Thursday, July 15, 2010

French Women's Wiley Ways

You will learn, at least if you choose to read the article I am going to direct you to in a moment, that French women are all about secrets....secrets about beauty, fashion and a few other things possibly floating around in their lives. They take their personal regimes on diet, skin care and love to their grave. A few words of wisdom may be shared with their off-spring and off-spring of off-spring but that's as far as it goes. Many times, friends, life-long friends are left in the dark. Unlike us Americans....get a group of good friends together, open a bottle of wine and well, sometimes we find out more than we care to know!

Or is that really the case? I read the article on IHT first thing this morning before I headed out for my day. My day was all about catching up with the "soldes" or sales that go on here in Paris during the month of July. I hadn't taken part yet and was curious to see if anything was left. To my surprise, there were still many good deals to be had. Like the purchase that was food for this post.

Shoes are my weakness. Show me a great pair of shoes, full price or on sale and I'll live on lettuce and crackers for awhile to balance things out. Today was no exception only it was "soldes". Guilt was on a tiny holiday. I found a pair of shoes that were perfect with what I was wearing, felt like slippers on my feet and pretty much had to come home with me. I liked them so much that I put my well worn sandals I was wearing in the box leaving the store fully aware that band-aids would be in my future. Didn't matter.

About 40 minutes later in another shop, a beautifully dressed woman gently touched my arm, leaned way into my personal space (which is very weird here) and in a barely audible, indoor voice that was speaking rapid fire French asked me where I got my shoes as they were "fabulous". My brain at that moment was a tiny bit overwhelmed taking in numerous things that needed to be processed....rapid fire French, where was I going to find a quiet indoor voice to respond as that isn't something I possess, do I tell her where I really got the shoes and was floored by the fact that a French woman was asking another woman (who she mistook for French) where she got something. It was too much! Slowly, I found what I felt was a conspiratorial whisper and told her I got them at Bata just down the street. Bata is the equivalent of Payless in the states. The look on her face was priceless. Was it shock, horror, disbelief? Hard to tell. She broke out in a huge smile and told me that just made them even more fabulous.

I walked away feeling totally complimented. The best part was knowing I had just pulled a very heavy curtain aside to get a look into the complicated, wiley ways of a French woman. It felt good.

See for yourself what I'm talking about.

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