So much to love about the French!

I love the French. I think I really do! I know I am singing a different tune now that I don’t actually live with the French. But man, you got to love them. So much to love…

Today Justin, Maisie, and I went out for brunch at one of our favorite places to have brunch. They have the most amazing spreads for your bread, like white chocolate, fig, some delish hazelnut thing that doesn’t even touch Nutella, dark chocolate, and the list goes on! Oh yeah. Pretty good stuff. But that is besides the point of this post.

The lady that helped seat us when we walked in was a nice enough woman in her forties. The French will always tell you something is impossible if they don’t feel like they want to help you. She began by telling me it was impossible to seat us with the large poussette (or stroller as we all call it). Justin put on the charm and in no time she was making room for the stroller as she giggled at Justin’s jokes. We told her we would keep the stroller up front, but she INSISTED now (with a friendly smile) that we take it back with us to our seat. She even pushed it back (through a very tight crowd that we thought there was no way in the world the stroller would make it through) and ran over coats and hit chairs on her way. Surprisingly, nobody even seemed to notice.

We had a great meal and sat RIGHT next to another young couple in love. Two things right there to point out. First of all, you literally share a table with strangers, which is actually quite cool. Secondly, it is obvious that this couple was in love as they are so stinkin’ affectionate. I think it is pretty sweet. Always touching, holding hands, smooches. It is obvious. They were friendly and conversational, which is always refreshing.

Our time in the restaurant ended in a way that would have made me cringe a couple years ago, but now I can just smile. Not a big deal really. All I needed to do was push that stroller back through the crowd that was now even more crowded. Yikes! So I did it. And man, something I have decided to love about the French (that is actually annoying and can turn to hate really quick depending on the day) is how they stare at you and look at you like you the biggest moron that ever walked the earth. That is what happened to me. Today I just didn’t care and pushed that stroller over people’s coats, into their chairs and over their feet (ok, not really their feet, but I would have had I the opportunity). Little skinny Frenchman that thought he was too cool for school stared me down the whole time I am pushing the stroller. As if it isn’t humiliating enough just being me in France, he has to go and give me the French stare down.

It is a gift to be able to stare someone down the way the French can. It really is a gift. I would never be able to look so seriously at someone for as long as they do without giving even a small smile. I have practiced the stare in my time in Paris and I am getting better at it. I don’t know if that is something to brag about. I am not sure if it only works with other French starers. I might try one of these stares when I get back to the states, but then I actually might get shot or something.

See, one more thing to love about the French! They will stare you down, but they won’t shoot you!

So that was our experience at the restaurant today. Good times with the French!


  1. Amy Ginther on February 3, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    You do realize that it is all because you have a $700 stroller right 🙂 🙂 🙂 Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!

    I am REALLY missing your smiling faces…pass that along to the packing Nazi would ya?

    10 more days!

  2. Ann on February 3, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I could totally picture this! We love that restaurant, too, and how it seems that the people are staring us down but act like they’re not. Ha.ha. I hope you enjoyed those delicious toppings for us, too. What a wonderful brunch place that is! Delicious! I’m glad you got to experience it again. We miss you.

  3. Jen Powell on February 4, 2008 at 4:28 am

    Hey AMY!!!! That stroller was not 700 dollars! And not only was it less than that, but it was a gift! So take that!!! 🙂

    Ann, we love that place too! I think we took every single one of our visitors to eat at the amazing brunch place!

  4. Amy Ginther on February 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Jen, you are TOO easy! C’mon, after all our stroller banter…you had to know I was gonna give it to you! Didn’t your mom ever tell you… “Honey, when people pick on you it just means that they think you are really cool and they want to be like you.” 🙂 Ah, funny stuff! Sorry I made you sound like a materialisic stoller snob…SO FAR from the truth! XOXOXO

  5. Mom on February 4, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Great post Jen. So good to get the feel of the French. And I’ll never forget how you told off the women, in French no less, that were trying to cut me in line at a store when we were there a year or so ago. So I have no doubt that you can do the ‘french stare down’. You be one mean French woman! Love you!

  6. Jen on February 5, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Hey Jen~ Thanks for the encouragement on the tummy, I feel as big as a house! His due date is this coming Friday (Feb 8th) I am sooo physically ready…emotionally now that may be another story. What are the best emails for you and Justin so we can include you on when this boy arrives? Have you guys heard yet that Tim Bower is gonna be a daddy too?? We are all growing up. Hope all is well. I love reading your guys’ blogs and I wish we could see you guys too. Take care and know we keep you in our prayers.

  7. Mary E. DeMuth on February 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    Hey, Jen.

    Just a quick note to encourage you. This is the kind of voice in writing that gets published. Keep at it, girl.

    It’s just a matter of time!

    Mary DeMuth

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