know about you guys, but the following materials are not part of my wardrobe:
- drain pipes
- shower curtains
- my grandmother’s curtains
- my grandmother’s slipcovers
The fashion in France
When we first moved to France, we lived in Paris. It was pretty hard to find reasonably priced clothes anywhere but at H&M. Maybe that’s because we were still in touristy areas, where Paris tricks the visiting public into thinking that all French people spend a buttload of money on their very high-fashion clothes. Nevermind that if those same visitors just looked around, they’d see even in Paris not a lot of people wearing that stuff.
Once we moved out of The Big City, we found lots of stores that cater to the more limited budget. Here you can find fashions that will last one season and then be thrown in a charity bag without feeling like we’ve wasted any money. Now that’s my kind of fashion. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m not Pippa Middleton who can buy a dress I like in every color and then never wear it again. Recycling my ass.
What I can’t find are good shoes at good prices. We’re either at the Halles of shoes, spending 10 euros on a pair of shoes that will last 2 weeks, or 130 euros on a pair of name-brand shoes that will last maybe 2 months if I’m lucky. Maybe it’s not the shoes. Maybe it’s my kids. But either way, I’m still looking for good ideas in the area of Shoe Fashion.
I will close by making an appeal to the powers that be at Paris Fashion Week: How about you make the fashion competition really tough, by requiring that all designers come up with fashions that fit the following parameters:
- No use of materials that are normally used in plumbing, cooking, or Sushi bars
- No making of items that look like internal organs or the things that come out of them
- No making of items that can only be worn once
- No making of items that resemble anything worn in a 1980s music video
That’s a challenge I’d like to see one of these so-called “designers” meet!