I’m French Now

I’ve been high all day. Not on drugs, you heathens! On an experience.

This morning I went to Starbucks and while I was standing in line, two ladies a few feet in front of me were having a conversation with each other in another language. Was it French? I listened a little harder but I couldn’t really hear them that well–but it sounded like it could be French.

Oh, nope–not French.

Wait, yes it is. I think. 

Then they started to order and one of the ladies was talking to the barista but he couldn’t really understand her, so the other lady would translate. And then I heard the first lady say the French equivalent of “ummm,” and I knew immediately!

Yes, they are French! French people, Kristin!

They started to speak a little louder and I understood bits of their conversation.

Kristin, they are French! This is your chance! Talk to them!

Then the other Kristin that lives in my brain (the one who doesn’t want me to be great!) started trying to talk me out of it.

They’re strangers! You hate talking to strangers! You’ll freeze and forget every word. Don’t do it!

By this time, they had finished ordering and it was my turn.

Do it, hurry up! They’re going to leave!

Don’t do it!

Do it! Do it!

giphy-3

Guys, I was legit having a heated argument with myself in my head. It was too much. I finally just told Downer Kristin to shut it, walked over to them and said, “Bonjour! Vous êtes françaises? That’s “hi, are you French?”

And they were kind of shocked but in a good way, and they said, “Oui!” And I told them I was still learning French, I asked them where they were from (Toulouse and Paris), they asked me where I’m from, I told them that I had gone to Paris last December, we talked briefly about Atlanta, they told me that my French was very good and I didn’t have a strong accent (!!!), I told them about a couple of French restaurants in the area… This entire conversation was in French. The whole thing! I didn’t speak in English with them once!

I don’t know if it was Downer Kristin or Smart Kristin but one of me was like, Okay say goodbye, Kristin! Leave on a high note! Don’t fuck this up! 

I listened to whichever Kristin was telling me to wrap it up. Let’s face it–I had nearly exhausted my limited vocabulary by that point. I told them it was nice to meet them and goodbye (all in French!), and they said “Bonne Journée !”

I mean, could things have gone any smoother?! Even that bitch, Downer Kristin, was like…

giphy-4

I walked to my car like…

giphy-5

It was a good day. I’m still floating.

À la prochaîne !

Neroli

I just watched my first ever episode of Queer Eye, and I bawled my eyes out the whole time. I’m sort of ashamed of this–but not enough to keep it to myself. The guy they were transforming was just so down on himself. Think of the times you wake up and look in the mirror and think, ugh I look like shit today. Now imagine feeling like that every. single. day. That has to be devastating! But when the guys were done with him he felt so much better about himself and started making plans to re-enter a life he had checked out of… I mean, I challenge you to watch that episode and not cry maniacally too!

When I came home this evening, I spent two hours reading a French book. I know that sounds like I got a good ways into the book, but…nah, man. It was slow-going. It was funny, though, so it kept me interested. I read and read until my brain just couldn’t take anymore. And then I turned on the TV, which is when I decided to watch Queer Eye on Netflix. Now my brain and emotions are exhausted.

Then, guys…then, I started scrolling through Instagram and somehow ended up at an article about layering fragrances. And I read it excitedly. Recently I’ve become consumed with learning how to layer fragrances because I don’t want anyone to be able to wear my exact perfume. I just– I’ll share my french fries with you, but let me have something to myself, okay?!

I’m obsessed with neroli, kids. Obsessed. It started with Glossier’s Body Hero body wash. My friend accidentally signed up for the monthly delivery, so she gave me one of the extra bottles she had lying around and ohmygod. I’m addicted to it. I just looked up neroli so I could tell you guys which flower it comes from, and apparently it’s from the flowers of oranges. You learn something new every day! I can’t even describe the way it smells. Just fresh and feminine and floral. I drown myself in it daily. The scent doesn’t last that long after your shower, though, so I had to find something to add to it. Enter Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. It’s sooo delicious. I love it so much that I’m finding it difficult to find the perfect scent to mix with it to make my own secret signature scent. Something heavier? Fruitier? I don’t know! I’m frozen in fear of making a mistake, which is absurd because it’s only perfume. But I want to get it right!

You know how your mom or dad or someone else you’ve known forever has worn a perfume for like the last forty years and when you smell that scent anywhere, you instantly think of him or her?! I kind of want to be like that–but not totally. Because who wants to only wear one perfume for the rest of her life?! But..maybe I do? Making decisions is so hard, guys.

Go watch Queer Eye and tell me if you cry!

G’night!

The Bright Side

I feel like I’m flailing in my French fluency goal. I am studying every day (almost), but I don’t know if I’m getting anywhere. It’s difficult to know without tests of some sort. And there is also no plan. I guess I follow my study book chapter by chapter, so there’s that. But how do I test my improvement? How do I know if I’m really advancing? I still can’t understand most of my favorite French movie (Priceless). I understand some of the French YouTube fashion videos that I watch, but not enough to celebrate or anything. I’ve started increasing my listening time, and after about forty-five minutes my brain fights me every step of the way. After an hour, my brain is like

giphy-1

and I can’t cajole it back into submission. Maybe if I split up my listening sessions–one hour in the morning, one in the evening? I don’t know–it’s pretty annoying. IT’S MY BRAIN! It should listen to me! Understand this fucking language, brain!

giphy-2

I gave up sugar four days ago, so I’m taking everything a little harder than usual.

I bought a French decor magazine a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t know like seventy percent of the words in it. How is that even possible?! That’s probably my fault for limiting my French listening to Barbie and Caillou. Not the most sophisticated vocabulary, right? But…everything else is so hard to understand!

Today I hung out with my friend, Julie, who is French, and that helps a lot because I can understand her and when I can’t she explains things so that I can. It’s just bizarre to me that I can understand a lot of what she says, but everyone else is so difficult to decipher. Why won’t my brain stop betraying me? I’ve always been so good to it.

I should really switch the narrative and frame all of this in a more positive light, huh? I understand some French YouTube videos. I can talk with Julie in French. I can listen to forty-five minutes of French. I know thirty percent of the words in my French decor magazine. I can understand a lot of Caillou and Barbie en français. These are all things I couldn’t do a few years ago. Perhaps my brain is not betraying me. I mean–it is being stubborn…but then look who it belongs to.

Okay, yeah. I should learn to be more positive. That’s just really tough to do on your fourth day without sugar!

À bientôt !

Aesthetics & French

Guys! IKEA has black matte flatware now. Black. Matte. Flatware. All of my aesthetic dreams are coming true. How long have these been a thing and I’ve not known about them? I was watching this YouTube haul and they were one of things that Suzie bought. Love at first sight. So I went on the IKEA website to read the reviews, and they’re pretty good except that a few people say the black finish has started to rub or chip off, and that would really piss me off. So, I’m looking at reviews from other stores trying to find a set that holds up to wear because BLACK MATTE FLATWARE! I guess I should have known that these were a thing because a while back when I went to price refrigerators, black stainless steel fridges were making a splash.

Did I just say “making a splash”?

giphy-1

Anyway, for an hour today I’ve been working on French pronunciation and mouth and tongue placement. You have to really enunciate, practice in a mirror if possible, and do speaking exercises like just saying “oooo” or “eeeee” continuously. I’m home alone right now, and I’m still embarrassed. But what’s a little humiliation when trying to reach an important goal, right? What’s gonna be really embarrassing is if at the end of this year I’m still having to think about and translate everything I want to say in French. So…discomfort now. Happiness later!