Dragonfly (c) Kristin Espinasse
If you are lucky enough to have wings, then fly. If you're lucky enough to have feet, then dance! (Thank you, Francie, for the dance link. More dancing in today's story....) Photo of une libellule, clinging to a pot of geraniums, taken last week.

dégouliner (day goo lee nay) verb

    : to trickle, to drip (with sweat)

Audio File:
(note: my 14-year-old son was half asleep when we recorded the following words.... don't miss it, Download this file)

je dégouline, tu dégoulines, il dégouline, nous dégoulinons, vous dégoulinez, ils dégoulinent => past participle = dégouliné

Le chercheur Michael Sawka peut prédire si, après un exercice physique, vous allez dégouliner de sueur ou rester frais (ou fraîche) comme une fleur. --from Courrier International

Thank you for helping to translate the example sentence in the comments box.

A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse

Another cultural difference qui m'a frappée* when I first made it to France, was dance.

That is, I had never seen women dance with women before. Growing up, I was used to dancing with boys, boys with restless hand syndrome. French men have "travelling hands" too and, to get around those, French women simply dance around the men. Perhaps this gives them the appearance of dancing with each other, that is, with other women.

I'm not sure what the answer is... only that those French women are sharp, or sharp-footed. And so I watch, and do as they do.

That is how I found myself out there on the dance floor last Saturday night. Friends Sophie and Nicolas had their annual summer bash, a day-long feast that finishes sur la piste.* (Which, come to think of it, leads me to another hypothesis: maybe those French women aren't avoiding "travelling hands" after all... but are simply working off all the calories from the "bloating" buffet? Kind of like aerobic dance, back home--where women do indeed dance together, or side-by-side.)

Either hypothesis works well for me (especially after some of the men have drunk one too many or un de trop and are forgetting to dance with their own former brides; best to dance around those guys). And so it is that I find myself dancing with the wives.

Everything is going well, and I am amazed at how unawkward I feel; that is... until the hostess brings out another tray of food. And if there is one thing the French love more than the physical, it is the food cycle.

Just like that, the dance floor empties in a flash. By the time I realize what has happened, it's too late. Re the current predicament: I don't know what is awkward: the situation or the song.

The situation is that we are solo on the dance floor, just she and me.
And the song, of all songs is... well, you'll have to see this one for yourself ....

(note: if you are reading this via email, you will need to click over to the blog to watch the video "Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi?" by Patti Labelle... with Raphael. Do not miss it!

* *

Post note: I have, once again, forgotten to plug the word of the day into the story (the word being "dégouliner" or "to trickle". But trust me, I did sweat this one out, dancing until the very getcha getcha ya ya da da END of the song. Like any dancer worth her salt (dégoulinant* à gogo...) I practiced the ol' show biz mantra: le spectacle doit continuer!* And what a spectacle.

Comments, corrections--and stories of your own--are welcome and appreciated in the comments box.

~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~
qui m'a frappée = that struck me; sur la piste (de dance) = on the dance floor; dégoulinant à gogo = trickling à gogo; le spectacle doit continuer! = the show must go on

More of that libellule: click to enlarge this photo
libellule (c) Kristin Espinasse


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Words in a French Life: Lessons in Love and Language from the South of France ... speaking of lessons, I will be joining three more authors at the American Library in Paris, to talk about "fish out of water experiences" living in la belle France.

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