solidaire
angoisse

flagorneur

Mouton
Our (current...) village of Les Arcs-sur-Argens and a few of its cud-chewing residents.

flagorneur, flagorneuse (flah-gorh-ner / flah-gorh-nuhz) noun
  flatterer, sycophant, toady, courtier

flagorneur/flagorneuse (adjective): fawning

J'ai déployé tour à tour, pour me pousser au premier rang, la brutalité d'une acheteuse de grands magasins aux jours de solde et la gentillesse flagorneuse. In order to push myself to the front row, I displayed, alternately, the brutality of a department store shopper during sales season, and fawning
kindness.
--Colette, Ouvres complètes


                                                               Column
Pulling to a stop in the parking lot at Collège Jacques Prévert, I throw open the passenger door in time to catch my son who lands smack in front of the glove compartment. "Ouf!" he exclaims, pulling the door closed behind him, shutting out the rain.

It is midday and the rain and running leap have put an edge on Max's appetite.
"Mom, can I eat at Momo's today?" Max asks, trying his luck.
"I don't know. Let me think about it," I answer. "I mean, if you can't remember to wear the raincoat that I set out for you this morning, then I'm not sure I can remember the way to Momo's snack bar..." I point out, adding a smirk for good measure.

I put on my turn signal and check the rearview mirror to see if the coast is clear before pulling out of the parking lot. That's when I notice something in my hair...

Une boucle!*

A curl! The weather is humid and this means that luck is on my side (as Babette, my hairdresser, used to say while squirting an extra dose of volumnizer into her magic hands, "We are going to put ALL chance* on your side today!").

Like an oiled up haltérophile* flexing before a mirror, I turn to admire the firm boucle from different angles.
"Look! Did you see that curl?" I ask my son, who is silently plotting how he will get to eat a kebab for lunch and not another tomato sandwich--featuring another of my creations (or abominations) from the bread machine).

"See it? Does my hair look curly to you?"
"Ben..."*
"Curly, don't you think?"
When Max looks doubtful my face falls flat as my hair used to be and, seeing the frown, my son remembers that he wants that kebab sandwich and that his fate will soon be decided.

"Je veux dire, oui!"* Max says, trying to flatter me. "Your hair...c'est comme un mouton!"
"Like a sheep"?

Sheep's wool? That doesn't sound like flattery to me. But then again you know the rule: effective flattery should not sound like flattery. Still, I wonder: am I flattered?

"Can I go to Momo's now?" Max asks, impatiently.
"No!" I snap, rolling down the window to let in more hair-curling humidity, never mind the rain.

I make a pit-stop in front of Momo's for the pleasure of seeing my son's face light up. I had only been pulling a little bit of that sheep's wool over his eyes when I said no. Frizzy hair should be good for something.
.
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References: ouf! = whew!; une boucle (f) = curl; la chance (f) = luck; un(e) haltérophile (mf) = weightlifter; ben = well, er; Je veux dire, oui! = I mean, yes!

:: Audio File ::
Listen to Jean-Marc pronouce today's word and recite the quote: Download flagorneuse.wav
J'ai déployé tour à tour, pour me pousser au premier rang, la brutalité d'une acheteuse de grands magasins aux jours de solde et la gentillesse flagorneuse.
.
Shopping:
Amuse-Bouche: Little Bites That Delight Before the Meal Begins
In Music: L' Ecole du Micro D'Argent by I Am
French vinotherapy for the hands: Caudalie Hand And Nail Cream
SmartFrench: CD-rom for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced French learning

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