The Monarchy of Ice

Did you say your friends called you “La Baleine” when you were younger too?  Oh no?  Yes, me neither.  No way.  My friends used to call me “La Petite Reine.”  Yes, that’s right because my friends were future kings and queens and it was our inside joke. It was very meta.  Oh you didn’t know I come from royalty?  Well, yes.  I do.  I lived on a very small island off of Antarctica and our monarchy was formed in igloos.  My crown was made of ice.  My reign ended when the crown melted.

Alors.  I am feeling kind of lost my lovely reader.  I don’t mean to feel this state of “ennui” but I do.  I don’t quite speak French and it’s so difficult to understand.  I only get bits and pieces and this quite simply sometimes it isn’t enough.

I went out to sushi the other night with some members of my social circle and they were all speaking French.  They of course stop and translate in English for me, but I wish I could just keep up.  In my French class, I’m really gaining traction.  I will soon usurp the best student in the class and I will win French class.  When our French teacher asked us to speak French by asking one another questions, I was delighted.  First, I love asking people personal questions and two I like speaking French to Americans because they usually understand what I am saying and don’t correct my pronunciation (unlike my French friends who won’t just pretend I’ve said it correctly or change their pronunciation to something way less beautiful.  Gosh.  These friends.).

However, in real life, which is non-French class, I simply cannot keep up and I don’t know what the best strategy is.  Sometimes I just listen very intently (this usually involves looking down at the table and concentrating) and try to decode.  The last time I did this I said, “Aha! You are speaking about a car!  Someone’s car has something wrong with it!”  They turned and said, “Why yes!  We knew you were one of us.”  Well actually they turned and said, “Um? Were we?  Yes, actually, we were.  Nice work.”   Aha, French friends.  Soon, I will be one of you.

I also like to listen to Vincent’s phone conversations.  If he tries to leave the room, I pull on his pant leg so he has to stay and then I mouth, “I’m going to listen to your conversation” and then nod enthusiastically. This way I can “work on my French” while also “keeping an eye on Vincent and all foreign correspondence with his brother.”  I think I would make a good spy.  I just need to find the right cause.  

Anyway, the other day I said, “You were talking about Beyoncé!”  Vincent at first said, “No!” but then he was like, “Oh wait.  I was.”  This really isn’t that impressive because Beyoncé name is not actually in French–although it does have a beautiful accent aigu in it.  It is a proper noun. Oh well.  Still.  I was keeping up.  Sort of.

Stranger was, why was old Vincent talking about Beyoncé?  Is she going to sing at our wedding?  I hope so.  We have at least $120 in the budget for that.

Okay.  So, I will continue. The French are known for carrying on and I will be like them.  I’ must go now.  I have to write a letter to Antarctica asking them to please send back my ice scepter.  I don’t think that’s melted yet.



11 thoughts on “The Monarchy of Ice

  1. rossmurray1 says:

    This has been my life for the past 25 years. You get used to the public isolation. It’s very hermetic. In fact, the other day I was in a hospital waiting room with a very obnoxious family. They were speaking English. I really wished they hadn’t been;!it would have been much easier to tune them out. Courage!

      1. rossmurray1 says:

        I live on the Quebec border with Vermont, what’s called the Eastern Townships (in French, “les Cantons de l’est” and administratively “Estrie,” but that’s too ugly a word – je refuse!). Outside of Montreal, this is the most bilingual region in Quebec, and my town, Stanstead, is quite literally 50-50, with a lot of dual-language homes. However, it makes it too easy to speak English instead of forcing oneself to use French. (I’m originally from Nova Scotia.) Thus, my ignorant walk through life.

      2. Lex Leclerc says:

        Ah Je vois. That’s very interesting. I can see defaulting to English but I bet it’s nice to speak French if you want to. Merci pour ton comment(?). Bon journée!

  2. jmcadam says:

    Did you know that the Foreign Office named part of the British Antarctic Territory after the Queen as a Diamond Jubilee gift to her. They called it Queen Elizabeth Land. Terre Adélie territory is claimed by France as one of five districts of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. You could be the first queen.
    Just a thought. Who do we petition.


  3. jmcadam says:

    Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF)
    Rue Gabriel Dejean
    97410 Saint-Pierre
    I haven’t known alexis for very long: in fact I don’t know her but ……..
    Done. Practice answering to Highness.

  4. catonakite says:

    You’re such a funny bunny! Love this. And everything else on your blog. I’ve been stalking your struggles with French for quite a while now and you had me in splits on so many occasions. Vous êtes très drôle!

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