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Thursday, May 10, 2012
Every week I try to have some idea in mind about what the days ahead will feature in this space. Today, for example, I had planned to write a "News & Views" post.
However, all that changed yesterday when I read some of your reactions to the scarf series. You will note that I didn't tell you what nationality the non-French women were, but you assumed the pretty, smiling mother and daughter were American. They are, but they looked so happy -- and their scarves were great. OK, maybe if they had worn Converse high-tops or ballerinas they would have passed for French, but frankly who cares?
Never do I wish to be unkind in this space or to unintentionally offend. Conversely, I don't want your visits be a waste of your time. I hope I either inform or amuse or occasionally both. (I've also been known to have a few rants.)
Now, that being said let me tell you my position on French women versus the rest of us. First, after living here for more than 25 years I can tell you that under no circumstances could/would anyone ever think I'm French. I could pass for many nationalities other than American, but definitely not French and that's long before I start to mangle my verbs.
It's true, I believe many of my French girlfriends have a philosophy of life I admire and I love the way many -- not all Frenchwomen -- dress, how they seemingly pull themselves together simply and yet with a flair that seems, well, typically French.
I do not aspire to be French; I never have. But, no question about it, I'm not the same person I would have been if I had never lived here. There are myriad reasons for that, and fashion and beauty tricks and treatments may be the least important. Remember, I was a fashion journalist before I came to live here so I wasn't a debutant on that front.
By personality and profession, I am an observer and when I see something I like I try to see if it works for me. That can include everything from an attitude to a scarf, a pair of ballerinas, a mousse au chocolat, a potager, a beautiful bouquet. . . You get the idea.
Translation: the continuum of learning in a life well-lived.
Here is my philosophy: try the best, leave the rest. If, by assimilating something I've learned or observed in France makes me a better person inside and out; why would I ignore the opportunity?
Being different doesn't mean one doesn't measure-up. It means life is interesting. As I said, we're not in a good, better, best competition.