Today's story takes place in Cassis, where risks are taken... especially with fashion. Read on...
France and Monaco Rentals. Exclusive Vacation Rental Properties throughout France.
agrafer (ah graf ay) verb
: to staple, to fasten, hook up, clip together
Audio File: hear Jean-Marc*: Download MP3 or wav
J'ai agrafé mon pantalon. I stapled my pants.
Have a moment? Check out my husband's wine blog & see videos of our farm. Click here.
Featured book: Sara Midda's South of France: a sketchbook
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
In the narrow lobby of Hotel Le Golf (Cassis), I wait for my husband. I am flipping through a slim Souleiado catalogue that I have found on a little side table. The model on the cover is wearing a seductive evening gown en soie. Her shoulders are bare, her neckline, golden before the plunge.
I look down at my own pasty "plunge".... As for my dress, I begin to have doubts. We are on our way to a wedding... will this dress fera l'affaire? It is knee-length, showing off my neon-white legs. The fabric is black and made of gauze. There is raspberry stitching along the square neckline, voilà for subtle design. My daughter has helped me by gathering the side ties into a noeud papillon in the back of the robe. The bow tie she has fashioned reminds me of the way I wore my dresses... in the third grade.
I try to put aside doubt, reasoning, the dress is new! Shouldn't newness alone guarantee it is not démodé?
Suddenly all of my self-doubts dissolve the minute I see my husband, whereupon the focus is no longer on my threads... but on his.
Tossing the magazine onto the table... I study my husband's getup. What an entrance he has made! Even the woman behind the counter has dropped her calculator and lowered her glasses. Take a look at him.
I wonder, why isn't his dress shirt tucked in?
"I like it this way," he insists.
"But you must tuck your shirt in when you wear a cravate!"
"Do you have a stapler?" my husband asks the woman behind the counter, dismissing me. That is when I notice his jeans, the bottom seams of which are coming undone. Jeans?! Undone seams?!
"A big one or a small one?" the woman asks, searching for une agrafeuse. The question seems absurd.
"Une petite fera l'affaire," Jean-Marc answers.
And just like that—with a no-nonsense sweep of the stapler, tac! tac! tac!—he fixes his pantalons.
I look over to the woman behind the counter, whose reading glasses are now dangling from her hand, as if knocked over by one Frenchman's innovation. "Pas mal!" she declares, appraising Mr Fix It.
I gather my purse from the side table, when my eyes catch on the Souleiado catalogue. The model on the cover is now looking up at me and her head is shaking, condemningly. Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Next time help him dress, darling. As for you....
But, not giving her the chance to utter one word more, I turn my head and hurry out the door.
:: Le Coin Commentaire ::Corrections, suggestions, and stories of your own are most welcome! Click here to comment.
Souleiado = a maker of Provençal fabrics, clothing, and linens
en soie = in silk
fera l'affaire = will fit the bill
voilà = presto
noeud papillon = bow tie
une cravate = tie
une agrafeuse = a stapler
une petite fera l'affaire = a small one will do it
le pantalon = pants
Thank you for visiting our sponsor!
Les portes tordues (The Twisted Doors): The Scariest Way in the World to Learn and Listen to French! Check it out (if you dare).
***When you shop via any of the following links, you help support this free language journal. Merci d'avance!
A book that steered me, subsconsciouly, to France. Sara Midda's South of France is a wondrous sketchbook of a year's sojourn in the South of France. This is a very personal journal, crammed with images, notions and discoveries of the day-to-day. In tones of sea and morning sky, stucco and brick, olive leaf and apricot, rose and geranium, exquisite watercolors capture the landscape, the life, the shimmering air of a region beloved by all who have fallen under its spell.
Sara Midda's South of France is a place of ripening lemons and worn espadrilles, ochre walls and olive groves, and everything born of the sun. It lies between the Mediterranean and the Maritime Alps, and most of all in the artist's eye and passion. Read the glowing reviews, click here.
French for Beginners
...by Michel Thomas, enables you to naturally and intuitively develop the building blocks for language comprehension. You learn at your own speed--listening, speaking, and thinking through the language. Read reviews, click here.
Herbes De Provence Flatbread Crackers with Sea Salt, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Anise, Savory
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French film)
The story of a man imprisoned in his paralyzed body becomes a dazzling and expansive movie about love, imagination, and the will to live. After a stroke, Jean-Dominique Bauby (Mathieu Amalric, Kings and Queen) can only move his left eye--and through that eye he learns to communicate, one letter at a time....an intimate visual poem, a humble sonata about life at its most fragile. --Bret Fetzer View the movie trailer, click here.
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