Marquer le coup (A hike, swim at Parc du Mugel) + Do what you want to do
Compunction and cacahuètes + a handful of vocabulary...

Amour-Propre: Breakfast, Boundaries & A Blow to the Ego

Little cakes or patisseries
Félicitations to our son Max! After working in Reims he will continue his internship with Lanson (champagne) in Paris, as part of his work-study year with Montpellier Business School. Before heading to the capital, he's having a big barbeque today with his friends. I'm in charge of salad and homemade oven fries... so, here's a story from a few years ago....  

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

Demystifying the French by Janet Hulstrand
Janet Hulstrand's book is now available for pre-order. Click here and read it very soon!

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.


Re that bong I mentioned (you were wondering, weren't you?). Find out what it really was in the first few paragraphs of this story, click here to read it.

French Vocabulary

amour-propre = self-love
vexer = to hurt, offend
la brioche = sweet bun, sweet loaf of bread
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 

Our golden retriever Smokey beneath the old shutters and a selection of french pastries
Thanks Mom (pictured below) for the dessert. See the video (and hear Mom speak French... when you slide this picture left over at Instagram)

My mom Jules in a field of phacelia flowers planted in our old vineyard
Photo of my Mom taken when we lived at the vineyard near Bandol. That's a field of phacelia flowers. Jean-Marc sowed them to enrich the ground (and attract bees) before planting his vines. 

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