gazon
girouette

amour-propre

Jacques (c) Kristin Espinasse
"Primroses, stuffed cats, and other this's-n-that's." More than a few things are off today, including this photo which I am unable to straighten or edit - given that my computer crashed this morning. More, in today's missive. (Photo of my brother-in-law, Jacques, who has spent the past two weekends with us, helping to fix the upstairs ceilings. Click image to enlarge it.)


amour-propre (ah-more-prohpr)


    : self-esteem, self-love, self-worth; pride

blesser quelqu'un dans son amour-propre = to be a blow to one's ego


A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse

I am getting a kick out of the French definition for the verb vexer: être offensé dans son amour-propre or "to have one's pride offended". I don't know, French definitions always sound so dramatic to me and this is only one of the reasons I love foreign language.

But vexer, that may explain my response this morning as I stood in the kitchen in my purple pjs tucked into orange ski socks chanting positive affirmations for the beginning of the work week.  (This was after I realized I was incontinent and before I discovered my computer had crashed, and the reason for which I am typing this post on my son's keyboard. I have to crane my neck to look up to the screen, which is placed on a shelf next to a bong. A BONG?!...)

But back to my story, lest I lose the courage to work in these unusual surroundings. Back to hurt or offended pride... yes, I was standing there in the kitchen, tissues stuffed in more places than my pockets, psyching myself up for another Monday, when my son stumbled into the room.

"There is nothing to eat in this house!" Max lamented.

I begged his pardon, for there was always something to eat in this house. When was the last time he skipped a meal? Besides, I said, reaching for the bread bag, there was brioche! (I quickly peered into the bag to verify the brioche was not growing green fuzz on its back. And even if it were (which, ouf!, it wasn't) would I be the first parent in the history of the world to have plucked off a spot or two of green fuzz before thrusting the miserable bread back at her child?).

Pourquoi je ne peux pas manger le petit déjeuner comme tout le monde?" Max complained.

"So you want to follow the sheep?" I countered. "And do like everybody else does? Be numb to your own decision making? Well, a good box of GMO flakes will help you with that! And you can buy it with your own money!"

Meantime, I pointed out, there is brioche or oatmeal or yogurt or oranges or bananas for breakfast. With that, I grabbed my tea and tore out of the kitchen.

To the young man left holding the bag of brioche it must have been quite a sight, that of a pride-hurt mama stomping off in big orange ski socks over sagging purple pjs and a faux fur vest (snapped up from my daughter's giveaway pile—the extra layer almost keeps me warm). 

I am nothing if not a mix—of new and used, thoughts and things, stuffed tissues. I do the best I can. At times I make do. And sometimes, just sometimes, I wish others would too.

French Vocabulary

ouf = phew

Pourquoi je ne peux pas manger le petit déjeuner comme tout le monde? = why can't I eat (a normal) breakfast like everybody else 

              

game of boules (c) Kristin Espinasse
My brother-in-law and Jean-Marc taking a break from repairing the ceilings in the kids' rooms. 

    => How to properly pronounce French words? Read "Exercises in French Phonics"! 

Front porch (c) Kristin Espinasse
"Front porch". The woody branches of the almond tree (left) and the fig tree (right) are coming to life, though you cannot see the little leaf buds from this far.

Re that bong I mentioned (you were wondering, weren't you?). What I saw on Max's desk was not a bong. Find out what it was in the first few paragraphs of this story, click here to read it.

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 to continue writing and publishing these educational missives from France. Your support is vivement apprécié! Donating via PayPal is easy when you use the links below. Merci infiniment! Kristi
 
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"I’ve really enjoyed reading your stories over the years & hope you will continue to delight us with your beautiful photos and thoughtful & charming antidotes of life in the beautiful south of France."
--Jacqueline

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