Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Surreal moment # 131

Today was definitely one of those days where I felt like I'd been plopped right down in the middle of "The Nanny Diaries". I went to pick up the little boy after school today, and had to laugh to myself. There we were, a motley crew of nounous from all over the world, waiting outside a fancy school to pick up our little bourgeois charges. As the kids came out the door, you could here a million different languages all at once. And then we all filed off down the street to the park, in the hopes of tiring them out as much as possible before bed time.

The rest of the nounous split off in their various groups, but since it was my first time, I just sat on a bench alone, reading Newsweek and eavesdropping on the bourge mamans sitting behind me. They were talking about a new purse that was about to come out, that was so cool that they didn't even put a logo on it. One of the mothers had gotten one through her connections, and they were all fawning over it, and raving about the price - "only" 5,000€ since the créateur liked to sell straight to his clients instead of going through a middleman. Apparently she was able to procure one before anyone else because she was not chiante, unlike most of his other clients, namely Americans (said in a hushed voice).

And once again, I sat there thinking "My God, how did I ever end up here??"

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16 Comments:

Blogger Rebecca said...

Oh, God. That is surreal at its worst.

June 17, 2008 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger poppy fields said...

You HAVE to write a story about this.

June 17, 2008 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger The Late Bloomer said...

OMG, 5,000€ ?? Seriously, that IS surreal... And it boggles my mind to think that there really are women out there talking like that...

June 17, 2008 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

Late Bloomer- According to the Sex and the City movie that's how women do talk. Um...not in my world! The conversation goes more like 'who the hell would ever pay 5 grand for a bag?!'.

June 18, 2008 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Leesa said...

HOLY SHIT!!!! Pardon my French, please!! I thought that a prade, D&B, or Coach hand bag cost enough!!! But, 5000 euros!! OMG!!! Where do they get the money for that????!!!! YIIIIIKKKEEEEEESSS!!!!

June 18, 2008 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger BurkinaMom said...

I just did a quick calculation- an average Burkinabé person would have to work for nearly 30 years to pay for one of those bags. That's a lifetime of work here in a country where the average life expectancy is 51 years.
It's really quite sickening.
And as a French/American citizen, I am pretty sick of stupid people trash-talking other nationalities. All it does is show what idiots they are.
Just ignore them Sam. You DO belong! THEY are the ones living in a sick fantasy land where a lifetime of work can barely buy a nice enough handbag to suit them.

June 18, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Blogger Alisa said...

at least the school year's almost over! :)

June 18, 2008 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger PAULINE said...

@ The Late Blommer: If you haven't heard things like this before then you haven't met my French MIL.

Just to get things straight I really do like my MIL but she is obviously living on another planet from me. Full-time housekeeper, huge house, designer clothes, shoes and handbags, she never even washes her own hair she goes to the hairdresser for this, personal trainer, Cellule M6 treaments (for your cellulite dear !) . . . the list could go on. She has no idea how husband and I and can live in so little and we both have good ‘Parisian Cadre’ salaries ! We call her the handbag queen as she just has to have the latest designs by Chloé or whoever. Lots of keeping up with the Jones in these circles, it’s all very superficial

Lots of people live like this. . .I say lucky for them that money is no question (it does make life simpler) but I can guarantee you that it doesn’t make them happier people.

The advantage of a MIL like this is that she buys me, husband and our son fantastic presents and I get to borrow her clothes (she has excellent taste) for weddings etc. .and even better she lives 800kms away.

So Sam welcome to how the other half live !
!

June 18, 2008 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Haha, Sam, those aren't even the richest moms because what are they doing with their kids at the park? Don't they have help that could do that for them? (Maybe they're only there for their weekly one-upping each other.)

I always feel like a weirdo at the parks in Paris, though usually it's because I'm actually playing with the children (gasp!). This truly gets me the strangest looks from Parisian parents.

June 18, 2008 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

what does chiante mean?

here in d.c. all the nannies are brown.

i have a friend who is puerto rican, olive skinned, whose own baby was blonde and hazel eyed. everybody asked her if she was the nanny. it happens all the time to mothers of even slightly paler babies.

June 18, 2008 at 5:30 PM  
Blogger parisiannewyorker said...

Alas....as someone who works in the luxury womenswear market, I must say that there are quite a lot of women like that (and we target them all, haha - evil laugh).

At one of the places I worked at in Paris, a young socialite came into the boutique and apparently dropped 11,000 euros on clothes and shoes. The news spread around the studio like wildfire (the salesladies actually CALLED us to tell us)....I'm pretty sure the socialite totally guaranteed that year's earnings or whatever. At the other place I worked at, at certain times of the year there would be huge limos lined up in front of the boutique (a lot of them with Arab licence plates, go figure). I assume that the women would spend quite a bit of money as well....In general, the rich Arab women would spend a ton of money on shoes and bags, but wouldn't buy any clothes.

BTW, I'm not sure, but I believe a Birkin bag goes for way more than 5000 euros.

June 18, 2008 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Expat Traveler said...

What lovely insider info!

June 19, 2008 at 3:54 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

'chiante' is a lovely French word which means annoying. for a guy you'd say 'chiant'. It comes from the verb Chier: to sh*t

June 19, 2008 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

do people like that even exist? lol...I thought they were just in the movies!

P.S. How did you like SATC? I saw it in VO in Lille and loved it...made me nostalgic and kinda homesick though considering I spent the better part of my university years on my couch with roommates watching SATC episodes..

Enjoy your stress free summer and I envy that you are finally done "waiting"...I hope to be at that point really soon :)

June 19, 2008 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

The rich are just so open to having the piss taken out of them. Run up a bag for a couple of hundred euros, spread a rumour, flatter - which will get you everywhere... and flog it for 20 times the price.

Suckers...

June 19, 2008 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger A Seattleite in Paris said...

"only 5k", it must be nice...

June 19, 2008 at 10:15 PM  

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