They don't say chick magnet in French. Here, it's aspirateur de gonzesses (literally, that's "vacuume cleaner of broads")
un aimant (ay-mahn)
Les aimants décoratifs servent à maintenir les messages sur la porte du frigo.
Decorative magnets are useful for holding messages on the fridge door.
A Day in a FRENCH Life... by Kristin Espinasse
See the Humor in it or Skip it!
HOW TO BE A CHICK MAGNET!
And if I were a really good salesman then I'd offer (well, offer is a big word--with strings attached, naturally); yes, I'd offer the secret in three words or less! So let's put the theory to the test: am I really that good a salesman (of First French Essais...) and can you really become a girl magnet with only three words?
(Drum roll...) Here are the 3 magic mots. Take note!
"Forget my birthday"
Yep, that's it. That's all it takes to become a girl magnet overnight!--to go from completely invisible, ignored, rejected and abandoned... to rock-n-roll irresistible!
Now, would a good salesman leave you with 3 magic words and then, basta, run with the money? Jamais! Here are the priceless instructions you will need to transform yourself into girl glue:
Simply whisper the suggestion "Forget my birthday" to the future chick magnets of your choice. Start a day early en chuchotant the 3 magic words:
...Forget my birthday... forget my birthday....
Then, the morning of your birthday, Bob's your uncle!* Or Jean-Marc is, or rather, we'll use Jean-Marc for this example!
The morning of my husband's birthday I stumbled past him on my way to the coffee machine. Bonjour, I mumbled. I vaguely remember pausing, seeing him sitting there on the couch--barely covered against the morning chill. I was sorry he woke up so early but didn't apologize, this time, for my snoring. Instead I grabbed a cup of coffee and slipped past him, with a noncommittal, ça va, Cheri?
As I settled back into my warm bed, enjoying my morning coffee before our house guest (Chick #2...) woke up, I heard voices in the front room.
So much for lingering. It was time to get up and hostess. This time I flew past my husband in time to greet Rachel, who was treated to a livelier bonjour! It's always a pleasure to see Rachel, and no need to change out of my morning get-up (pink and red knee-highs, my green-and-black-striped pjs tucked into the socks for extra warmth, and cashmere floor-length robe (five bucks at the consignment store) tossed over the whole (platform suede mules peeping from the bottom).
Over toast, I caught up with our longtime friend. Rachel was a classmate of Jean-Marc's whom I had met days after him, 24 years ago. Owing to a long history in common, Rachel and I always have so much to say. This time we were chatting about bone density and I was telling Rachel about a tip I'd recently learned: save your organic eggshells, wash them in hot water and, using a coffee grinder, reduce them to a fine poudre. Take a small teaspoon in juice or yogurt and voilà! Calcium!
When Jean-Marc appeared at the table, we barely noticed him but for his greeting, which he was obliged to repeat.
"I said that's awfully interesting conversation on a day like today!" he smiled hopefully.
Rachel and I smiled back, she more politely than I, before continuing our conversation about our future foe: osteoporosis. But a noise in the near distance caused us to pause once more.
Jean-Marc was a broken record: "Fascinating conversation on a day like today!"
Our eyes froze midsentence as Rachel and I jumped up. Planting kisses all over his face, Chick #1 and Chick #2 wished Jean-Marc Happy Birthday!!!...
And that, dear reader, is How To Become a Chick Magnet with only 3 words! Now, depending on your birth day, it might be a little or a very long wait. For poor Jean-Marc, he has a whole nother year to go, before being clawed and kissed by a flurry of embarrased chicks.
* * *
le mot = word
basta!= (interjection, Italian?) that's enough
jamais = never
en chuchotant = in whispering
Bob's your uncle = voilà! That's how it's done! That's all it takes!
la poudre = powde
Jean-Marc's birthday cake: a crumble I've been practicing ever since Sandra made it, last Friday night for dessert. This one has sauteed apples and carrots (1 grated) and a drizzle of Jean-Marc's honey from his bees.
I like this easy-to-remember measure for the topping: 10 tablespoons flour, 10 tablespoons sugar, 150 grams butter--cinnamon and whatever else you fancy (a sprinkle of granola? pecans?). Malaxer (or knead this together) until fine like breadcrumbs. Spread crumbs on top of fruit (now in a baking pan) and bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes.
Jean-Marc's birthday may have been like any other day--like laundry day--but there were many beautiful moments within it...
Like his shoes lined up along the porch, to freshen in the air.
And the thyme, collected by our daughter--for her grandmother. We celebrated Jean-Marc's birthday again with Michèle-France on Sunday. The herbs are for my mother-in-law's tapenade, a gift that keeps on giving!
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety