with Letitia Jett

It's time for the game that Letitia Jett,  A Femme d'un Certain Age, and I play each week on our blogs. We compare our views on our adopted countries, France for Letitia and The States for me.
There are some things we really love, others not so much. Good or bad, fun or unpleasant, whatever our point of view, we bring it to you.
Movie lines: Discipline and respect are the operating words in movie lines, taxi lines, any line here in the United States. In Paris: lines, what lines? it's absolute chaos ( I have a friend who boasted for years that he had never waited in line for anything; "waiting is for idiots")...charming. Here no one would cut a line anywhere; impressive and so relaxing. The only time it did happen in front of me was at JFK airport: a French family, who said they were going to miss their flight only to be waiting near my departure area for a flight slightly before mine. great. early training for the children... I am archi-certaine Letitia is with me on this one...

Sweatpants: they should not be worn past the front door unless you are going to the gym or on a power walk; period. (and for that matter the same goes for sports shoes); here you can tell who is French- and there are many French families- by the clothes and shoes they wear on weekends. Geoxx loafers are just as comfortable as Nike's! and a nice sweater and warm scarf is as cosy as any "hoodie". Even in college my daughters disliked sweat pants worn outside of the dorm or apartment; bravo les filles; I am all for comfort but if they don't like them and they are half American, then... If you find me a tad judgmental, let me redeem myself; fleeces or outdoor sport jackets are the article people wear on week ends here, not a blazer nor a tweed jacket, and I must admit it is perfectly fine with me here in the suburbs. In the city, on week ends, on very cold rainy days...peut-etre. These are occasions when function comes before form, d'accord.

Bridesmaids: Letitia and I don't quite agree on this subject! This is one aspect of a typical American wedding I don't care for; I love les demoiselles et petits garcons d'honneur- flower girls and boys. They are cute and happy and proud and bouncy and... shorter - much better for the photos after church- and they can be dressed to the nines and not compete with the bride for attention. I find that bridesmaids usually steal the Bride's thunder; perhaps slightly less so when they wear chic festive outfits and their dresses do not mimic the bride's in a different color. So what if some of flower girls become a little rumbunctious during the ceremony; American children go to weddings also, and they are just as adorable, and active, so why not have a few be flower girls, and keep the girlfriends for the photo-op? still not convinced, Letitia?

After dinner coffee: I would much rather serve le café or une petite tisane- herb tea- in the living room than at the table after a dinner party. You get up from the table, you go to the salon, and then begins act III- act I is a glass of wine before dinner-. Then it is no longer dinner; the conversation can change, you can switch voisin de table - your table neighbor- the mood can change also. And do not get me started on coffee served with meals. A sure way to ruin the taste of a sublime dish, in my book.

images photographersgallery, google, weddingpaperdivas, lefigaro

Et toi, Letitia? what do you think?
and you, our readers, agree? disagree? let us know.

au revoir. 


  1. Bonjour, I am a follower of A Femme d'un Certain Age and I visiting your blog after reading Tish's parallel post there. First let me say you have a lovely blog and I'm so glad I've found you.

    I agree with all of your points with the exception of children at weddings. I think they are show stealers and that's what they do best. However, they do look precious in pictures and if they are well-behaved it would work. But I've never met one that could be well-behaved for any length of time, especially with cameras around.

    I don't own any sweatpants and never have. I'm glad to hear what college age kids think of sweatpants. It's wonderful that they don't wear them out of the dorm.

    I too like to move my guests to the living room or porch in good weather for coffee after dinner. It's so much more civilized and you don't have guests trying to take plates to the kitchen.
    A fun post - merci beaucoup and a bientot,

  2. Merci, Sam(if I may call you Sam)I also found your blog through Tish and I love it! I already have found a few recipes/ideas I want to try. and Provence: LOVE
    I suppose it is my French upbringing, but I just cannot bring myself to prefer bridesmaids to flower girls. You can't teach an old (French) monkey new tricks, my Grandmother used to say... and sweat pants...? yikes. thank you for your visit and a bientot.

  3. Jeanne-Aelia,

    Great post. I love it when we disagree. We'll have to find more subjects along those lines.

    This is lots of fun. You're just full of great ideas.


  4. Hi! The French approach to the matters concerned, is closer to my likings. A no,no for sweatpants for casual wear. So sad to see them worn like an uniform by some people. I hate the Adidas and Nikes, they look so big and ugly. I prefer the continental way of using both the fork and knife when eating. The American style looks barbaric!

  5. What fun, this series you and Tish have begun! I'm inspired by yours and Tish's descriptions of moving from dining table to livingroom for coffee -- I think I'll have to announce that we're "going French" next time I have a dinner party, and see if coffee in the livingroom is a good way to inject some fresh life into the gathering.

  6. Of course, we all know there is no wrong way to do any of this. We are comparing traditions and and habits. We are discussing taste and points of view. none of it is life threatening... except many in the case of the line cutters...better wacth out you monsters!
    Tish: Thank you for sharing the ideas and playing the Parallel.
    Metscan: Thank you for your passionate opinion
    Materfamilias: Thank you for getting into the spirit so positively.

  7. Great post, I agree wholeheartedly about the sweatpants. Though I'm American I grew up in a household that served the after-dinner coffee in the living room and not the dinner table.
    Looking forward to next week.

  8. jadie29/1/10

    i found you through tish's blog, and am so glad i did. i love the idea of moving to the living room for coffee after dinner, and am going to do so at my next dinner party. we've always had coffee at the table (with dessert), then moved. your way seems more convivial.