There is nothing more exciting, I think, than poring over a seed catalog. The names. The pictures. The hot pink flowers and bulging green squash, the Borlotti speckled beans and Corno di Toro red bells. I buy plants for the way they sound. I see “Early Moon Beam Pastèque” and I hardly need to know it’s […]Read more "Odd Jobs: The French Garden"
We’re going to Le Havre! What a lark! What a razz-matazz, living in a harbor town full of alternatives and sailors. It was the moment life went BOOM. YOU HAVE ARRIVED. Hello, world! Hello, beach! Hello, midnight! And now we’re on our way back, my friend Laura and I (she of the cheese-tour-meltdown, who once […]Read more "Vacation: Return to the Harbor"
There’s really only one way to describe what happened when my six-month contract with the American University of Paris ended and my stint on the dole began. A miracle. A sparkly, astonishing miracle that was more shocking to me than the concept of eating a horse. Because no matter what anybody tells you, French people eat […]Read more "Un-job: French Unemployment Therapy"
You know how stories about living in France tend to be all drapey and gooey and winey-cheesy? Well. Every Saturday I head to the market with my basket on wheels and buy tomatoes from the tomato farmer and cheese from the tired cheese guy and the most random vegetables from ‘le petit gars’ who charges so little you feel guilty and try to overpay, and […]Read more "Odd Jobs: The French Hotel"
My Dearest Doves, Hoorah for another installment in my favorite series, IT’S FEMINISM’S FAULT!!! Any readers with a highly developed sensitivity to baloney might want to skip the following letter (it’s a full-on baloney sandwich!) and jump straight to my reply. Consider yourself bewarned, sweet chickadees! Dear Miss Madame, My aunt is a nightmare […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : Newsflash!!! Women Were Never Oppressed"
NICE GIRLS? THEY ORDER CHARDONNAY! And Miss Madame is most definitely a nice girl. Dear Miss Madame, I live in Brest, a town on the western coast of France. My French roommates and I are in our twenties and we go out pretty often, usually to a little cafe/bar down the street that’s […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : The Lady Drinks!"
TOILET SCARCITY GOT YOU FLUMMOXED? Miss Madame to the rescue–toute de suite. Dear Miss Madame, I’m going to Paris for the second time, after a two-week stay in Bordeaux but before my trip to Ibiza, and what I have noticed about France is the pink toilet paper (fun!) and the lack of facilities […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : How to Wee In Gay Paris"
HOUSEWORK COERCION? Miss Madame approves! Dear Miss Madame, So, I have this problem that, ah, doesn’t really look like a problem. The deal is this: my boyfriend compliments me too much. How can this ever be a problem, you ask? Am I crazy? Maybe. But here’s the kicker. My man only […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : Splitting Chores With Your Man? It’s a Dirty Job!"
LOST YOUR VIM FOR SELF-GROOMING? Miss Madame (and your mom-in-law!) helps you get your groove back! Dear Miss Madame, I have a touchy problem. My French mother-in-law simply refuses to stop asking me, “Tu vas te faire jolie?” This translates to, “Are you going to make yourself pretty?” It started the day […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : Pretty? Yes You CAN!"
THERE’S A HEN COME TO ROOST! Miss Madame to the rescue–toute de suite. Dear Miss Madame, After years of working my way through the ranks, I’ve been appointed coach of a men’s Ligue 2 French football team. In France, I am the first woman, ever, to coach in the men’s professional league. There’s […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : Exile in Roosterville"