amour-propre - self-esteem, self-love, self-worth, ego in French
Monday, March 04, 2013
"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.)
: 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.
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
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". 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.
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety
You KEEP me laughing Kristin ... you need to get on your own computer again .. I found two typos.
Posted by: Linda Casey | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 01:21 PM
Hang in chérie.(Comment dit-on en français?) It WILL get better. xoxox
Posted by: Cindy | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 01:25 PM
"And sometimes, just sometimes, I wish others would to."
Just mentioning the typo: too for to.
Happens all the time.
As for breakfasts for kids, he's old enough to pick up whatever he wants at the store, if it is different from what mama works to buy!!!! Give HIM the job.
With a smile and some euros...
Posted by: suzanne dunaway | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 01:34 PM
what on earth am I doing up at 5 am? Reading something funny so I can go back to sleep. Max is just like every other 18 year old male. Still can't do without his mother. This is a good thing for maybe just a little while longer.
Looks like Jean-Marc has made a little boules court for entertainment.
May the rest of your day come together....now, back to bed for a couple more hours......
Posted by: joie blair | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 01:56 PM
I think kids just like to make their voices heard, even though they themselves know that they are being critical or unreasonable - especially as they grow older and are starting to separate from mama. I used to hear similar cries from my kids who told me there was nothing but health food in here (in the fridge?). And, as a single mom struggling on a tight budget, this was not what I wanted to hear after paying a bit more for healthful foods. I think holding your head high and going on with your day was perfect. It could be a long while until kids "get it," however, my daughter is now a vegetarian and my sons are very aware of what constitutes a healthful diet. Keep up the good work!
Posted by: Margaret | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 02:01 PM
It's great that you are feeding your family healthy foods. Boys will be boys and they are growing and consuming all of the food which they see and they want some of not so good for you food as well.
The weather must be warm. The window is open with Primroses(?) in the window and Jean Marc and your brother-in-law are playing Pétanque in short sleeves and even shorts.
We still have snow on the ground from Nemo, but it is slowly melting. I can't wait for spring. We "Fall Back" this coming weekend. Spring is around the corner, but which corner?
We are coming to France at the end of May, into June. We are hoping to making it down to coast, but aren't sure.
Kathleen and Dean
Posted by: Kathleen from Connecticut | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 02:22 PM
Good morning all from La Nouvelle Orleans where it is 7:34 a.m. and cold. So much for the sunny south. I want to say again how much I admire Kristin's photography. Crisp, clear and always thought provoking. You are a great story teller so keep up the good work, Kristin, in both your photography and your writing. Then there is the full-time job of being a parent and spouse! Enough is enough! And the computer crashes!
Posted by: Priscilla Fleming Vayda | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Oh, I remember those days so well! I too had a 17 yr old son and a 15 yr old daughter when I was 39 yrs old! I look back and realize I didn't do much for myself nor did my children and husband for that matter, during those precious 39 to 49 years of my life. There was saving grace for me and a way to removed myself from the feelings of not having any "amour-propre". I taught aerobic dancing twice a week and you have your writing. So hang in there, dear girl. This too will pass.
Posted by: Jeanne | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 02:55 PM
You discovered you were incontinent?
Posted by: JeanneRobin | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 02:56 PM
My family used to call me Old Mother Hubbard because our cupboards were always bare (according to them). There was always something to eat for sure. I have also pinched off some green mold from the baguettes. Why does bread mold so quickly? I would think, how is that moldy? I just bought that!
My son would tell me about the hookah pipes when we lived in Germany.
I like the picture of Jean-Marc and his brother. Are they playing boules?
Hope you have a great week! We are going to get hit with some snow on Wednesday!
Posted by: Eileen - Charlottesville, VA | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:00 PM
This story produced a sympathetic laugh this morning! And the imperfect, crooked window view is delightful just as it is--just like you, Kristi! (Kegels at every stoplight--will that help?)
Posted by: Deb Locke | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Please let the kids know that hookah smoking is not benign. A recent article here (Boston) about the popularity of it and the fact that, though kids think the cool smoke if filtered free of the bad things because of the water, that is not at all the case. A health benefit of this type of smoking is a misconception. For purposes of full disclosure, lest I sound like too much of a scold, I sneak a couple of cigarettes a day.
Posted by: Max Morrow | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:22 PM
You are my fashion sister, altho I may look oddly put together later in the day also!!!
When I am home all day I relish the choice to look as 'as is' as I want. Sorry, Kristin, for all the 'asesses'~
Posted by: Phyllis | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I cannot believe this but I just this morning said to myself... no problem I will make do.
Then I read your post and got the biggest smile of the day! Thanks for making do from a person who DOES appreciate others who " make do" as well!
Posted by: Patricia | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:27 PM
(Max, take a picture of your mother in her purple pjs, orange ski socks, and faux fur vest - we're all anxious to see this vision!)
Posted by: Bill in St. Paul | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Too funny Kristin! I'm another 4am insomniac, smiling at every word, chuckling behind eyes sorely needing sleep. Teenagers! So drama filled with their grande sense of self and needs. I'm now inspired for that piece of toast, to induce carbo sleep...thinking every time the bread bag comes out, my mind will be implanted with your image, reminding to check for da fuzz vert. (you in purple pjs, orange socks, in 'your fuzz' vest... Sweet! ~ :D
Posted by: Cigi | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Thanks for your sympathies and corrections and for the laughs.
Margaret, I like your take on kids just wanting to hear their own voices, and that they realize, sooner or later they are being over critical.
JeanneR, yes... and Deb--that will definitely help--though there arent a lot of stoplights around here :-)
Bill in St Paul, haha, now dont give the kids ideas--or they may bribe!
Cigi and Joie, hope your catching up on those zzzzs.
Max, I agree and have spoken to Max about this - pointing out an article that mentions what you have shared. Glad you brought it up.
Mille mercis for your responses to the story.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Je pense que je continuerais avec vos affirmations. Aujourd’hui, mon affirmation est a propos de les verbes : ponter, avoir confiance en soi, et rendre parce que je suis le prochain course français a l’universitaire. J’ai échoué deux examens le dernier semestre. J’espère que je ferai mieux ce semestre !
A la prochaine,
Posted by: Janine | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:21 PM
Your description of your morning attire made me laugh about my own strange outfit -- a ratty (but oh so comfortable) old, blue bathrobe, with a big, red University of Kansas (my daughter's alma mater) sweatshirt thrown over it, for added warmth. Of course, I put the hood up, and let's not forget those misshapen leopard slippers! Talk about a fashion felony.
Posted by: Cassie Alexandrou in Dallas, TX | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:26 PM
I woke up at 4:00 AM this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. Wish I had gotten up and read your blog. When I did,it made me laugh, and I needed that today :-) I've found laughter is the best stress reliever.
Posted by: Sandy | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:32 PM
I had to laugh! I live with 4 teenage boys and this morning woke one up at 6 a.m. this morning for orchestra, to be informed there was no orchestra (losing out on 45 minutes sleep for me!), one needed a jump start for the battery on his dilapidated car, one overslept and needed a ride to school-and this was all before 8 a.m.! And they are ALWAYS hungry and ALWAYS saying we have nothing to eat-and no, they have never gone without a meal! So, I can relate and just have to start every day with a clean slate and enjoy the fun, because they won't be in the house too much longer! Have a great week!
Posted by: Dana | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Qu'est-ce que c'est l'idée de Max d'un petit déjeuner comme tout
le monde? Joanne, Carmel-sur-mer, California
Posted by: Joanne Ablan | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 04:51 PM
I'm glad you share so much. It makes me realize I am not alone. I had a day like that last week and when I read about your morning, I can now laugh at my possible over reactions during a sensitive time.
Posted by: Lin Powell | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:11 PM
What a colourful scene, shame there was no photo!
Posted by: Parker | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:12 PM
MADAME ESPINASSE -
I AM NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR INCONTINENCE - PLEASE, NOT SO
EARLY IN THE MORNING !!!
Ha-ha !!! What a joke for me to hear when the author happens to be my youngest daughter... how can you now be experiencing a topic formost on the minds of many of your readers of my generation. How can you dare to come into my territory of symptons. You are forcing me to stop looking at you through my rose-colored lens - to acknowledge that you are a full-fledged woman in the mist of mid-life.
Enough on the above musings - loved the scene where you are sitting at Max's desk and distracted from your 6 a.m. schedule of work by his BONG! I already knew about the bong years ago. How I would like to tell tales of Heidi when she was even younger than Max and dead-set on turning my hair white.
I must say your photo's today are beyond perfect for a Mother who longs to be in your presense again. To see your lovely arrangement in the dinning room window with Jacque in the background made my heart cry for the loving embrace he always has saved expecially for me. And the photo of Braise and Smokey's house was very revealing as I could see where Jean-Marc had been running amuk with the tractor through the boules court...I must send him a video on pruning fig trees...too much for an obsessive (sp?) mother-in-law. I must remember to bring my masking tape to tape my mouth shut like I used to do when I would come into your presence long ago when I lived in Les Arc.
I seem to have taken on the persona of a Mom who also needs a vacation-fix. Don't try to understand any of my comments, I would delete but I don't want to have to make a new post for the comments box.
Finally - the best photo of all was the last one. I wonder if anyone realizes that the adorable little room seen behind Jacque on the boules court will one day be your office - with the priceless view of the meadow filled with olive trees. You are one lucky girl to be running about stuffed with kleenex in this French paradise.
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:15 PM
Kristin, (and all the women reading who may not know)- get those kegel exercises going- they work wonders for everything! But the exercise I was interested in after reading this is played on the boules court; I am sick of watering and mowing a lawn, and thought of creating a boules court instead; did JM do anything fancy to make it? Is it tough to keep weeds from growing into it? Any ideas would be appreciated.
Posted by: Nancy, Cambridge | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:21 PM
One of your best! I can totally identify.
Posted by: Sonja | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:23 PM
You are the best! Sorry, but I also just laughed while reading your post! I have been in so many similar situations and have felt the same way about both the mom and the make do situations. My son is 26 and away at college, but it never seems to fail that when we are together or even talk on the phone that I still have pride-hurt mama moments!! You are a doll, a very endearing doll, and you embody what we all think and feel and it makes us all feel better reading what you put your heart on an open page for us all to see and then we each feel that we have a special, personal, connection to the author and that we too can make do and carry on with the day to day challenges or mishaps we all encounter.
Posted by: Sandra | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Well, we've certainly heard the same complaint many times, *including* right after shopping for groceries! In fact, there's a TV ad running currently here in the U.S., where a couple boys are staring into the freezer looking for a large, very prominent bag of pizza rolls. I always get a laugh from that.
Posted by: Gordon R. Vaughan | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Forget the breakfast, I love the outfit you had on. Sounds to me like you have a feast at your home, we have milk and bread...coffee. A happy week to you.
Posted by: Mona | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Such a vivid and realistic yet amusing description of a morning in the Espinasse household followed by Jules' letter above.....I couldn't ask for a better way to start the week. It all sounds so familiar. My thanks to you both. Bonne journée, Cynthia
Posted by: Cynthia Lewis (Eastern Shore of Maryland) | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Your story was so human. There was something in it for everyone. I had to wait for some unknown thing to repair my computer this morning so I could get to your column. And in sunny Florida I was wearing layers to get the newspaper and now I have to bring in the garbage can. Brrr/ Some of the bread in my refrigerator is months old. Maybe I should inspect it and eat or pitch? I keep eating a small tortilla sandwich because I like the corn better than the wheat bread. Now that I'm a widow, I frequently feel like there's nothing to eat because I can't get excited about cooking for one. By the cabanon that looks like a hydrangea bush.Surely not in bloom this early?
Posted by: Diane Young | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Your porch....What a perfectly lovely place to sit ...
Posted by: Terry | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 05:57 PM
I have missed reading you! Ks are now a regular part of my daily routine - as they say maturing is not for sissy's. Your writing has a way of making me laugh at myself and all our very human traits. Good for you on the breakfast front - to many children today do not know how to get from point a to point b without their parents and I am talking about 20 year olds. As always love your pictures and writing. Have a great day!
Posted by: N Vandenberg, San Antonio, Texas | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Thanks for the great laugh this morning Kristin! I can see every woman I've ever know walking around in their saggy morning garb ... comfortable in their own homes. I'm still laughing! And by the way, this is when you ladies are at your most endearing! Aloha, Bill
Posted by: Bill Facker | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 07:01 PM
You made my dreary Monday bloom.
BIL is a cutie!
Posted by: mimi/cigalechanta | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 07:31 PM
I heartily agree with you! "Brioche or oatmeal or yogurt or oranges or bananas for breakfast" is the best kind of breakfast. I look forward to just such healthy and yummy things every morning. So I think momma bird is doing just fine providing for her chicks.
Posted by: ElizaSF | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 08:33 PM
I remember my kids saying on more than one occasion that there was nothing in the house to eat, because they were too lazy to fix something. I am not sure that ever changes in some men. Hopefully they will not be like that as they get older. Patrick's computer for school last year crashed, so I feel your pain. His was beyond repair, and cost way too much to replace. I laid in bed too long today, catching up on sleep after working too much last week. It is not good for the back. HAHA sorry complaining. I just feel your Monday. Hope your week improves!!!!!!
Posted by: Buffy | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Great story Krisitn. Oh how familiar the teenage boy lament! Well they do survive (haha) and you will still be mother of the year. You are right, just keep patting them and give them the brioche. Have a great week :)
Posted by: Christine Dashper | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 08:50 PM
6.30 in the morning and you have just made me feel better!!
My son, in his wisdom , has decided he needs money (because his mean parents have said we are providing a roof over your head, food, basics of life but you need to provide the rest yourself) and has found a job working full time from 5.30am to 5.00pm and then off to uni 6pm to 10pm...a very long day by the time he gets back!
Being the good mother I am up before him to make sure he has a good breakfast otherwise he will just leave without and rely on takeaway coffee.
There are mornings that don't always go to plan and this morning I had to contend with the invasion of the ant line ferrying all the food out of the pantry ( it is raining which brings them out), the now famous bread loaf with the odd green spot ( toasted you will never know...surely?!) running out of dishwashing detergent (both hand and machine) and then my son told me the Internet doesn't work!!
Sigh! I agree it is hard to be supermum in uggies, daggy trackpants under your nightie and hair awry! So lovely to know I have a sister counterpart just up the world globe a little!! :-)
Now to find the hair brush.....before anyone sees!
Posted by: Gretel | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 08:52 PM
Our dear Kristi,
Love today's wonderful post! (and such beautiful pictures!) You not only make us feel like we are there with you, but also like we are good friends sharing a less than stellar Monday-- and coming out feeling much better afterwards. You have so perfectly summed it up when you said "At times I make do and wish others would too".
THANK YOU for both inspiration AND encouragement.
Love, Natalia XO
Posted by: Natalia | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Great post this morning. Loved the visuals. My husband teased me a few months ago about my morning attire. Then, for the first time I looked...stained sheepskin slippers, gray socks, pink jammie pants- now "floods", nightgown, then the softest-on-earth t-shirt I had gotten at a thrift store. I laughed out loud! Au contraire- didn't know I looked this fetching.
I tried to get my kids to use the frig grocery list for add-ons, but it never did take. Inevitably, I would go grocery shopping, only to hear that same night, "Oh, Mom, when you go grocery shopping next..."
I really enjoy hearing that we're all in the same boat. Thanks so much!
Posted by: Joan Simon | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Kristin, I have been reading your posts for a few years and I just want to say that during the last year your choice of Title vocabulary words has been really excellent. I speak fluent french, but only the basics, so the words you have been chosing are the perfect level for improving one's french a l'etrangere. Thanks a lot for that. Sarah
Posted by: sarah | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 09:59 PM
I love seeing the boules game and hope to play with you this summer when we are in Provence again!
Posted by: Tim Averill | Monday, March 04, 2013 at 11:06 PM
The post had me chuckling and remember. More than once my husband and I responded to our kids' complaints "Well, nothing's stopping you from using your own money to pay for it." It's amazing how quickly their intense desire for something drops if that's the only option.
Loved the scene with the pillows.
Posted by: Julie Farrar | Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Speaking of health all over:
Kegels from the bottom, and oil swishing from the top :-) -- you'd be the New Person all over! :-)
Oil swishing is a ancient Aurvedic practice. Amazing results - facelift naturally. Plus, works as immune system enhancer, giving radiant complexion, super-clean gums and teeth and much more. 10-20 min while in shower or while cooking breakfast -- everyone could do it!
People who have done it for a few months to a year or more (depending on the results one wishes to achieve) got rid of many serious health issues. Highly recommend as a mood enhancer too! Try it once or twice/trice a day and you'll see and FEEL superb results yourself.
Good health and happiness to everyone!
Detox with the Ancient Ayurvedic Practice of Oil Pulling (also named Oil Swishing or Oil Sucking)
"... To accelerate the healing process, it can be repeated three times a day, but always before meals on an empty stomach. The therapy is not harmful if it is repeated several times a day. Repetition hastens the healing process and renders it more effective. ..
..This therapy should be repeated until one has returned to his original vitality and his sleep has been returned to a peaceful state. One who practices this therapy faithfully will awaken refreshed in the morning with no bags under the eyes. Normal appetite and improved memory are additional benefits.
Patients who suffer from chronic conditions may appear to get worse in the beginning. Dr. Karach emphasizes that a worsening of your condition may be a sign that the disease is in the healing process. It may even happen that your temperature increases. .."
Posted by: Francesca | Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Reminds me of a recent morning when we had been without heat for a week (our furnace died, and we were waiting for a new one to be installed); our cat had become ill and had been incontinent all over the house, and we struggled to wash rugs, etc. as fast as the cat soiled them; and my son woke up with sharp ear pain. Some days just have to be survived. Other days we might have a dead car battery or (as happened two summers ago) a tree branch fallen on our car because of a storm ($3,000+ to repair). This is all part of the human condition, and we have to do our best to remind ourselves that yes, indeed, it could be worse. While shivering in the unheated 40-degree house, we noted how fortunate we were not to be homeless.
My son still eats an amazing amount of food, but now knows that if what he wants doesn't go on the grocery list, it will not be bought.
Really hope Max and Jackie have the good sense not to do the shishka.
Posted by: Marianne Rankin | Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Thank you for the hugs, the I-can-relates, and for sharing your stories and pj fashions, or get-ups :-)
Mom, your comments are a treasure for me.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 09:55 AM
Nancy, the boules court was here already, and grass is beginning to invade it...
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, March 05, 2013 at 09:58 AM
Hi, Kristin. I find myself reading your postings late, but they always make me smile. Today's story made me feel very human and normal regarding my own perceived sloppiness, and if that was really your Mom's response above, well, that also gave me a smile. I am reminded to explain to my own daughter that, in a few years, she'll need to pay attention when she sneezes. Thank you for the big grin, and I always look forward to more.
Posted by: Karima Amos | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Thank you, Karima. And,yes, that is indeed my dear Mom speaking, in the comment above. Loved your future reminder to your daughter, about sneezing.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 07:06 AM