Fourth of July: for Lafayette

Me:  Hey France!!!  France!!

I wave trying to get France’s attention.

France:  Ah, bonjour.  It is the Américaine.

Me:  Yes, it is the Américaine.  Why do you say that like you don’t know who I am?

France lights a cigarette and shrugs.

Me:  So, Happy Fourth of July!!

France:   Ah oui, your independence.  Why do I care about this?  This is not my holiday.  Take your Américain enthusiasm somewhere else, huh?  It fatigues me.

I put my arm around France’s shoulders and keep walking.  France looks at my arm as though it were a poisonous snake. 

France:  Why are you touching me?  I do not eenjoy thees.

Me:  Well get over it buddy, I’ve allowed about a million strangers to kiss my face over the past 16 months and that hasn’t made me comfortable either.

France:  Such brutes, you Américains.  To kiss someone’s face is polite, gentile not like this horrible hugging business.  Why do I want your fat body pressed up against me?  (France shivers)  Grotesque!

Me:  What?!  I’m not even fat.

France:  Yes, but you are Américain so you might as well be fat.  I can’t help it; I hear the accent and this is what I see.

Me:  You don’t want to know what I see when I hear your accent…

I say this menacingly. 

France:  Pfff…this is what you will never understand, little Miss America, I don’t care what you see when you hear my accent.

Me:  You’re impossible.  I don’t know why I keep trying to talk to you.

France:  Because I am fascinating.

Me:  Irritating as well.  I’m just trying to celebrate my Independence Day and you have to bring me down.  I mean, you know that the French helped us significantly during the American Revolution.  You supported us.

France gives me an eye roll.

France:  Ouais.  It was a long time ago, non?

Me:  Yes, but you know even in WWI, we honored Lafayette who helped during the American Revolution.  There was even a Lafayette Squadron.

France:  Typical Américain, so overly sentimental.  Wasn’t he declared a traitor later?  I seem to remember that.

Me:  UGH!  YOU exhaust ME!

I start to walk off.

France:  Très typique!

France says this loudly to stop me.

France:   I am finally interested and you walk away.

This time I roll my eyes.

France:  So, what are you going to do for this holiday?  Talk too loudly and wear tennis shoes everywhere?

France casually lights a cigarette and sniggers.

Me:  Haven’t decided yet, what are you going to do for Bastille Day?  Feign boredom and wear scarfs in summer?

There is a momentary stand-off and then France nods.

France:  Bien joué.  You are learning.

Me:  I think we will probably have a party for the fourth.  You know, lots of food and decorations, patriotic music; I’ll probably wear red, white, and blue.

France:  Ouais, sounds like you, everything has to be over-the-top and too much.  Why do you need to decorate your houses all the time?  I don’t understand this.

Me:  Oh please, like you aren’t going to be running around screaming the Marseillaise and waving the Tricolore next week!

France:  I most certainly will not!

France is indignant.

Me:  Do I need to bring up photos from last year?

France turns bright red.

France:  What?  No!  I don’t know what you are talking about…I am France, I don’t act like that.  You are the reedeeculous ones.

I give France a smirk.

France:  Fine.  Maybe we decorate a little, certainly not like you tacky Americans.

Me:  Certainly.

France lights another cigarette.

France:  So, I am invited to this fête?

Me:  I didn’t think you would want to come.

France:  I didn’t say I wanted to come!  Mon dieu!  Everything must be a challenge with you always.  Pfff…

France looks everywhere but at me. 

Me:  Oh France, you know you are invited.

France:  Well, I should think so.

Me:  Wait, why?

France:  Pff…always the same.  You know we did help you to win, without us there would be no Etats-Unis, huh?

Me:  But I already sai–

France interrupts me. 

France:  So yes, I will be there, I will bring some good cheese, something French that will actually taste nice, you know, for Lafayette and all that.

This entry was posted in Conversations with France, Holidays in France and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Fourth of July: for Lafayette

  1. Cécile says:

    I LOVE your conversations with France 🙂

    • breadispain says:

      Haha -thanks! I have a lot of fun writing them, probably my favorite to write, actually. Seemed appropriate for this particular holiday! Glad you enjoyed! 🙂

  2. Andrew says:

    Yep, this is a great post. “It fatigues me” made me laugh

  3. Aidan Larson says:

    you are so clever. i really love your blog. you’ve got france down pat!

  4. Diary of Why says:

    “Talk too loudly and wear tennis shoes everywhere?” Bahahahaha. Love all of these. Happy 4th from the nation’s capital (of America!)

  5. Jill says:

    Hahaha …you really ARE a crack clever 🙂 Thanks for the laughs and memories!

  6. Theresa says:

    I love France! I want to talk to it sometime the way you do!
    (And from one expat American to another, I hope you spent time wearing red, white, and blue, listening to “American Woman,” and singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the top of your lungs.

  7. Crystal says:

    lol I love your conversations with France posts…so clever and witty! Happy 4th of July!! (it was yesterday, but I just saw this post today). Oh, can I be nit picky for one second? The plural of “scarf” is “scarves” 🙂

    • breadispain says:

      HA! WRONG – I googled it before writing it and you can use either so I flipped a coin! I knew my Grammar teacher Mother would bust me if I had it wrong. Glad you enjoyed! We need to get together – been centuries!

      • Crystal says:

        hmmm well if you GOOGLED it, it MUST be right :p I remember having spelling drills in school with all those damn irregular plurals. Had I known you could just tack an “s” on any word, I’d have saved myself a lot of pre-test stress.

        And yes, I agree. We have to get together soon. I’m having foot surgery next Monday, but as soon as I’m all up and walking again, I promise we’ll do a picnic in Vizille. The weather is nice now, so we won’t have to keep rainchecking it like last time! (at least I hope!!)

  8. I love your conversations with France. In my head I picture her as a über skinny, cigarette smoking fashionista and she has the accent, of course!!! So very good!!!

  9. whitt88 says:

    So many laughs because so much of what you write is true. Now you’ve got us wondering how you will play the 14th.

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