air kisses, paper plates and entertaining
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.

Hugs and Kisses
France is BIG on kissing! no doubt about it, you greet everyone you know, even sometimes vaguely, with a bisou on the cheek, sometimes 2, even 3 and in some places 4 (as in the south of France when you leave); I like it and I kiss all my friends and at times some people I have not know for very long but who are there with us. It's friendly and puts a little informality into what is often in France a very formal affair; 
BUT! (big but) 
One thing I REALLY do not care for at all, on EITHER side of the ocean, is what is called here in the US, air kisses. Let's see: kisser puts his or her arms on your upper arms or shoulders (fake hug!), a cheek comes towards you; all the while the face is turned slightly sideways, accompanied with a outward twisting of the mouth (fake kiss). All this to avoid, admit it, actually KISSING you! Well, do you want to greet me with a kiss or don't you? Will you please make up your mind. 
There, I have said it. My position is perhaps a little strongly put, but it is only proportional to my dislike of air kisses, that's all.
And I love REAL hugs too.

Paper plates, napkins and cups

les petites amplettes
All right, another pet peeve: paper plates and paper cups; It is not THAT much trouble washing plates and glasses. Really! even if there is a good number. Most people have dishwashers, and even if, I know, they use a lot of water, the waste of all that paper for a single use is frankly not cool. Mostly, paper plates are always collapsing on you, paper cups are very unpleasant on your lips and actually change the taste of what you drink; I am right, non? 
I have ranted about paper plates and cups, but I have not mentioned paper napkins you say, and here is why: (and I am going to be killed for this) we use paper napkins at home when we are just among ourselves. It is VERY time consuming to wash and iron napkins and they are of course a one-use item. There is enough to do in our house without devoting time to washing and ironing napkins every day. We recycle them OF COURSE, though I don't think they are always as biodegradable as the items above, which are totally so; tell me: forgiven?

Dinner invitations: out or at home?
I find that, here in the United States, friends often invite you out to a restaurant, at a relatively early hour, and mostly towards the end of the week. In France I have found that our friends' invitations are most often to their home; the exception: usually if a group of friends decide to have dinner together and no one is actually hosting; a restaurant will be chosen also when a new one or a particularly great one is to be "tested".
Is it that French hosts are happy to cook even after work? is it that, in Paris anyway, there are so many traiteurs (specialty prepared food shops)?

Le Bon Marche for one is spectacular

 Is it that you can buy prepared frozen foods in Paris that are amazingly delicious? not the case here, or I have not found a source. If you do let me know, please.

  Maybe it is a little of all that. I like both situations but I have a slight preference for dining at someone's home if only for the fact that it is more personal and that there is nor real time limit... within reason. 
images i.dailymail.co.uk, oddee

Alors, what do you think? Agree, disagree? et toi,Letitia? Please leave a petit commentaire below or vite, go see a Femme d'un Certain Age 's take all of this and let us know; on which ever side of the ocean you care to leave your comment.
merci, Letitia, 
à lundi

au revoir.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. Your blog is very charming and I will follow.
    Warm regards,

  2. Anonymous15/2/10

    Hello, I dropped by after reading Tish's post. I don't like the American-style kissing, but the French bises are wonderful.
    You have a lovely blog.

  3. Ma Chere,

    Absolute perfection. I feel as if I didn't make myself sufficiently clear on the wine in plastic cups issue, I do HATE it, think its awful.

    Your post is superb and we know where you stand.

    This is more fun every week.

    Bisou (a real one, lightly placed with no shoulder grabbing -- OK)


  4. Simone- merci, merci for stopping by and for your kind words; and please do come back often.
    Dedene- yes, I love a nice friendly bise also. thank you for the visit.
    Letitia- I LOVE your post! you are such a hard act to follow. no, to dialog with. Grosses bises.