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

A Chelsea by Any Other Name Would Still Be Sarcastic

I used to be afraid of the world knowing my name. I guarded it like I did my writing. Both were precious, unique things I should not give to the world for free.

There is also freedom in writing behind a mask. I’ve enjoyed pseudonyms in the past because I could then complain about real people in my real life with real details and how I really felt.

Besides the maturity of not-caring that comes with age, I’ve also grown to learn there is little that is private. I realized my name is not so special, and grants me little protection if when I am an insanely popular novelist.

My good friend, Peregrine Arc, recently wrote about the origins of her name and thus inspired my musings. Since I obviously do not use a pen name, I thought to list a couple I have used and their origins. I also wanted to open up the discussion to what name you think I could use as an alternate -buuut, we can cross that bridge when the story arcs to it.

  • Celine des Guimauves – In junior high school, our French teacher suggested we all choose a French name to use in class. There was a list: Monique, Elise, Natalie, etc. I chose the least odious from the list. That ‘middle name’ I added isn’t grammatically correct, but I was 12. C’est la vie.
    ‘Guimauves’ means ‘marshmallows.’ It was one of those words I flipped to in the dictionary and thought hilarious. Again; 12 years old.
  • Celine d’Espions – This was the gradual evolution of my French name over the years of French classes. Technically, the name was Céline d’Éspions, but we won’t nit-pick. The name also gave a nod to my spy-philia; I sincerely wanted to be a spy when I grew up. That may not be a past-tense wish…

P’Arc said she admired Peregrine Falcons, hence the use of the word in the first part of her name. She has an elaborate shrine at home with diving spaces and fish in streams and such, but claims she drew the line at dressing as one more than once a year.

Have I an animal that resonates with me? I loved dogs when I was younger and can bark like a German Shepherd. I definitely wanted to fly but did not want to eat bugs nor regurgitate my food for my young. Therefore, I resonated most with being a dragon. Most of the awesome fantasy beasts would do -even an imp, since I …sometimes behave like one.

Which doesn’t lead at all into my final thought: what’s in a name? I’m not attached to the one I have. I feel it doesn’t fit, somehow. When allowed any time to ruminate, however, I cannot find one that works. Even mention of the one I respond to does nothing to my soul when I hear it. Have you an idea for a name? I could use it for nom de plume purposes since legal name-changes are sticky affairs.

What do you think of pen names? Animal spirits? Your given name? Am I strange in not liking my own?

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Photo Credit:
Carlos Quintero