Today I asked my daughter to tell me what it felt like to have an English mother when she was growing up. To my amazement she came back with the drawbacks.
“Well, there were the clothes and the I-don’t-care-about-appearances approach to dressing.”
I had flashback of her aged four:
“Non, Maman. C’est pas joli, ca.” (You can’t go out like that. You look bloody terrible.)
“And there were huge gaps in my popular (French) culture. I was the only one in my class who hadn’t heard of ‘La Grande Vadrouille’ and ‘La Boum.’ And I hadn’t even heard of Jacques Brel.”
Both cult films, La Grande Vadrouille is an exhausting, slap-stick comedy set during the Nazi Occupation, with Louis de Funès and and André Bourvil (widely believed to be the funniest men in French history) and La Boum is a coming of age film with Sophie Marceau slow dancing endlessly to bad French pop music. And as for Jacques Brel, over my dead body were we going to listen to that sniveling, misogynist…Belgian.
Then she added:
“But when everyone eventually discovered The Clash and Bob Marley, I knew all their songs off by heart.”
“So it was ok then?”
“Yeah. It was ok.”