Monday, July 19, 2010

If I were French

Today, we continue our lesson on use of the conditional verb tense.

The Hypothetical: Si j’etais francaise... If I were French.

1. I would speak French.

2. I would bear a striking resemblance to Marion Cotillard. It would be uncanny, in fact. I would get mistaken for her ALL the time, and people would stop me on the street asking for photos and autographs. It would be exhausting.

3. I would have long, luscious hair that I could carelessly throw up into a messy knot on top of my head, and still manage to look perfectly put together and effortlessly stunning.

4. I would smoke cigarettes and look beautiful doing so and not give a damn about those silly warnings of the Surgeon General, or whatever he/she is called in France.

5. I would have an adorable dog that would sit on my lap while I dined at a restaurant, and would share my pommes frites with me. Silly American girls jogging past would stop to stare for a moment, and would wish they had their camera on them to take a photo of this "bizarre" sight.

6. I would enter a PACS agreement (Pacte Civil de Solidarite - unmarried couple with full legal rights under French law) and live with a beautiful dark-skinned man of North-African origin (relax dad, this is only hypothetical) and together we would have/adopt a brood of kids so diverse and awesome-looking, they could make up a Benetton ad. Oh wait, maybe this last bit is more suited to my "If I Were Angelina" hypothetical...

7. I would eat freshly-baked bread with every meal, and follow a delicious dinner with an assortment of fromage or chocolate (or both) and never feel even a twinge of guilt, or have a moment’s thought that I am splurging and must work out tomorrow to make up for the rich caloric consumption.

8. Work out? As in, voluntarily put your body through a torturous exercise routine and sweat profusely? And for what purpose, exactly, do you do this? To these questions, I would seek explanation from young American women...

9. I myself would never consider such nonsense of "working out" yet my body would be naturally fit and healthy, simply because I (was one lucky be-atch who) ate really good foods, had amazing genes, and lived a naturally healthy lifestyle. My form of exercise would probably be walking in high heels all over Paris... and perhaps regularly enjoying some other activities that I won’t mention here.

10. On that note, I would never be embarrassed or ashamed to discuss or reference sex, nudity or anything of the sort. It would be normal for my Benetton-ad children to see bare boobs and butts on TV, but never bloody shoot-outs, murders or gun violence.

11. I would never worry about any member of my family getting sick and not being able to afford to see a doctor, nor would I worry about my parents or grandparents being able to live comfortably in retirement, nor would I worry about being able to afford an excellent education for my Benetton-ad children.

12. I would grow old gracefully and graciously. I would be one of those stunning older French women who is always put together, wears her gray hair with pride, shuns plastic surgery, and maintains an unwavering faith that the plethora of creams and beauty treatments which line pharmacy shelves will keep me looking magnificent until the day I die.

13. I would be a Parisienne, of course. But a rare breed of Parisian who actually stayed in Paris during the month of July, because I would know what no other Parisians seem to notice: that July is the most amazing, beautiful, weather-perfect time to be in the city. "Let them have their Coast!" I would declare - as though I were Marie Antoinette. "As long as I can have Paris!"

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