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!


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…


I walked to my car like…


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

À la prochaîne !

My For-Real, For-Real New Year’s Resolution

C’est presque la nouvelle année !

It’s almost the new year, kids!  I have a ton of New Year’s resolutions that I’m probably going to forget about around January 15th, but…BUT…there is one that I’m really going to keep. I’m going to speak French so well that I don’t have to think about/translate every single word I say.

You see how I’m just spitting out words right now with no thought and no hesitation and I’m just talking and talking and I could go on and on and on about my new reed diffuser or how my car got scratched or that I lost about thirteen Chapsticks this year? That’s how I want to be with French. But less annoying and more interesting, obviously. And even if it takes me all the way to December 31, 2019, I will succeed!

Right now when I have to form a complete French sentence
Me forming complete French sentences by the end of the year

Soyez prêt !

I hope you all have a great New Year’s Eve, whatever that means for you! And for the love of God, don’t all of you descend upon my gym on January 1st and take all of the treadmills, mmkay? I already don’t want to be there, and I ain’t waiting 45 minutes. I’d just give up and go home to eat croissants. Don’t do that to ya girl!

Bisous !

Snowy Vacations

Every single day for the last two weeks I’ve heard someone going on and on about Stranger Things. That it’s so great. That it’s so amazing. That I have to watch it. Look, I watched it. I didn’t love it. Kanye shrug.

I will, however, admit that I’ve been egregiously mistaken about Game of Thrones. HOW HAVE I BEEN SO WRONG?! I was forced to watch the first season, and two episodes in I was hooked. I’m a convert. No matter how late it is when I get home, I have to watch at least one episode.

So… Stranger Things–meh. Game of Thrones–yes. And the jury is still out on the new Frank Ocean. I’m leaning toward yes, but can’t commit yet.

It has just now occurred to me that maybe you don’t care what I think about any of those things?

Here’s something else…

I’m saving for a winter vacation. Don’t know where yet. But definitely somewhere cold and snowy where I can make snow angels during the day and burrow under thick, soft blankets at night. Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Add snowboarding, hot chocolate, marshmallows, wine, and a Scrabble board and now we’ve got a party. A pretty tame party, but still–my kind! Also, old school Chucky movies. Because it’s not winter until you watch a Chucky movie, am I right?

I know I am.

Anyway, this vacation is my top savings priority (also my robot vacuum–lest we forget).  Gonna be eating a lot of rice & beans dinners and driving sadly past Starbucks without stopping during the day. It’s okay. I’m up for it.

Originally Published 4/17/14

Today for lunch, I went to the food trucks on Howell Mill Road for the first time. I know, I know–what took me so long? I don’t know how to answer that. I guess I only learned about them a few months ago (cue Jay-Z’s “It’s a Hard Knock Life“) and am just getting around to checking them out.

I don’t know what it is about food trucks that excite me so much. Obviously, there’s the abundance of tasty food jammed into one small area, but it’s more than that. I think it reminds me of the best parts of my childhood. Block parties. Summers. Chicago (before Chicago was a hotbed of gang activity). I’m not exactly certain what it is–food trucks just make me happy. So when we pulled up to the parking lot partially-paved, gravelly, dilapidated area where other cars were parked, I became… Giddy? Maybe tickled pink? No–thrilled.

All of the above. It was just so exciting! Straightaway, I cursed myself for not bringing my camera. There were picnic tables all around and signs with pretty, swooshy handwriting. Braniacs and showoffs might refer to it as cursive. Whatever. There were about six, maybe eight, trucks. Meatballs, barbecue, and other things I didn’t give two craps about. I’m not really a meat person. Then, to my left, I saw this big, blue (my favorite color) truck. And do you know what they were selling? Crepes! Oh yeah. That’s right. Delicious, sweet, warm, creamy, comforting, stress-numbing… I may be drifting into a weird place here. What I’m trying to say is… Crepes, yo!

Aside from the lip-smacking deliciousness of crepes, I’m also kind of obsessed with them because I’m merely consumed with all things French. Dems just the cold, hard facts for me these days. And as such, this will come as no surprise to you–I chose the crepes.

Crepes Suzette (the crêperie, obviously) had a tempting assortment of sweet crepes, but I’m trying to run a 10K and to stop being so jiggly. With those things in mind, I thought it best to forgo all the sugar and choose a savory crepe. I settled on the Alpine crepe, which is simply spinach and goat cheese.

The friendly lady in the truck took our orders and told us that her “Papa” would be back in a moment. He takes the money. No problem. We wait for a few minutes, and she was right–Papa came back. And guess what? Papa had a French accent!

OH EM GEEE, I thought! Here’s my chance to practice my French skills! Ask him which part of France he’s from! Okay, here goes… Wait, how do you say that in French? D’ou venez-vous. No! That’s where are you from’! I know he’s from France! How do I say it?! Où en France… Laquelle… Quel… Oh my God, HOW DO I SAY IT?!!! DEAR GOD, WHY HAVE THOU FORSAKEN ME?!

I may have an inclination toward the dramatic sometimes.

I drew a complete blank. Actually, I don’t think I can even call it a blank because I still don’t know how to say it. There’s just a big hole in my conversational abilities. I never even thought of learning “Where in ___ are you from?” Now that I have my wits about me, I guess “Where are you from?” works just fine.  Jeez, what is wrong with me? Le sigh.

I gave him the money and settled for a “merci beaucoup” in my best French accent. I could tell he appreciated it, which only made me feel worse for not being able to communicate with him in his native language. I skulked away like a dirty, rotten language failure.

I started to eat my crepe. ‘Twas delectable, by the way. I watched my could-be French friend and thought about other things I could say to him. There had to be something that I could recall.

Maybe I should just leave it alone? He’ll probably think I’m a freak. Just leave it alone, Kristin.

Well, if I could leave well enough alone, I wouldn’t have so many ridiculous things to write about, would I? After I finished my crepe I walked right up to that truck, knocked on the window, and when Papa answered, I said, “Tes crêpes sont delicieuses!

And he very graciously laughed and replied, “Merci beaucoup! Tu es très sympa!” He was so friendly about it! I was happy that I risked looking stupid.

I came, I spoke French, I conquered! It was time to say goodbye!

Ok, here goes… Wait, how do I say goodbye? À bientôt! No! That’s ‘see you soon!’ I’m not gonna see him soon! À plus tard! Nope, not gonna see him later. Everyone in the free world knows how to say goodbye in French! Why can’t I remember it?! DEAR GOD, WHY HAVE THOU FORSAKEN ME?!!

I truly couldn’t think of it. I had to settle for frantically waving goodbye like an idiot.

I think we can take away a couple of things from my afternoon:

1. If I had gotten the nutella crepe, the creamy, chocolatey sweetness would have melted away all the anxiety I felt about speaking French, and I wouldn’t have looked like a freak.

2. When teachers tell you “practice, practice, practice” they’re not just trying to fuck up your weekend.

3. NEVER pass up a nutella crepe.

4. And lastly, if you’re in Atlanta, go to Crêpe Suzette and get you some!

Au revoir (oh, now I think of it),