Sunday, August 12, 2018

Kissing Continues

There's a French man in our village who truly fits the idea of a Frenchman, perhaps even of Pepé le Pew from the Loony Tunes cartoon.
At every city event, he is there proudly.
No, he's not in this picture, but just to give you an idea of a gathering where he would appear.

He helps set up the wine tents, he carries a steaming pan of moules (mussels) from the kitchen luring prospective buyers to the stand.
We gathered in front of the mayor's office Saturday to receive "foulards de Quillan" scarves from Quillan.
What a crowd! 
But mostly the French man greets everyone there -- men with a hearty handshake and women with a kiss on both cheeks.
He goes throughout the crowd, 200, 300, it doesn't matter.
Do they speak French or English? Doesn't matter.
Here we are posing for a selfie with our new scarves; again, the French man is not in the photo.. 
Exchanging kisses with proper British women and men, or French friends, is not the same as receiving the traditional bisous from this guy.
With a British man, I might occasionally clink my sunglasses' frame against his glasses, or I might move forward too hard and bump cheeks.
This Frenchman goes in with a firm grasp on both upper arms. Other times he places one forearm at the back of a woman's head as if holding her captive. I've seen this from other Frenchman too, and it makes me feel a little claustrophobic. Luckily, I haven't been held in a headlock by any of the French men who do greet me.
Earl and I find the man's greetings amusing, but some women in the crowd draw more attention from him, and their husbands don't find it quite as funny.
The French would never hug, but the cheek kisses are a necessity, a little opening of politeness, so there's no refusing the man's hello kisses.
An English-speaking man who has lived here a few years, shared that he'd heard the French man might be a womanizer.
"No!" I acted shocked. Yeah, I had figured that out.
But as long as I'm not the black cat with the stripe being chased by Pepé le Pew, I find it pretty humorous to observe.



Thursday, August 09, 2018

Market Addiction

Before we moved to France in January, I carefully purchased clothes to get me through the year. Boots, sandals, running shoes, dresses with leggings and cardigans, dresses with tights, a few pairs of jeans. I was ready. I knew that clothes could be expensive in France and I didn't want to have to buy new clothes.
But I hadn't anticipated the market dresses.
First, since I still have hot flashes, I almost always wear short-sleeved dresses, even in winter, so I can peel off a cardigan and not be so hot. By the time summer came along, I was pretty tired of my short-sleeved dresses. I resisted buying a new dress though until it got close to the Fourth of July. A friend was having a party and I felt so unAmerican to not have red, white and blue to wear.
That's when I bought a white dress and paired it with a blue necklace so I was close to being patriotic.

Having successfully purchased one dress, I fell victim to the next one, a blue cotton off the shoulder number.
I couldn't help myself
I hadn't anticipated the truly hot summer. Sometimes I'd change clothes two or three times a day, and I never seemed to have enough sun dresses. I bought a green cotton sun dress. I liked that one, so I bought a red one just like it.
Wine and sun dresses
Like a stone rolling down a hill, I began to careen out of control. I bought two dresses and sent them home for Grace.
I even accompanied friends in their purchases of dresses from the market as well.
Flowers and a flowered dress
I stopped by the market booths on Wednesday and Saturday, trying on dresses in vans or hastily created dressing booths. My addiction was leading me to places I normally wouldn't go. Sometimes I simply slid a dress on over my other dress to see how it looked.

My latest purchase, not really a sundress but comfortable cotton

Can you have too many off-the-shoulder blue dresses?
I know that I have to get my addiction under control, and even if I continue to fill the closet with dresses, the summer has to end eventually, forcing me to wrap myself in warm cardigans -- but there might be a cute sundress underneath.

Kissing Continues

There's a French man in our village who truly fits the idea of a Frenchman, perhaps even of Pepé le Pew from the Loony Tunes cartoon. A...