Tag Archive | France

Being French

reasons-to-like-france-graphElo, me naam eez CT, ande 2 monts agoe I beecame French. Well 50% French in the eyes of the law and sub-French in the eyes of every 100% French person, but that sort of ruins the announcement, don’t you think?

Finally, 17 years after being born on French soil to American parents, I was awarded a brilliant piece of paper stating that I now had french citizenship. The whole ceremony took place in a dingy office on the 2nd floor of a dusty creaking building that specializes in transforming peoples’ lives, and was officiated by a weary looking middle-aged woman who looked like she could really use a trip to, well, anywhere. After verifying that I wasn’t a llama posing as a human just to benefit from french health care, she offered me a three page list of first names and asked me to pick one. Despite my longtime fantasy of being named Gertrude Cunégonde, I decided to stick to CT after my father shot me a threatening look, which he only barely pulled off, since I could tell he was about to lose a hard fought battle to hysterical laughter. The lady glared at us, pursed her lips when I told her I was keeping my American citizenship, shook our hands and wished us good day, wrapping up the event in the pomp with which it had been conducted (yes young pineapples, that is sarcasm). And voilà, French I am.

As a French person, I have learned several things essential to surviving in the society of baguettes and berets, which I thought I should share with you here, as I am a kind and generous soul:

#1: Never, ever let on that you are any part American
Apart from the rare Frenchman who appreciates his neighbors from across the pond for having supplied his people with Star Wars and liberation from the Nazis, the French hold Americans to the very lowest of standards. We see the United States as perverting our culture of fine cuisine with such abominations as pre-made frosting (I mean seriously, who can’t make the effort of beating up half a ton of butter and confectioner sugar themselves) and yellow cheese (oh the woe of a people not able to enjoy a cheese made from real bacteria and mold). Not to mention the endless stream of loud and obnoxious tourists who get drunk everyday and end up keeping the whole neighborhood awake at 4am with a slurred version of the Star Spangled Banner that sounds more like a tyrannosaurus rex wailing because its arms aren’t long enough to reach the steak that’s on the top shelf of the refridgerator than any kind of musical ditty. So when in doubt, if the conversation at a wine-tasting soirée turns to the land of guns and bacon, just whole-heartedly agree that every American should be tossed into the Seine River immediately upon arrival, for fear of ending up there yourself.

#2: Act superior
If they hold Americans to the very lowest of standards, the French hold themselves to the very highest. As an ancient civilization with a proud history of invading and being invaded, it is necessary to maintain dominance on the rest of the word, a task which falls to every commoner as his or her civil duty. The code of conduct is as follows. When walking down the street, stride briskly and keep your face completely neutral. When spoken to assume a slightly annoyed look and adjust your voice so as to have a condescending echo (nothing obvious enough to allow for a formal rebuke of course). Finally, be sure to always having something French on you, such as a baguette or a book by a great French novelist (to be handheld in plain view). This will inspire awe from foreigners, who will return home and spread the stereotypes that allow for an international French reverence, and notify other Frenchman that you entertain the same noble quest as they, and thus deserve to be treated with respect.

#3: Be patriotic
This goes hand in hand with reason number 2, but is absolutely primordial: you must be willing to fight for your country, lie for your country, sow, reap and die for your country (I think I should change my career path to motivational poet. Thoughts? Actually, it’s probably better if you don’t say anything at all, I see you sneering from a million miles away). If you are caught doing something dishonorable, say you’re from England, those bastards have tried invading us enough times to deserve a little retribution. Of course if you’re being filmed by a television crew for having saved 15 people from a burning building, no matter if you look like raccoon whose wife is dragging him to marriage counseling sessions that cost way too much for the meager salary you make as a trashcan spotter, make sure to yell that you’re French. It’s very important to the social well-being of the country that we be recognized as underdog heroes. Keeps us modest and bashful.

Now I realize that I’ve been rather unkind to the French in this post, and before any of my fellow compatriots descend upon me in a flurry of rage and cigarette smoke, I’d like to share the words I wrote in my letter to the mayor: “J’espère amener honneur à vous et aux institutions de ce pays dont je suis si fière d’être devenue la citoyenne”, which translates roughly to “I promise to try and not disgrace myself any more than I already have… but dawg I’m French now, and there ain’t nobody who can touch me” (very roughly).

Liberté, égalité, fraternité to all my French homies out there. I’m going to stop writing now, before I get any more ghetto.

Live long and prosper \V/
Yours sincerely,
The Mostly Confused Teenager.

Senioritis

I am a senior.
I have reached the ultimate grade.I am older than most every junior, sophomore, freshman, middle schooler and kindergartener. Well, older than every kindergartener for sure.
This is my year. My last year.
I am scared, I am nervous, I am excited.
I will rule the school.
I will tackle the unknown and triumph over the French education system.
I will survive.
I am a senior, and today my future begins.

PS: If that sounded cool, calm and collected, then I’m a better writer than I think. I’m a freaking churning ice cream maker on the inside!

My life would make a sh*tty movie

(c)TitineetMilou

(c)TitineetMilou

I’m standing in the subway, going over the Seine River, staring at a sparkling Eiffel Tower, my nose pressed against the door. It’s most unhygienic and people are looking at me weirdly. In my own fantasy world I’m riding towards a sparkly future, complete with unicorns and giant cookies. The train pitches forward and I collapse onto an elderly gentleman who looks at me as if to say “youth these days…” Back to the present. Ow, my ankle hurts.

See, this is what I do: I imagine that my life is a movie and that everything is going to turn out for the best. Of course this is a big problem because I very much doubt that Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds ( why are they all called Ryan?) is going to show up at my door under the pouring rain, profess his undying love for me and present me with a giant bouquet of roses. Yes, I’m old fashioned, deal with it. Sure, there may be bumps in the road, sort of like in the Empire Strikes Back (anyone who doesn’t instantly know what I’m talking about should be… um… forced to go a week without eating a cookie (I’m being nice 😉 )): sure, the Empire owns the Rebel Alliance just like the Jets owned the Falcons last week and like any and every team who’s played the Giants, but in the end everything ends happily. Well, not happily exactly, I mean Darth Vader could have survived and spent another couple years teaching Luke how to turn on his friends and family, but I suppose it finished the best way that it could. Meanwhile, I’ve gotten off topic. Again. *sigh*

I’m afraid that my life would be rather more like Titanic though. Picture this: CT is, as always late. She runs down the hill to the metro station, hair unbrushed, makeup already smudged. She can hear the train approaching and she knows that there’s a very good chance that she won’t make it (knowing that she’ll be late for school if she takes the later one) so she puts on a final burst of speed and tears through the constraining ticket machines. The beeper on the doors sounds, letting her know that the train is about to leave. She won’t get there on time. BUT WAIT! There’s a hot dude holding the door for her! All is saved! She enters the train just as the doors shut, crashing straight into her [really hot] saviour. Oh oh, the boy has abs. Must. Not. Swoon. After pushing her off him, hot dude goes to sit down, but he keeps glancing at CT with a half curious, half perplexed look on his face. CT is just starting to think that he might ‘like’ her when she catches a glimpse of herself in the window. Yowser. She looks like a past date red pepper (and that is not a comparison that I make lightly believe me): hair sticking up in gravity defying ways, face a vermillion shade of red, weird grin plastered on her face, kind of like the Joker. And then she hears herself. Oopsy daisy, she sounds disturbingly like a parched dog. Well, that explains the staring! End of story.

That’s another thing; I sometimes talk about myself using the 3rd person, as if I were narrating my movie. Normally I don’t think anything of it, but a couple of weeks ago, someone asked me if I was schizophrenic. My answer had to be “nooooo… just crazy”. Quite honestly, if my life were a movie, it would probably be one like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: under budget, with bad special effects, bad actors and just generally ridiculous. To make it short, my life would make a sh*tty movie.

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

It’s Just That Time of Year

Unfortunately I’m not talking about the holiday season (although the pumpkin spice latte is back at Starbucks!! It costs a third of my weekly allowance but it tastes so good. Oh dear I just went fangirly over a drink. I really need a boyfriend). I’m talking about the beginning of October, when the days are getting shorter, the weather getting rainier and the teachers getting crankier. This, associated with football season and the start of the MLB postseason results in students experiencing what I call the kangaroo syndrome. To explain briefly, the kangaroo syndrome chooses it’s victims by degree of addiction to movies and TV shows: once you have been chosen you will experience periods of nothingness (quite literally) before going into full blown hyperactive mode. It’s a familiar feeling, occuring every year since we realized that we actually had to study for tests (boy, what a shock that was huh?).

So today my morning consisted of an hour and a half math test immediately followed by an hour and a half french test. SO MUCH FUN RIGHT? No. My guess is that teachers, having been on a no grading hiatus for two months, are extremely thirsty to inflict pain on their students (penpal xx). So because of this grueling schedule I haven’t had much/hardly any/any time for myself and thus for the Mostly Confused Teenager to stop being confused about 4th degree functions and start being confused about other important things such as why her cookies are disappearing at such an alarming rate.

But do not fear, adoring fans of whom I have none, I am not forgetting about you guys! You people are my sunshine, my life, my soul… Oh dear I went rather too far with that didn’t I? Isn’t “moist” a weird word?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

Friendship is Magic

At the beginning of the year I volunteered to help the new kids get acquainted with the school. Now I have to stress that I didn’t do this as a totally selfless act, being a naturally lazy person I often don’t see the point of doing something if it doesn’t benefit ME in some way, so I did it for my college application. ANYWAY, ignoring the fact that I am a egocentric selfish person, I actually learned a lot and loved helping people.

I, as a peer leader (I know, bad name right?), was assigned the new high school sophomores in the morning and I got to see what I resembled a year before at that same point in time. Well, not me exactly, because I wasn’t invited to the ‘new kid assembly’ *mean* but you get my point. The students were painfully awkward and sat quietly on their chairs, staring at each other while I babbled on like an idiot, telling them how badly they were going to suffer/die in the year to come. As I moved on to the meaning of life or some shit like that, I noticed that they weren’t listening to me. Duh. So I tried to imagine what was going on in their heads:

“Holy crap I’m sitting with the people who I’m going to spend my whole year with. Will any of these bozos be my friends? Ooooh, he/she’s cute!”

I’ve seen a few of them around since then, and it made me really pleased each time to see that they had made friends and were still breathing.

 

In the afternoon we got assigned to a different age group: the littler kids. The EABJM starts in 1st grade, so none of the 6 years olds knew each other. They toddled over, hanging onto their parents, clinging desperately to the last thread of the first part of their childhood. Some of them were so shy that they couldn’t even tell me their name, and could only point their tiny trembling fingers at their nametags. We had a couple of crying cases and outright refusals to go play duck duck goose, but after a little coaxing and bribing by the parents, most of them eventually stumbled reluctantly into the ‘games circle’. And then, magic happened. After about five minutes of knocking each other out and being silly geese, the kids were all best friends. The girls were already sitting around talking about, um, ponies and hair ties (sorry, I’ve forgotten what 6 year olds talk about) and the boys were kicking a soccer ball around. HOW? HOW I ASK YOU? 5 minutes. That’s all it took and they were friends for life! Or, like, as long as they’re at the school.

Anyway, it got me thinking about how we, today, as people having passed the stage of early childhood, make friends. It’s not like we can just walk up to a random stranger on the street and ask “Heyyyyyy [elongated word to show just how cool you are. not.] Wanna be my friiiiend? *smile that is meant to be warm but is in reality just creepy*. The person who you asked would probably call the police.

But for all my odd musings, I do know one thing for sure: (well more than one thing but… um… anyways) that I have found the most amazing people through this blog, some of whom have become very awesome friends 🙂 So I just wanted to say thank you to every single one of you 204 people who have subscribed to The Mostly Confused Teenager during the past two months, it really does mean the world to me. I love you guys! [In a totally platonic way, and not in a weird stalkery (not a word recognized by spell check, dammit!) way. I should probably stop talking, I’m just embarassing myself.)

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager.

PS: Sorry for the quality of today’s writing, this post was written in a boring History class. I can say this because my parents have promised never to mention my blog or anything on it. Yay!

PPS: Pipi. Hihihi. *blushes and dives under covers* I know I haven’t been on the reader or addressed my wonderful awards yet, but I will, I promise! It’ll be easier when my teachers decide that they don’t want us to die after all.

 

 

 

 

It’s Still Summer

Dear Autumn, back the hell off. I’ve known people like you who might be nice in some aspects of their personality but who are just too pushy. I will remind you that summer is until the 21st of September, so until then I will agree with none of this cold windy rainy nonsense that you’re imposing on the good people of EVERYWHERE.

I was walking on the street today and a leaf fell on my nose. How about no? First of all, I don’t like things falling on my nose, it makes me sneeze, and I happen to know that when I sneeze I sound like a dying zebra. Secondly, it’s still summer!!

Now I know there’s a certain rivalry in between summer and you and I also know that you feel slighted because people prefer the former to you, BUT MAYBE IF YOU STOPPED BEING SO DAMNED IN OUR FACES WE WOULD LIKE YOU MORE! Personally I love the sharp wind and the start of the holiday season, but for Cookie’s sake, it’s still a month and a half until Halloween! Please, I’m begging you, let us enjoy the last moments of our dying summertime hopes as they are swallowed by school and work *shakes head sadly*.

And Heat-Miser, Snow-Miser; if you keep fighting over who controls France, I’m going to go over your heads and go straight to your Mother. You wouldn’t like that would you? [childhood Christmas reference :’)]

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager

What do I do with my body parts?

Now before you go all “ew” and “gross” on me, give me a chance to explain. I went to a concert on Saturday night and realized that while everybody else seemed to have no problem moving groovily (isn’t that a fun word? groooovily. Ahem.) to the beat I looked like a hamster having a heart attack.

If you’re only here to see CT make a fool of herself, please skip to the word COOKIE. Otherwise, please enjoy the foreplay. *clears throat*

See, a friend of mine is in this rock band and they don’t often have gigs so I try to go when they’re playing. What you have to understand is that I am not a person who generally goes out and is social and dances and manages to look hot doing it (gaah, why does everything I say always sound so wrong?) . Anyway, even though the ‘orchestra of my colleagues’ as my friend’s dad called it, was playing on the other side of town, I went out of friendship and because I had nothing else to do. Well actually the other choice was getting drunk in a park while it was raining. Obvious choice no? For me at least.

The 20th arrondissement of Paris is not a great neighborhood, or at least the part that I was in wasn’t. My friend and I went together, which I’m grateful for because I never would have gone on my own. The club that Black Crown Falling was playing in (check them out on YouTube, they’re awesome!) was more a bar with an improvised stage than anything else. To tell you the truth, it was scary place. It smelled of alcohol and smoke and it was a dark and stormy night. Washington (my friend) and I stood outside in the pouring rain for an hour, too nervous to go inside because the screams that were emanating from the room made it sound like there were flamingos getting slaughtered (yeah you guessed it, the band before BCF was a heavy metal group).

We finally gathered our courage and went inside when BCF started playing, and I’ve gotta say that I was honestly really enjoying myself until I noticed that other people were nodding their heads and tapping their feet while I was standing there, stone still, looking like an awkward giraffe. I got worried that it might look as if I didn’t like the music so I started stomping my foot in rhythm. Bad idea; it just looked as if I needed to pee. Next I started moving my head and ended up portraying a person in epileptic shock.

COOKIE

We were standing in front of the stage and since the band played for 40 minutes I took it as a bad sign that I started getting pins and needles in my legs 5 minutes into the concert. Because of this every so often I would hop up and down a little, switching legs. And where was I supposed to look? Looking straight at the singer made it look like I was strangely fascinated with him (which believe me, I am not). I tried looking at the guitarist’s little brother, who was watching his idol with a proud look on his face, but that made me seem creepy. So I looked at the wall for most of their playing time, trying to seem like I’d mastered the vague mysterious attitude. I didn’t, and that was pretty obvious to EVERYONE.

Finally I didn’t know what do with my arms. I tried crossing them but that was too arrogant and “f*ck you”-like. I put them behind my back but that made it look like I was some stuck up teenager waiting for the torture to end. In the end I just swung them back and forth like a deranged robot, occasionally hitting people accidentally. Yes, that’s the option that I chose. If you had a better solution, I wish you could have been there to tell me.

So I was the awkward teenager, sopping wet, knocking people over with her disproportionately long arms, jumping up and then down again every few minutes, eyes shifting from place to place, head rolling around in perfect disharmony with the music. Luckily for me I realized that Washington was having trouble controlling her limbs as well, which made me feel less alone. But tell me, good people of Apricot Land, what was I supposed to do?

Live long and prosper \V/

Yours sincerely,

The Mostly Confused Teenager

PS: Today I’m apparently fixating on animals. Hum, tomorrow it might be kitchen tools, who knows?