Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Late Thanksgiving

We celebrated by having leftover daube (beef stew), leftover leek soup, cheese, and coffee hazelnut cookies. I was so excited about the cookies; I used a new recipe and roasted some hazelnuts that a friend gave me (thanks, Carole!) but I might have overdone it on the coffee. I kept adding it to the batter and thinking that it didn't taste coffee-ish enough. This led to a "Just how much coffee did you add to those cookies?!" discussion around 2 a.m. after listening to each other breathe for quite some time. Oh, well, live and learn. Those cookies came in useful this morning, though. They do have quite a kick to them.

I'm not sure how much this has been in the US news but 'tis the season for strikes in France. At times I marvel at the fact that the general public doesn't lose it completely against the people in those cushy government jobs, but as far as I can tell it's limited to snippy attitudes or a gallic shrug. Then again, I haven't exactly been active in getting outside the apartment lately so maybe there's a revolution abrewin' and I'm just unaware. At times it seems to me that there's a French gene that causes them to be overly resistant to government-instigated change, but that's an unfair characterization and I'm not sure that I can say they're wrong in this, either. On the other hand I'm sure the well-meaning people who thoughtfully proposed said change finds it to be a pain in the butt. Ahem.

I say this (because the above paragraph was solely intended as a segueway for my actual point) as there's recently been a very small proposal for household change which has met resistance from a certain civil servant and negotiations are currently at a standstill.

My sister and I were washing dishes in the kitchen when I skidded on the wet tile. Observing this not for the first time, my sister then queried why we didn't buy a non-skid kitchen rug. I thought that would be a brilliant idea and said so, when at that moment in sauntered the proletariat. "Mais NON!" he said, on his way to get his after-lunch coffee and chocolate and put the kibosh on my new dream.

What's the big deal about getting a kitchen rug? In hindsight, perhaps I should have tried better opening tactics in my negotiations with The Union of Husbands Against Microwaving Sponges and Buying Kitchen Rugs. Perhaps if I had offered to go through the closet, hunt for old clothing that unfortunately no longer makes it past my post-partum hips and tear them into strips in order to make one of those old pioneer rag rugs, he would have been agreeable to the idea. He's very good at saving centimes, this man, and it's a skill I generally appreciate.

However, I made the folly of asking him why we couldn't get a kitchen rug, and brandishing his square of Lindt milk chocolate like a miniature picket sign he informed me that kitchen rugs were DISGUSTING. My sister and I looked at each other. Exactly how are kitchen rugs disgusting, we asked. You may be wondering the same thing, so I'll tell you.

Me: How is a kitchen rug more disgusting than a bath mat? We have a bath mat.
Him: Yes, but you'd get onion peels stuck to the one in the kitchen. It's gross. Blech.
Me: Yes, but you can put them in the washing machine, you know.
Him: Yes, but you can do that with the bath mat and how often do you do that?
Me: (ignoring the jibe about the bath mat) So, what do French people do so they don't slip and bust their heads when they're washing dishes, then?
Him: They don't put water on the floor! We don't have a kitchen mat at home -- meaning at the in-laws' -- and there's never been a problem. Just don't put water on the floor!

There's a cultural tidbit I didn't know. French women were born knowing how to tie a scarf and they never put water on the floor, apparently. Perhaps I could have just bought a kitchen rug and tried very hard not to drop onion peels on it, or I could have pointed out that while it is true that there is a veritable lack of kitchen rugs at the homestead THEY ALSO HAVE A DISHWASHER and maybe THAT is the reason behind the lack of water on the floor, but I didn't. So, I'll just entertain myself with thoughts of moving the bathmat into the kitchen while he takes a shower, but I'm not really that mean. I love him dearly, even if he does baffle me at times.


Chris said...

That's the first time I've heard of someone being anti-bathmat!

Chris said...

kitchen mat, I mean

Deb said...

Happy late Thanksgiving to ya! Sounds like you had some yummy food.

Ah, the strikes. I think the end is in sight. Finally!

Antipodeesse said...

May I humbly suggest that you try to find a rug that exactly matches the floor tiles? Camouflage! He need never know!

the fabulous adventures of sarah said...

I'm going to our hometown for Xmas.
My normal 2 night, 3 day getaway.
I thought of you as soon as I found out.

Hugs from Maine!

Pardon My French said...

Chris: Yeah, me, too. It's really more anti-change and anti-spending money but I'll wear him down eventually. Maybe.

Deb: Thanks! The food was decent, although not especially fancy. One change about me is that I now will gladly eat leftovers whereas in the US I would just go out or order in.

Antipo: That is a brilliant idea! I have stopped mopping, so I'll just make sure to drop enough onion peels so that the rug goes unnoticed! Ah, I love a cunning plan...

Sarah: When will you be in? Maybe we can come visit you!

the fabulous adventures of sarah said...

That would be SO GREAT!!!

I'll be in Virgnina the 23rd [from about noon on], 24th, and morning of the 25th - when I fly back to Maine. I would of course LOVE LOVE LOVE to see you and your family!