“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This oft-repeated mantra that is drilled into the heads of American children does not exist here in France. People here say what they mean, which most of the time is a refreshing change for me. There is none of the sugar-coating that exists everywhere in America; things are pretty straightforward here.
Lately I’ve been wishing that maybe the French weren’t quite so forthcoming. Little Miss Teen who was texting on her phone my entire class (despite being told over 5 times to put it away), I don’t care if you think my lesson is nulle. Employer, after entering your house from -6 degree Celsius weather to babysit on a Saturday night, is it really necessary to tell me I look like a bonhomme de neige in my puff coat? French friends, I don’t need you to quiz me on current events and world leaders and tease me relentlessly when I get the answer wrong.
I am the first to admit that I can be overly sensitive sometimes. Perhaps all this stuff is getting to me because I am anxiously counting the days until my trip back to California (13!). Right now I am just craving burritos, doughnuts, real coffee, and long-time friends and family who know when not to push my buttons!