You might ask yourself – why is this girl leaving our great nation to live in rural France? I mean the French – they’re nothing but a bunch of pansies! They take too much vacation, they openly criticize our government after we bailed them out of two wars, and, (the kicker*), they hate Americans.
Well, I can bore you with an explanation of why the French are a superior race, or I can give you four simple reasons for my ex-patriotism.
1. Cheese Addiction. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the French make 365 different kinds of cheese. To the average American who is torn between Swiss and Provolone for their turkey sandwich on rye, this can be quite overwhelming news. But to me, it is ecstasy. Imagine, it is your turn in line at the crémerie. The butcher is throwing you samples of tomme de savoie, goat cheese is melting like butter in your mouth, and you marvel at the mold growing on the blue cheese. You begin to think, what can I eat with this cheese? Surely, a baguette is the perfect companion, but what about jam? Salads? Pasta? Your mind begins to churn as your heart races, going through pizza recipes and noting the necessities. It all becomes too much. When the lady behind you begins to tap her foot impatiently, you make your choice and leave with the most perfect piece of fromage, neatly wrapped up in paper. Heaven.
2. Pennsylvania State Liquor Laws. Hands down the most ridiculous laws ever promulgated in the history of civilization. When I returned to the United States from France right after my twenty-first birthday wishing to put into use my new legal powers, I nearly fainted from horrification upon entering the local state store. Besides the intermingling of cheap wine and alcoholic juice that shouldn’t even be in the wine section, the prices of decent wine are just too expensive for a girl on a budget. Not to mention outrageously expensive liquor, and of course the total absence of beer. God forbid I have a question about anything, when I eye down the salesperson I realize this individual might not know the different between cabernet and pinot grigio. If this country and certain individual states are intending to ruin the pleasure of a glass of wine or a cocktail, they are doing a good job. In the comfort of France I will be surrounded by winos who will not judge a girl for wanting a quality glass of wine that won’t break the bank and tastes good too.
3. Unemployment Rate of 10+%. Yes, I went to college and graduated with a degree in Politics and French. Yes, daily people laugh in my face for the decision to study something so impractical. Do I care? No. I loved what I studied, I received a well-rounded education, and I had a great time. Of course, marketing a degree in language and culture study has been more challenging than I imagined (cut to me at my computer at 5am, erratically searching craiglist/monster/linkedin for entry level jobs, harassing various professionals via phone and email to look at my resume, contemplating sleeping in the chapel at Catholic to get brownie points from God). The fact of the matter is, I’d rather live in France for a year getting paid pennies to teach than live through one more moment of mortification in the job search. Not to mention, I’ll only be working four days a week. (I can hear my friends cringing in their cubicles).
4. Feminism. When I tell people I am moving to France, the number one thing they ask me is “oh are you going to find a French boy?” My response: “of course! My goal in life is travel around the world and fall hopelessly in love! I have already researched French trends in dating and marriage, and have five dates set-up for my first week there. Don’t worry about the whole misogynistic culture – I’m ready to surrender myself for a boy, just like Bella in New Moon! (yes, I do believe that although the Twilight saga is catchy it is the explanation for the downfall of society). My family and friends accept this about me, and are ready to say goodbye to me forever”. Usually, the interlocutor is now crying, and I haven’t even gotten to the fact that I will also be dipping into a pool of skinny, cigarette-smoking, greasy-haired, patriarchal males. But of course, this is all generalizations and speculation. The point is, I am going to France for a job people. Not a boy.
There ya have it, folks. Send questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org