You know England is our best friend, but there was that one time we got in a huge fight because they were totally trying to be the boss of us, so we suddenly got a lot closer to our second best friend, who gave us a huge statue for our front yard of a lady holding an old-fashioned flashlight, but later on we settled our differences and went back to being best friends with our first best friend and all was right with the world…for a while.
Just a few years ago, a few of us around here got super mad at our second best friend because they wouldn’t “support” us when we were going through “a hard time,” and by hard time, I mean having a war with some other people who weren’t even on our friend list. People wouldn’t drink anything from France or owned by a French company, but I was like “Great! More for me!”
After yesterday’s post, I got to thinking what a little Francophile I was in sixth grade. I developed a heavy crush on France during that summer because I was exposed to classes in French, which made me think I’d be parlez-vous-ing Francais in just a couple weeks, and I got to eat chocolate mousse, sealing my love of all things French forever, or until I learned that mousse had raw egg whites in it. There weren’t too many French citizens roaming around western Kentucky back in the 1980’s, so I was free to delight in the imaginary French experience I was having. When I was 19, I got to fulfill my life’s dream by going to Paris, France, which I found ridiculously expensive, having just come from one of the cheapest places to live in America. Yes, they had the Eiffel Tower and it was great, but I had to pay $4 for ice cream!
So, I was surprised to have a French experience in the American southwest a couple of years ago. At every tourist destination, there were tons of international tourists, which was fine. I mean, yay, come and spend your money here (see previous post). But, at one hotel when I was eating breakfast, a French-speaking man, who could have been Canadian as my friend pointed out, told me to move out of my chair to another table “becauzzze you air one and we air four.”
As mentioned, I am from western Kentucky, which is the south, and you would no more inconvenience someone by asking them to move out of their chair than you would to ask them to hold your bomb so you could light the fuse. In western Kentucky, ten people might hover around waiting for a single person to move from a table for ten, but they would never say something because that would be RUDE. You can sit in front of the green light on your cel phone with a line of cars behind you all the way to the next town and no one will even so much as honk the horn to tell you to get a move on there because that would be RUDE. So, I was taken aback by his demand that I get up in the middle of my breakfast and make way for his group. I grumbled to myself, but I didn’t say anything to his face because that would be RUDE. But I thought it. And, that, my friends, is the real reason France is not our first best friend. That and the language thing.