I’ve been working ever so hard on the first chapter of my story. I was extremely confident that it would be ready to post by today.
Sadly, it is not.
I was just looking it over and have decided that it is absolute shit.
The plot rivals that of a terribly cheesy Disney Channel show. I think my main character was a sentence away from turning into a wizard or seeing the future or going to school on a cruise ship.
Obviously I need to rethink my whole story. But before I do that, I’ll write a little something about French people.
I love French people. I really do. I love them so much, that I married one.
French people are animated and passionate and they like to talk with their hands. The French people that I know like to break out into song, bake things with funny names like Nun’s Farts and they often cry at random things like cell phone commercials or old episodes of Saved By the Bell.
When I say French people, I am of course talking about French Canadians. I live in Ottawa, which is a super bilingual city. I work in retail and I pretty much speak french every day. I can honestly say that French is the only useful thing I ever took in high school. I don’t seem to use much algebra or chemistry or Canada Fitness Beep Tests in my day to day life.
My French isn’t awesome, but it’s not terrible. I can totally follow a conversation in French. I might get a little jumbled in my head when I’m trying to speak the language. I might not conjugate the verbs properly. I might mix up the words for “chin” and “jacket” and “sheep”. I might make up words in French to sound intelligent. Actually, I do that in English too. I like to refribulate words.
At work, I’ve had some great experiences with French customers. Most of them are kind and patient and appreciative when I’m serving them in my choppy, beat up French.
Some, however, are not.
Here are two examples…
1. I don’t understand when a customer comes up to me and asks me in French if I speak French and I say yes and then they ask me their question in French and I answer in French and then they answer me back in English??? It’s so confusing and terribly awkward. Do I keep talking in French? I feel like if they wanted to be served in French in the first place, then that’s what I’ll do. Or should I? Is my French offensively bad? Je ne pense pas, mais peut-etre???
2. I usually say “hi” or “hello” when customers enter my store. Most people say hi back or smile or nod in my general direction. Do you know what really gets my goat? When I make eye contact with a customer and say hello and they just stare blankly at me like I’m a moron. I’ve had this happen several times. So awkward. I usually follow up with a “how are you” and often get a reply. When I don’t, I have to pull out the big guns and hit them with a “bonjour” The power of that word will never cease to amaze me. More magical than Bibbity Bobbity Boo or Wingardium Leviosa or Hocus Pocus Alamagocus, a simple “bonjour” said to the right person can completely change their personality! I’ve seen it with my own eyes! Upon hearing it, their whole demeanor changes and they often become chatty, social or dare I say, PLEASANT. It must be really hard to live in a completely bilingual city like Ottawa and not know what “hi” means. How awful it must be to have people in stores, restaurants and even on the phone taunting you relentlessly with this strange and confusing syllable.
All this writing about French people has gotten me really hungry for a giant pile of poutine…
I shall resist my craving for some delicious fries, gravy and curds and instead go back to work on my terrible story.
Maybe my main character should be French? I could give her a great French name like Pierette or Guylaine or Maude???
And maybe from now on, I’ll end all my posts like this…