We spent Valentine's Day in Marseilles (not the easiest place for a wrinkling wife to keep her husband focused on the love of his life!). Posters, such as this one and the one below, were plastered all over the city. Dozens of demoiselles en dentelles. Oh no!
: to give spice to, to spice up
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
The Gift of Listening
For the record, he did not forget a present on Valentines Day.
Though, je dois admettre, I have never received anything like it before, from mon amour. True, it is a useful gift!—and I certainly could not enjoy life without it, nor, perhaps, could you.
Without dallying any longer, I'll spill it—or, rather, sprinkle it: My husband gave me salt and pepper on Valentines Day.
No, I'm not using anymore mystical metaphors here—my better French half really did give his sweetheart seasoning! On second thought... looking at things that way—spice for Valentine's Day—I can't help but appreciate the accidental entendre.
"Accidental" or pas fait exprès, for my husband did not set out to buy spice for his bride on Cupid's Day. Although it did turn out to be the perfect topping to our overnight getaway, the one that brought us to Marseilles and, eventually, to that charming little place (where we had our cafés au lait...) on V-Day.
While Jean-Marc read the morning paper, my eyes scanned the boutique-bistro. The walls were lined with sweet and spicy temptations (chocolate and praline spread, honey, jam... as well as some specialty seasonings). As my husband read the sports pages, I commented on the sweet and savory products for sale, especially that attractive salt and pepper duo.... I admired the attractive baies roses inside the glass salt mill and commented about how nice and useful the salt and pepper set would be on our kitchen table!
But my Valentine didn't seem to be listening to me and, after 16 years of marriage, I have learned not to take it personally. Instead, I let Jean-Marc catch up on his favorite games while I practiced one of my favorite sports: people-watching. I studied the clients at the café, and the writer inside of me fell in love with each and every character. Oh, the stories they could tell!
When the handsome personnage facing me shook out the newspaper, folded it, and set it down beside the empty coffee cups and crumbs, I knew it was time to head home.
"Tu es prête, ma cherie?"
At the check-out counter Jean-Marc paid the waiter. Next, he paused, turning to me. "Chérie, would you like the salt and pepper?" And just like that, I got all giddy. Turns out he had been, after all this time, listening to me.
Possible topics of conversation.
- Would you like to comment on today's word or photos?
- What did YOU get (or give) for Valentine's Day?
- What is your favorite French term of endearment?
- Have you given "the gift of listening" lately and to whom?
- Are you the jealous type? Or is he (or she)?
French Vocabulary & Audio File:
Listen to these French words: Download Pimenter
Il n'y a rien de mieux qu'un weekend en amoureux, pour pimenter sa vie à deux.
There's nothing better than a romantic weekend to add spice to life as a couple.
la demoiselle = young lady
en (la) dentelle = in lace
je dois admettre = I must admit
mon amour = my love
entendre (double-entendre) = double meaning
pas fait exprès = not done on purpose
le café au lait = coffee with milk
une baie rose = pink peppercorn
le personnage = character
Tu es prête, ma chérie? = Are you ready, dear?
Oui. Allons-y! = Yes. Let's go!
Votre Vu: luxury skin care. The finest French-made, natural products. Hand-crafted in a family-owned lab, award-winning formulas for 80 years.
***A Day in a Dog's Life... by Smokey "R" Dokey
And tenderness, too....
Herbes de Provence (Special for Pizza) in Crock:
Herbes picked in Provence with a blend of oregano, thyme, basil & marjoram
Kindle Wireless Reading Device (my dad and belle-mère are addicted to theirs!).
France Magazine subscription
Easy French Reader: A fun and easy new way to quickly acquire or enhance basic reading skills
In film: Paris Je T'aime Paris I love You.
Thank you for considering a contribution today!
Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and improving this free language journal, for the past 18 years. If you enjoy this website and would like to keep it going, please know your donation towards this effort makes all the difference! No matter the weather, on good days or bad, I am committed to sharing a sunny, vocabulary-packed update with you, one you can look forward to. I hope it fuels your dreams of coming to France while expanding your French vocabulary. A contribution by check or via PayPal (or credit card, links below) is greatly appreciated. Merci!