Partir en vrille: Approaching Two Decades of Sobriety when a "loaded" piece of chocolate leads to a lapse (or a relapse?)
Autumn excursion in France, especially for women - "Women in Burgundy: Life, Laughter, and the French Paradox” October 18 to 27, 2018 - includes two nights in Paris. Click HERE for details.
Today's French expression: partir en vrille
: to spin out of control, to go astray, to go south, to run amok, to go off the deep end
Click here to listen to "partir en vrille"
Après avoir dégusté un tout petit morceau de chocolat, elle est partie en vrille au centre commercial. After sampling a very little morsel of chocolate, she ran amok.
365 Days of French Expressions. Click here.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE
by Kristi Espinasse
Last December in Denver, when Mom and I were kicked out of the marijuana dispensary I should have taken it as a warning. Instead, we waited for the rest of our motley crew (my husband, my sister, and her boyfriend)--those with proper IDs--to finish touring the "medicinal" pot shop. I never intended to eat any of it--that chocolate bar we were after--I was just going along with the adventure. But as my grandfather used to say, "when you're around trouble, you're in it!"
Next thing I knew there was this THC-laced candy bar hanging around. It was carefully zipped into our suitcase, lest one of my sister's sheepdogs found it. It ended up in our rental car (after the dogs figured out how to pick the locks on our bags), where I noticed it each time Jean-Marc drove us somewhere. The day after Christmas, on our way to the mall, I suddenly swallowed a piece....
It was tout minuscule--a half of a half of a morceau. It didn't really count and, besides, I wasn't feeling it. So I had another. Forty-five minutes later I was on a shopping spree that ended with a visit to a Tesla (voitures électriques sportives et de luxe) and a serious conversation with a loan officer for a cute little home in a seedy (but up and coming!) part of the city.
The chocolate must have gone to my head, or gone into effect, around the time we (for Jean-Marc had had a piece too) strolled through Macy's, where I bought my husband three new sweaters and a dress shirt. The shopping spree continued at a barber boutique, where I was now on a mission to buy my husband an "ecological" razor (no more plastic to end up in a landfill!). I quickly brushed past the low-cost gamme and raced right over to the top razor (which looked like a cool pocket knife!) and all of its pricy paraphernalia (like the leather ceinture used for sharpening it--who knew leather could sharpen steel. If only it could sharpen my senses!
Walking through the mall like a Sugar Mama, my husband trailing behind me with all his Macy's packages (and un razoir costing slightly less than my wedding band), I turned to watch Sugar Baby walk into the Tesla showroom. If the cannabis-infused chocolate had relaxed my grip on my wallet, it didn't completely shut off sound reasoning--besides, there wasn't enough fric in my bank account to continue pampering Sugar Baby.
But that's what loans are for! In the last scene of our regretful story, Sugar Mama and Sugar Baby are standing in a little brick home with my sister the realtor. We had called Heidi outside the Tesla shop after stumbling into a brightly lit home sales display there at the mall. Just like that, within the hour, we were teleported out of the shopping center--to a seedy (but trending!) Denver neighborhhood. My dear sister had no idea I was under the influence, or she would not have called up a loan officer for me.
Long story short, I failed the income part of the interview. My salary as a blogger might be able to fetch a loan for an RV--but it would not secure funds for a home in Denver--no matter how dilapidated the neighborhood. Speaking of dilapidated, by now my brain was returning to normal and this whole chaotic episode would soon be but a memory. A memory of losing my sobriety for a few hours in Colorado.
Every time I see my husband's platinum razor on the bathroom shelf, I am aggravated at the decision I made to swallow that tiny piece of chocolate, but my sister is quick to remind me of the bright side:
"I could be worse," Heidi sympathizes. "You could have bought a house!" And surely I'd have found a way, had the effects of that dumb chocolate lingered on.
Post Note: Cunning, baffling, powerful...
Some, in the field of sobriety, would consider it a relapse--my split-second decision to eat that drugged piece of chocolate. The thought is troubling, but ultimately, I shall have to wear my Big Girl Pants (or Sugar Mama pants, if you like) and decide for myself whether or not I may continue to say: I have 15 years of sobriety. (Or whether the truth, now, is: I have 3 months....)
Related story "So much for Anonymity"
la voiture = car
la gamme = range of products
la ceinture = belt
un razoir = razor
le fric = cash
tout minuscule = teeny tiny
un morceau = a piece, a morsel
Safety razor (I should have gotten JM this one, or something similar! It would have saved the environment and my wallet!)
Embryolisse - the multi-purpose French face cream my daughter and I use--get the 2-pack here.
Eiffel Tower Peace Sign T-shirt, order here.
If you haven't read my book, please have a look at Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France
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