Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ever heard of a thing called tact?

Fab's two sisters came to see me today. If there's one thing I can say about French women (or at least les bretonnes) is that they are not the people you want to turn to in times like this. Instead of commiserating with me, they pretty much told me to suck it up and move on. My friend Nathalie told me practically the same thing word for word last night, as did the only teacher I told.

It made me wonder if maybe they're just more conditioned to men who cheat? Like it's not seen to be as big of a betrayal as I'm making it out to be? What they can't seem to understand (or maybe I'm just not doing a good job of saying it in French) is that it's not just Fabrice I'm mourning - it's my whole life, or what I thought was going to be my life. I look around here and see things that I thought I'd always be seeing, and it pains me to think that none of this is mine anymore. Not that I guess I'd want it to be now. I really need to just get the hell out of dodge so I can stop looking at the broken remainders of my/our life. Thursday cannot come fast enough for me.



Blogger Ginger said...

I think that you may have something there ... so far as the "conditioning" comment/observation goes. I am American born but my mom's family is from Quimpers and Rennes. My bossy but loveable Grandmere (sorry, not punctuation keys on this American keyboard ! *lol* ) was a math teacher for decades at a lycee in Rennes. I spoke to her about your situation over dinner last night and she sad essentially the same thing ! Of course I stared as her in horror ... imagine ! This must be another (yeh, another ... hrmppph.) "American Thang". What gives me the chills is that my Breton has an eldest frere and two older soeurs .... hmmm ?

It was nice that they came to visit but I wonder sometimes about female solidarity ??? No criticism for their cad of a brother ? Amazing. What if this happened to one of them ? I'd love to hear the fall-out then !

The funny thing is that I understand from close friends (natives of Spain and Italy) that this is a common trait in the latin cultures ... the men run amuck and the women just "deal".

Viva the New World !!!


April 19, 2008 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Maybe they can't relate because they have no idea how much of your potential future you willingly alter to move to another country expressly to continue with a relationship. If their husbands cheated, not as much of their future - their life - would change.

April 19, 2008 at 6:17 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Well Sam, we are all here for you and will never tell you to 'suck it up'. Sorry you had to go through this. Hurry up and get to person and meet some nice people!

April 19, 2008 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

I meant to say hurry up and get to Paris... man I must be tired! Chin up, and try to smile.

April 19, 2008 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

Well, they have their way of dealing with things and you have yours. I understand what you mean, there is so much more to a breakup than just the relationship between the lovers, there is a lot of other crap to be sorted. Be sad, be mad, mourn your loss and grieve for what might have been. You will actually get over losing Fab faster than you will get over losing your life(as you know it now). It is hard, real f*cking hard and you will just have to eat the elephant sandwich one bite at a time.

April 19, 2008 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

I think once you're out of Dodge, things will get a little easier. At least, you won't have the constant reminders.

April 19, 2008 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger misschrisc said...

If it were a year or two from now I could see someone saying in a constructive, nice, friendly way "oksy hon, time to start thinking of moving on..." but dsying it this early is a little harsh.

I think I'd get hysterical and start screaming very loud "no I won't move ON...I will do what I want and take my DAMN TIME doing it!! NOW Get out of my face and get out of my life take your asshat brother with you!"

See that feels much better doesn't it.

April 20, 2008 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Patricia said...

You are doing the best thing by leaving - out of sight, out of mind! You are still so young and you will love Paris and have so many exciting adventures yet to come! They are a bunch of cold, hearted jerks. Also, be thankful this happened now and not after you got married - you can just leave and have a new wonderful life. Fab will be stuck there with her, it will be not as exciting and he will probably get tired of her and think, "What the hell did I do?!"
Take care!

April 20, 2008 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

I could NEVER imagine ANYONE saying something like that... But, I wonder if it's part of the culture and a way they console people... instead of being empathetic/sympathetic... they try to make you feel better by ignoring the fact that you are going through a very traumatic situation- to me, it's very similar to grief and mourning when someone dies. It's a huge ordeal, not something that you can just "suck up!" To me, suck up and deal with it... means that you should treat it as though nothing has happened and to just go on as though life is normal... When in fact, your life as you knew it was turned totally upside down, and it was because of someone else, not you!!! Maybe it's there way of not wanting youi to be sad, depressed and upset...and they want you to get over it as fast as possible so you can be happy again... Do they know what a jerky thing he did to you??? Seems like if they did, they would be bad mouthing him and telling you what an ass he is and that it's not worth your time being upset... But, I wouldn't plan on looking to them for any sort of understanding... Sorry you had to go through that with them... As Justin said, we are all hear for you... Can't wait to see you in June... Take care, Alex

April 20, 2008 at 2:43 AM  
Blogger parisiannewyorker said...

Hmm, I do think that in France there is much less of a sisterhood as there is in the US...I don't know, I would just never expect any of my Frenchie girlfriends to be very sympathetic (even though they are very nice and all, but still).

Then again, it is hard to imagine giving up part of your life - in the sense of your moving to France and having to adapt to another culture and language - especially if the other person has never done it before; it is something that is really unfathomable.

Oh, well. That's the problem with the cultural differences sometimes, and it can be really annoying. Just filter out all the unnecessary or unimportant things people tell you - in one ear and out the other.

April 20, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Texas Espresso said...

I'm sorry Sam - that was very insensitive and rude. I agree that its probably cultural, it does seem more acceptable to cheat on your significant other there. It also pisses me off when people who have never made such a huge relocation and change in their lives, act like they have all the answers. "just suck it up and move on" - yeah I'd like to see how quickly they suck it up after moving halfway around the world, adapt to a new culture and language.

I don't know if you want to keep relations up with these people, but maybe a nice break - "I just need some time away from you" would help. You have enough to deal with, you don't need them making it worse!

so sorry. hope Thurs comes very soon~

April 20, 2008 at 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as someone who has sucked it up and moved on all my life, i can tell you that sooner or later, it rises up and bites you on the ass.
do it your way, and tell them to STFU.

April 20, 2008 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

That is interesting Sam. I never thought about it but I guess it makes sense.
I don't think they are being insensitive and ignoring your misery. I think they are trying to "cheer you up" (understand:" get you to move ahead").
And I don't think it is about relativizing cheating, it is about putting your 2 feet on the ground, seeing what is actually shows you as being good: like "he was not the right guy for you". I hope I am being clear.
2 more points:
- I think they are indeed oblivious of the whole life aspect your heart break represents.
-French (latin) culture tends to be more roughhousing in a "I'll tell you how you should do" kind of way.

But I don't like when your readers comment on treating Fab with "noms d'oiseaux" or insulting French culture. You've got to see the broader picture here. Nothing is black or white.

P.S: I do empathize very much with you Sam, I feel for you. I am sure soon enough you'll be in a better place in your life

April 21, 2008 at 2:29 AM  
Blogger kim said...

Most of the couples I've known to split in this country did so because one of the members of the couple moved on to someone else. I only know of one breakup in my circle of contacts which was mutual without having anyone else in the picture, and it was a rather early-on relationship (meaning dating for a few months, not living together, etc.)

I think because of this French people just don't bat so much an eye to this kind of behavior.

Tell yourself though that if people are giving you such advice, it must go to show that they see you as someone strong who can take care of herself, can pick herself up and do something even better. It's a compliment; perhaps an awkward one, but a compliment none the less!

April 22, 2008 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

God. I would probably just snap and say something like "Your brother is an asshole and you are being a B****. get away from me before I smack you."

June 10, 2008 at 8:44 PM  

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