Mapping the French Mentality, plus fun and cute French habits for everyone!
Hugs and Kisses...
The typical French greeting of two kisses, one mwah per cheek, is a reality.
It's sweet, a sign of respect, and has its own set of rules that range from different regions around the country.
In Bordeaux, we do the traditional two kiss greeting, again one kiss per cheek. Hugging is not required.
In fact, let's just say that THE FRENCH DON'T HUG. Ok... they do but they don't.
French people find this too personal, yet the French greeting of two kisses, well that is just fine!
(Personally, I find it strange, but then again, foreigner in French translates to stranger=étranger.)
I have hugged several members of my French family, you should see the awkward dance that ensues! I personally find it hilarious, they just don't know what to do, it is like we competing in a pop and lock-athon! In other words, kiss, don't hug a Frenchie! Just trust me on this. Oh another rule of thumb, when in Rome (France) do as the Romans (French).
Since living in France, I have noticed a big difference in how I dress. I put heels, lipstick and perfume on to walk my dog to the bakery. I wear a lot more dresses and pay special attention to what and how I eat. Why? Because I am taking care of myself. On Planet France, the French believe in the basic respect for taking care of oneself.
Remember the book, French women Don't get Fat?
By the way, French women on a whole are slim and dress in a fashion that accentuates them, however I have seen a few French fatties on the streets, but it is rare, and of course, I am one of them. But I digress, I purchased that book in the United States, and when I read it, I couldn't comprend what she was talking about.
The author paints a picture of experiencing France with all five senses. I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. The only trees around I was allergic to, it was too hot to enjoy hiking or playing tennis, my city was too big to walk to the nearest grocery store without dying of heat stroke. Then, I moved to France.
I reread her book and suddenly it made sense, because I experienced it. I'm not saying you need to move to France to dress better, although you will, I am saying you have to pay attention to how to accentuate your best self. This is what France has taught me. You know as well as I do that nothing beats the feeling of slipping on an outfit that makes you feel (fill in the blank) sexy, beautiful, stunning, radiant, glam, fierce, strong, etc!
French fashion revolves around the sense of each woman. She dresses practically and in accordance to her personality without it being a sideshow, but a fashion show. Know the boundry.
One of my former students, who visited the United States and witnessed Americans drinking soda with their meals, simply said this, "c'est ne pas très de la mode," meaning, its not very fashionable. Living in France, I have a saying:
In the real world, I know! On Planet France, I understand.
In that simple, yet profound statement, my student basically said, Americans have no respect. Ok, you are probably wondering how I made that leap. Again, I speak Planet France.
The French are very practical, so drinking soda with a meal, doesn't make any sense to them. Why? When you drink soda with your meal, the rush of sugar kills any flavor your food has. It is not only common sense, it is also disrespectful not to savor your food. It is also disrespectful to yourself, because by doing something as simple as drinking soda at mealtime, you are not taking care of yourself. Understand?
What is also world reknown is French food, therefore it is precious to them. You have to understand that this country has a reputation for demanding quality, from the very basics of human survival - eating and drinking. The French meal is itself an artform, a living artform. An experience. And everyday is an opportunity to experience something grand!
Isn't that dreamy? Don't get me wrong, reality must rear his ugly head, but when one expects and is experiencing life's pleasures, it places one in a different state of mind, so when s#it hits the fan, they are in a higher level of consciousness to accept it and move on. On the other hand, more and more fast food restaurants are popping up in France, and there have been some changes in eating habits due to a busy lifestyle, that's just the reality. However, the French are stubborn when it comes to tradition and ritual, therefore, quality food and presentation will always be a cultural identity.
Ever hear of a French kiss? Every culture has their own idea of what is charming and seductive, however I feel the foundation of having a strong sense of self (and lots of mascara!) will catch anyone's eye. But, the French are famously world reknowned and equipped in the romance/love-making department. Talk about a stereotype, huh!
A whole country, world reknowned for being lovers. They have a rep to protect! By the way, a French kiss is so-called because at the beginning of the 20th century the French had a reputation for more adventurous and passionate sex practices. On the other hand, to bag a Frenchie, also requires some skills in the art of flirting and body language.
Sounds difficult? Nonsense! It is simple to do, just be your authentic self, and you will have lovers aplenty!
That being said, a quick guideline on flirting 'the French way'. Due to personal observation and experience, French flirting is a quick glance where eye contact is established. That's it! But this is not an ordinary glance, oh no, it's as delicate and graceful as a butterfly flutter, and ends just as quickly. Easy-peasy, Ron Weasley! Understand?
Don't worry, you already have the talent to pull this off, just be you!
I hope I gave you some food for thought. Until next time, I thank you so much for reading.
Questions/Comments? Let me know.
xoxxox - Jennifer
Bonjour et Bienvenue!
Thank you for stopping by for a spell!
I am a 40-something year old American woman. Born in Texas, raised in Las Vegas!
Frenchified for Life
is a fabulous little lifestyle blog about truly embracing French life!
My intent is to simply inspire you to create something unique and beautiful in your everyday life. The French have this wonderful and annoying habit of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, might as well learn something from them!
That said, I lift my glass to you!
By the way, I mention the name Cachou (or The Cash) a lot, I'm referring to her...