Don't look

There is an unspoken rule in Paris and it goes a little something like this -
If a Parisianer does not make eye contact with you, then whatever wrong they have just committed doesn't count.
Want to test the theory?
Rent a car and drive in Paris.
In the States, if you need to change lanes, you put the blinker on and then merge. If there is heavy traffic you may in fact roll down your window, signal that you would like to merge in front of them and then offer a friendly wave of thanks.
However, if you are in Paris, they make no eye contact whatsoever and move over. If they have just cut you off and are now stuck in front of multiple lanes of traffic that can't pass them, including you, they just look straight ahead. Horns blaring they pay no attention, they just look straight ahead. I have never seen grown adults do such in my life! Sometimes I play by the rules (when I'm by myself) and other times I roll down the back window and allow Aidan to wave us in the lane that we need with sister Jaylee throwing a wave of thanks up for good measure.
In the car, this is met with a smile in the rear view mirror, in person the children are looked at as simply an obstacle or a source of distraction as they make their move.
Today after school the kids and I ran into Monoprix, this my friends is NEVER a good time to take children to the store in Paris, but I did it.
At the check out I notice a Granny looking very disgusted at the massive lines as she shuffles from line to line to see who has the least amount of purchases. Please note, there is a line especially for the elderly and handicap, but apparently they find it completely offensive to have a line all to themselves, so they torture the rest of us. There is also a line of 10 or less items, but that's overrated too.
So Granny, most likely 75-79, is shuffling from line to line in her hot pink suede kitten heels complete with back seam sheer black stockings. As she passes me I turn to get a bag and then the next thing I know I look up and kitten heel wearing Granny is in FRONT of my cart! I ask Jaylee if she saw her do it.
Jaylee says, "Yes, mom, but you're not supposed to say that out loud!"
Granny, is not turning and now she is making small talk with the lady in front of her and neither of them are looking at me. I am staring a hole in the back of her head. At this point I push the cart closer to her and mind you Aidan is inside the cart just biting at the bit to unload the goods. She still makes not a flinch to turn around with English yelling, cowboy boot wearing Aidan on her neck.
Now she is at the end of the counter bagging her purchase and smiling at the cashier and making NO eye contact. Not a small wavier of apology or thank you for not calling her out in front of the entire store (reason #181 I wish my French was better, because I would have tapped her on the shoulder and told her it would be my pleasure for her to cut in line and please enjoy the rest of your day, of course all said with a devilish smile).
But, no, nothing was said, just the classic game of, "If I don't look, it doesn't count".


Kerrie said...

Peggy, I am going to be very honest right now and tell you I would have gone postal by now. There is not enough wine in all of Pairs to not kick the crap out of old Frenchie ass. Also I am pretty sure those pretty pink kitten heels would have a nice black mark in them after I accidentally rammed her with my Aidan driven cart. Forget the tongue lashing, physical damage, i.e. a limp from a shopping cart,is a universal language!

Peggy Rice said...

Now, you see why I have violent visions?;-)

Mary said...

I agree with Kerrie....up to a point. A well place elbow, move Aidan within cart grabbing distance, or let Miss J do the "disgusting face/spit"
Next time do the French "donotlook" & move her aside.

Ksam said...

If it makes you feel any better, even your French was better and you could've called her out, she would have denied cutting in line with all of her being.

I used to tell myself that to in the beginning - that once my French was good enough, those people would be going DOWN! But now it is, and it hasn't changed one thing. They just insist they were there before you, and asking the others around you to back you up will only result in them looking away and pretending you aren't there. :/