D and I discussed Sex and the City over our usual Wednesday afternoon café meet up. As I already shared, I didn't think the movie was amazing but I'm glad I saw it. D really liked it, and she said that her favorite part is the fact that this group of women are always there for each other and always solve their problems together. So I took advantage of the opening to ask if French women really are as hard to be friends with as everyone says. The stereotype is that they are always jealous of each other and constantly competing for men, and that it's just very hard to become friends with them. She said that's absolutely true, and mostly because of the jealousy part. She told me some stories, and it almost sounds like French women are jealous of the happiness of their friends. Bizarre, non? D is definitely not like that at all, she's along the Sex and the City American girlfriends model. I guess that's why we're getting along so well.
Yes, they smoke A LOT. Of all the new people I've met through D in the last several weeks, only two are non-smokers. One of my favorite things is walking through the crowd of parental smokers outside of the schools while picking up or dropping off their kids. I feel like I should get a chest x-ray to make sure I haven't developed lung cancer. I'm not joking. It's so, so much better now that smoking is forbidden in bars and restaurants, but really, you'd think they would get the hint that it's time to quit!
The French are always surprised when I tell them that Americans think they all cheat on their significant others, and then say that it happens just as often in the US, except we're more hidden about it. Which may very well be true, except I can't even tell you how much gossip D has related to me that involves someone getting cheated on .....
Last week one of the other teachers told me that I've lost a lot of weight since coming to France. I didn't tell her it's because I'm getting off the steroids, i.e. medication from hell, and that I'm actually back to my normal size.... but anyway, to continue with the story, this then led to her telling me how much healthier France is than the US, you know, the usual tales about how we never excersize and eat French fries and chips all day long in front of the television while chugging gallons of Coke. I would say that she's right and France is healthier than the US (which is changing as they adopt our bad habits), except that I definitely eat a lot worse in France than I do at home! In the US I never eat French fries, and yet I get them alllllll the time here. I also make myself nachos more often than I care to relate. Luckily I have to walk everywhere so I'm not packing on the pounds where I can see them, I'm just clogging up my arteries so I'll have to get open heart surgery in the next five years.
Sadly I have yet to see anyone wearing a beret while wearing a striped shirt, holding a baguette and a bottle of wine, and smoking a cigarette. And standing next to their bicycle. With a dog. That has pooped on the sidewalk. But I'll keep my eyes peeled.