Vive La France, But Not in August

Eiffel tower © by Moyan_Brenn

My mother is arriving from Paris in a few weeks and I’ll face the same questions Americans ask me when they first find out I have a French mother. Here are my answers:

1. The French do not hate Americans; they hate everyone.

2. My mother does shave her armpits, sometimes twice a day.

3. She also bathes, sometimes twice a year.

4. At last count France, had 629 different kinds of cheese. And that’s just the smelly ones.

5. The French think fast food is a one hour lunch.

6. They take a month’s vacation and if you didn’t know that before you booked your trip to Paris for August, the vacation month of France for the last trillion years, then stop using Travelocity.

7. The French gave us The Statue of Liberty, which is 151 feet tall. The Americans gave the French a replica of the Statue, which is 35 feet tall.

8. The French are more generous than the Americans.

9. When it was being built, the French hated the Eiffel Tower and Gustav Eiffel, the man who built it.

10. See number 1.

11. The French don’t speak English when Americans address them in English because they find it rude that Americans assume their language is more universal than the French language.

12. English is the Universal language of the world.

13. If you’re from a red state and still referring to French Fries as Freedom Fries when you’re in France, then you need to book a ticket on Travelocity and go home. Now.

14. The French accent never goes away, no matter how much your children wish it would have when we were teenagers.

15. The word Boutique is not pronounced Boteek.

16. “Pardon My French” is an expression the British invented because they thought the French were vulgar and sex-obsessed.

17. I can only vouch for sex-obsessed.

18. During certain wars when the French were accused of not letting planes fly over or under or around or beside their country, it’s because they hate everyone.

19. Or it was during the month of August and no one was around to give their permission.

20. I’m half French and half American but when I go to France I just treat myself like crap.




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9 thoughts on “Vive La France, But Not in August”

  1. Ilaughed out loud at this list, and I don’t even know that many French people. The ones I have known have all been pretty nice. I guess they don’t hate absolutely everybody, just most people! They probably love all the euros the tourists bring, though.

    1. Oops! I made a typo, too!

      I just want to say that I am half Italian myself. Italians love everyone — as long as you are a “compare”* from the same town they come from and you live with your spouse and kids in the top floor apartment of your mother’s house.

      *Or “goombah,” as most Italian-Americans would say.

  2. Having visited France several times for business, I can appreciate this list. I sat through a two-hour long business meeting with French and American participants. The French all spoke English pretty well; most of the Americans could barely order wine in French. The entire meeting was in French; I guess because the French were the hosts.

    1. oops, I had a typo in my comment. I know that family stuff causes tears and indigestion, but selfishly I have to say, for the rest of us, it causes tears of laughter.

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