J’adore la France, Aussi

I can’t admit how much I love England whilst ignoring its more colo(u)rful, flavo(u)rful relative, France. You see, I once had an ardent affection for all things françaises.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My obsession began in my twelfth year. We were required to pick a foreign language class in junior high school (ages 12-15). So, I looked over the options:

Spanish? ¡No! Too common!

German? Nein! Too much angry phlegm!

French? Oui! Just right!

Between pain au chocolat and Mont St. Michel; le Tour Eiffel and croissants; 400+ fromages officiels and Versailles; chocolat et chocolat; I fell for France like a pre-teen falling for a boy band.

Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

The language was s-i-l-k. I loved calling a dog un chien, a car une voiture, and a pizza une pizza. I loved slurring words or artistically dropping endings. I loved expanding my lexicon; I could soon exclaim, “Zut alors!” or suggest we go “chez moi.”

I studied the language all through high school (ages 15-18) and into college. The relationship moved from underage crush to fangirl stalking.

If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be to France. Cream puffs were my favorite dessert. I knew to never cut French bread at the table. My 1’s had a serif and my 7’s a strikethrough. My months were janvier à décembre and my days were lundi à dimanche.

Then… we drifted apart. It was primarily communication problems -I simply couldn’t talk to France the way I could to England. I admitted that, all those times I’d promised to visit, I was lying. And, despite a brief fling with Astérix, I didn’t quite understand the French sense of humor.

Alas, we were never meant to be. C’était, peut-être, l’Angleterre. Peut-être…

What of you? Have you ever loved and left? Which country’s heart did you break?

—–

Aaaand, here are the things I wrote since last noting the things I wrote:
Wednesday, May 19: Asked about your favorite desserts.

Friday, May 20: An egg-cellent Friday Photo!

Sunday, May 22: Quoted Stuart Danker.
Declared Not Pam as the winner of the Terrible Poetry Contest!

Monday, May 23: Mormon Monday! Sundays are for taking the Sacrament.

Tuesday, May 24: Expressed my emphatic emotions of England.

Wednesday, May 25: Re-formed D. Wallace Peach‘s words to make a poem.

Thursday, May 26: It’s another Terrible Poetry Contest! YOU SHOULD ALL ENTER since this is the last one before I take a break. It’s a sonnet about soup. What’s not appetizing about that?

Friday, May 27: Yo-Yo-Yo-Toy-Yodahhh!

Saturday, May 28: Wrote a terrible poem that still needs work, to deal with the pain of Uvalde.

Sunday, May 29: Quoted Holly Whitaker.

Monday, May 30: I’m a Mormon, so I keep the Sabbath Day holy.

Tuesday, May 31ish: The Open Book Blogger Award!!

©2022 Chel Owens

48 thoughts on “J’adore la France, Aussi

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 12:57 am

      😀
      And I have also wondered about that closeness.

      Like

  1. Ian Kay June 3, 2022 / 3:54 am

    Well, we here in England have a “history” with France, the French, and anything French; and it’s reciprocated. Personally, I think they’re okay.

    I can’t recommend a better way to appreciate France than driving a long way through its regions in a Citröen deux-chevaux – I believe that’s the green car shown briefly in that video clip. It is said to be designed so that any village blacksmith could fix it with nothing more than a hammer. The sensation when going around a tight bend is the wheels obey the direction given though the rest of the car is clearly intent on keeping straight ahead. But it’s a convertible – of sorts – and you’ll feel very French.

    For French humour, see Jacques Tati, of course.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 7:08 am

      True points. An obsessive-favorite show of mine was “The Scarlet Pimpernel” with Jane Seymour and Anthony Andrews. The English outsmart and ridicule the French, no? It’s funny to think I wasn’t influenced by that history, nor our United State’s history, in my love of England and France and how we’re all connected.
      (Given that, here’s a local comedy group’s humorous take on foreign relations: https://youtu.be/tqIh3N7_xGk)

      Like

      • Ian Kay June 3, 2022 / 7:35 am

        Scarlet Pimpernel – I think even the French regret their revolution. Everyone comes to regret their revolutions! Think, without yours you’d have a British passport now. 😁

        The England vs. France thing goes back to 1066 at least. But western Europe relations have been very volatile throughout our history. It’s amazing there’s been relative peace and cooperation between us all throughout my lifetime. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 8:38 am

          Fortunately, we only have to worry about those extremely polite Canadians over here.

          Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse June 3, 2022 / 2:42 pm

      On the french humour aspect I am amazed they revered Jerry Lewis as a comedic genius. Mon dieu.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 2:52 pm

        He was just weird.
        Then again, I do hope no one’s assuming all Americans find crotch shots hilarious…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. masercot June 3, 2022 / 5:39 am

    Synchronicity! I’m studying the One Hundred Years War this week…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 7:09 am

      Coincidence! I have a lot of your history lessons to catch up on, Professor Masercot!

      Like

  3. tnkerr June 3, 2022 / 6:35 am

    Escargot, in my experience, is a wonderful way to get garlic butter to your mouth. And, who doesn’t like garlic butter? j’ai raison?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 7:11 am

      I was going to mention escargot! We went out as a French class but I couldn’t bring myself to put it in my mouth. I’m even squeamish about eggs; I couldn’t see snails going down well!

      Liked by 2 people

      • tnkerr June 3, 2022 / 10:06 am

        Sometimes you just gotta go for it! I understand your position and even used to hold the same position myself, when I was younger. When I became curious about everything I was missing – I got over it.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Frank Hubeny June 3, 2022 / 7:16 am

    I learned enough French to ask where the bathroom was, but not enough to understand the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 8:37 am

      😀 I can speak much more than I can understand as well! I figure that asking for a bathroom is what you need in most languages and that fluent hand-gesturing will get you all the answers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. willowdot21 June 3, 2022 / 8:16 am

    Firstly I’d say France is not a relative of England…infact I think France would object to that title 😊 we are neighbours who don’t always get on. We are not too popular with with Europeans especially the French??
    That said I do love Italy especially Tuscany, we also have visited France a lot.💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 8:39 am

      😀 I wondered at whether I ought not to write ‘relative.’ Germany is closer, genetically and linguistically.

      I’ve heard Italy is wonderful.

      Like

      • willowdot21 June 3, 2022 / 8:46 am

        Oh! Italy is wonderful, weather, wine food, people, scenery, buildings history it has it all and a piece of my heart 💜💜

        Liked by 1 person

  6. John W. Howell June 3, 2022 / 8:58 am

    I also took four years of French in high school. It stood me well when I needed a year of language to graduate from college. Took three 101,102, and 103 in the same term. I did travel to France and most of the time I got an “Eh” in return for my attempts to speak the language. Gave up and returned to my ugly American roots. Fun post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 10:19 am

      Ha ha ha! This is my experience, sans actually traveling. I suspect the somewhat cool reception of the French people I’ve met is another contributing factor to my not liking France so much anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

        • obbverse June 3, 2022 / 6:24 pm

          Ah, I remember, when hustling along the chic romantic crowded Parisian boulevards, cheek by jowl with its Gauloises puffing beret wearing citizens. And their casually charmingly unexpected expectorations on the sidewalks. That kept us on the hop, I admit.
          Vive la différence, I guess?

          Liked by 2 people

  7. Annette Rochelle Aben June 3, 2022 / 11:52 am

    The only “other” country I have had a tight connection with is Canada. Not only am I geographically closer to Ontario, Canada than my own State Capital, but my father’s family hails from Quebec. My dad actually had to choose to renounce his dual citizenship when he wanted to join the U.S. Navy. How much French can I speak? I know more Spanish than French and that isn’t saying much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 2:08 pm

      Interesting. I didn’t know you couldn’t hold dual citizenship if you joined the Navy. I’ve only been to Alberta (Cardston).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annette Rochelle Aben June 3, 2022 / 2:19 pm

        Right, you can’t. My father was born here but because his parents were (at the time of his birth) Canadian citizens, he had dual citizenship. When he wanted to join the Navy, he was forced to choose one or the other, so he chose U.S.A. – sorry if the original comment was misleading.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. D. Wallace Peach June 3, 2022 / 12:55 pm

    French is such a beautiful sounding language, Chel. The most romantic of the romances. I hope you get there someday. You’ll be surprised at how much of it comes back to you. I took Spanish and wish I’d gone further with it. It was practical and is even more practical today. I dislike being monolingual (such an American ego-centric thing, in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 3, 2022 / 2:12 pm

      I hear you! I’m embarrassed that I studied for so long, yet feel monolingual. I hope I would actually be able to pick it up if I went to the country.

      Spanish would be more practical. We have a lot of Hispanic peoples around Utah.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. bereavedandbeingasingleparent June 6, 2022 / 7:05 pm

    My last attempt at full on French was at a sea view restaurant in Caen. I asked a passing waiter if we could have the bill and he brought us some fizzy water. I do hope you get to Visit the places you want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Gr8BigFun June 8, 2022 / 6:10 pm

    See and I hated French. Perhaps it was because we are forced to take it up here because of Quebec. Even though I can think of 0 times I’ve need to use it since I finished high school. Maybe my view would have been different had I chosen to take it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 9, 2022 / 12:46 am

      I think so. I can’t seem to wrap my mind around Spanish for the same reason -that I SHOULD learn it since it would be far more useful than French.

      Like

  11. hbsuefred June 19, 2022 / 1:48 pm

    I avoided German because my dad was German. That was probably the only slightly rebellious thing I did as a teenager. Took Spanish in high school and at the start of college. The high school Spanish teacher was my favorite of all time. At one point she was learning Hebrew and shared it with us for a week or so. Moved on to French in college. Didn’t like it much because they leave off the last half of the written word when they say it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens June 19, 2022 / 1:59 pm

      That right there is an accurate breakdown of language. 😀

      Like

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