They don't say chick magnet in French. Here, it's aspirateur de gonzesses (literally, that's "vacuume cleaner of broads")
un aimant (ay-mahn)
Les aimants décoratifs servent à maintenir les messages sur la porte du frigo.
Decorative magnets are useful for holding messages on the fridge door.
See the Humor in it or Skip it!
HOW TO BE A CHICK MAGNET!
And if I were a really good salesman then I'd offer (well, offer is a big word--with strings attached, naturally); yes, I'd offer the secret in three words or less! So let's put the theory to the test: am I really that good a salesman (of First French Essais...) and can you really become a girl magnet with only three words?
(Drum roll...) Here are the 3 magic mots. Take note!
"Forget my birthday"
Yep, that's it. That's all it takes to become a girl magnet overnight!--to go from completely invisible, ignored, rejected and abandoned... to rock-n-roll irresistible!
Now, would a good salesman leave you with 3 magic words and then, basta, run with the money? Jamais! Here are the priceless instructions you will need to transform yourself into girl glue:
Simply whisper the suggestion "Forget my birthday" to the future chick magnets of your choice. Start a day early en chuchotant the 3 magic words:
...Forget my birthday... forget my birthday....
Then, the morning of your birthday, Bob's your uncle!* Or Jean-Marc is, or rather, we'll use Jean-Marc for this example!
The morning of my husband's birthday I stumbled past him on my way to the coffee machine. Bonjour, I mumbled. I vaguely remember pausing, seeing him sitting there on the couch--barely covered against the morning chill. I was sorry he woke up so early but didn't apologize, this time, for my snoring. Instead I grabbed a cup of coffee and slipped past him, with a noncommittal, ça va, Cheri?
As I settled back into my warm bed, enjoying my morning coffee before our house guest (Chick #2...) woke up, I heard voices in the front room.
So much for lingering. It was time to get up and hostess. This time I flew past my husband in time to greet Rachel, who was treated to a livelier bonjour! It's always a pleasure to see Rachel, and no need to change out of my morning get-up (pink and red knee-highs, my green-and-black-striped pjs tucked into the socks for extra warmth, and cashmere floor-length robe (five bucks at the consignment store) tossed over the whole (platform suede mules peeping from the bottom).
Over toast, I caught up with our longtime friend. Rachel was a classmate of Jean-Marc's whom I had met days after him, 24 years ago. Owing to a long history in common, Rachel and I always have so much to say. This time we were chatting about bone density and I was telling Rachel about a tip I'd recently learned: save your organic eggshells, wash them in hot water and, using a coffee grinder, reduce them to a fine poudre. Take a small teaspoon in juice or yogurt and voilà! Calcium!
When Jean-Marc appeared at the table, we barely noticed him but for his greeting, which he was obliged to repeat.
"I said that's awfully interesting conversation on a day like today!" he smiled hopefully.
Rachel and I smiled back, she more politely than I, before continuing our conversation about our future foe: osteoporosis. But a noise in the near distance caused us to pause once more.
Jean-Marc was a broken record: "Fascinating conversation on a day like today!"
Our eyes froze midsentence as Rachel and I jumped up. Planting kisses all over his face, Chick #1 and Chick #2 wished Jean-Marc Happy Birthday!!!...
And that, dear reader, is How To Become a Chick Magnet with only 3 words! Now, depending on your birth day, it might be a little or a very long wait. For poor Jean-Marc, he has a whole nother year to go, before being clawed and kissed by a flurry of embarrased chicks.
* * *
le mot = word
basta!= (interjection, Italian?) that's enough
jamais = never
en chuchotant = in whispering
Bob's your uncle = voilà! That's how it's done! That's all it takes!
la poudre = powder
Two places to stay in a favorite village: Sablet!
Provence Dreamin'? Maison des Pelerins, Sablet. A Vacation Rental Dream in the heart of the Côte du Rhone.
Jean-Marc's birthday cake: a crumble I've been practicing ever since Sandra made it, last Friday night for dessert. This one has sauteed apples and carrots (1 grated) and a drizzle of Jean-Marc's honey from his bees.
I like this easy-to-remember measure for the topping: 10 tablespoons flour, 10 tablespoons sugar, 150 grams butter--cinnamon and whatever else you fancy (a sprinkle of granola? pecans?). Malaxer (or knead this together) until fine like breadcrumbs. Spread crumbs on top of fruit (now in a baking pan) and bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes.
Jean-Marc's birthday may have been like any other day--like laundry day--but there were many beautiful moments within it...
Like his shoes lined up along the porch, to freshen in the air.
And the thyme, collected by our daughter--for her grandmother. We celebrated Jean-Marc's birthday again with Michèle-France on Sunday. The herbs are for my mother-in-law's tapenade, a gift that keeps on giving!
Today is the last day to enter the book drawing, too. Go to the end of this post, and follow the quick instructions!
Thank you for the time you've spent reading my column. If you have learned more than a little vocabulary here and find yourself looking forward to the next story, please know that ongoing support from readers like you helps me continue doing what I love most: sharing these missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is fast and easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi