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"
This is not an expression of some deep-seated need for self-mutilation or deprivation. There are a lot of perfectly normal reasons why I decided to stop eating for 72 hours.Read more "The 30-Hour 3-Day Water Fast"
It seems that nowadays there’s a book to help with everything. My apartment is crawling with objects from every phase of my life (plus a few extra lives that I haven’t gotten around to living yet)…and there’s a book for that. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This book upheld its promise. It changed my life. […]Read more "Self-Help: How to Procastinate Away Your Imminent Death"
When I told my mom I’d decided to leave Paris and by extension the Louvre, the Canal St. Martin, the Marais, the amazing Chinese place with one-euro appetizers (carmelized lotus root! spicy green beans!) and move back to damp Normandy, she was not convinced. “Why would you want to leave Paris?” she asked, as though […]Read more "Leaving Paris"
MAMMARY OVERLOAD GETTING YOUR GOAT? Miss Madame Says: lie back and think of Balenciaga! Dear Miss Madame, When I told everybody I was moving to France, people who knew better warned me. They said that French people smell bad, chain smoke, drink shots for breakfast, hate Americans, and like their commercials full of […]Read more "Dear Miss Madame : Boobs on TV"
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!"