Day 226: Make an Adult Christmas Classic.

When the going gets rough...
..the rough looks for Pear Williams.

'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house...ok, my story is a little dirtier than this classic but because it's Christmas Eve, I thought I'd flashback to my favorite adult holiday story, à la Mlle. you can only imagine.

Warning: Not to be read to children. 

(Originally posted in October) 

Picture it. A Parisian suburb. Christmas Eve dinner. 2009. 

Getting old comes with new problems or 'kinks' as my mother calls them, one being my newly-discovered allergy to beets. I had eaten some the day before Christmas Eve unknowingly and woke up the following day looking like prociutto di parma. My skin was red, raw, itchy and peeling. I called Monsieur Flâneur who was already out at his grandparents and told him that I had eaten something weird (not knowing the word for beet) and that I was going to look a little "raw" at dinner. "C'est pas grave!" he said blowing off my concern and just wanting to know which train I was going to take out to Chaville. At the time, he was madly in love with me so I could do no wrong or look ugly because I was "perfect" - funny how quickly things changed.

Trying to cover up my red face with pounds of mineral powder that was doing nothing short of making me look sick, I sucked it up and headed to the métro for my first Christmas in France. He picked me up at the RER station in Chaville and since it was dark out, he didn't see the severity of my face. "Ça va." he said while giving me a kiss on the nose. Okay, ça va, maybe it wasn't so bad. Due to the fact that we were running late, we arrived at his grandmother's house and went straight to the table where the family was waiting for us to eat. Under the light of the dining room, my creepy face was revealed. His grandmother got up to take my coat and looked at me as if Freddie Kruger had come to dinner and out of politeness asked if I was alright while inching back in what I assumed was pure fear.

Before taking my seat, I announced to the table, "Je suis allergique aux 'beets'". There was dead silence as his grandmother, grandfather, father, mother, cousins, aunts and uncles looked at me. "Chérie, pourquoi t'as dit ça?", MF asked me wondering why I would say such a thing with intense concern, his eyes turning black as he looked into me. Confused, I brushed it off and continued, "T'étais là quand j'ai mangé des 'beets'. Tu te souviens pas?" His eyes widened and his little cousin spit out his Coca upon hearing me say this. 

Let's take a few steps back for my non-Francophone readers. When I don't know a word in French, I'll sub it with a word in English and just say it with a French accent. Nine out of ten times, this method is quite effective, but not this night because the word for beets (what I know now and will never forget as long as I live) is betterave and the word beet when said with a French accent is slang for penis. I announced to his entire family that I am allergic to cock and that my boyfriend, their son was present while I was eating it. Oh yes, this in fact happened.

"Americans are out of their minds!" his grandfather said jovially with a full mouth of salmon fume. "Oh là là, desolé mon fils! Tant pis pour toi!" MF's father said consoling his son over the fact that his girlfriend was allergic to his penis. Fortunately for me, his family is cool and they broke out into laughter once they realized that I had made a mistake (to say the very least) and more importantly wasn't disrespecting them. His little cousins spent the better part of the night chanting; "Je suis allergique aux bites! Je suis allergique aux bites!" using me as their excuse to scream profanities while playing with their new toys. 

I never fully lived down that story but it has turned into an instant holiday classic...on both sides of the pond.

Joyeux Noël à tous!


  1. Ha a I love this story! Just catching up on your blog now since I have dodgy internet access this side of the pond. Glad your journey was a lot smoother this year too! Merry Christmas!

  2. This is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time, so glad I found your blog!

  3. Such a funny story! The first time I studied abroad, one of my friends said to her French host family at the dinner table: "Il n’y a pas beaucoup de préservatifs dans la cuisine française." They busted up laughing, and she had to go look up the word before she figured out why she sounded ridiculous. But, none of us EVER forgot what that word meant. Best way to learn I suppose:)

  4. "Je suis allergique aux bites!" Moi aussi! ;-) Happy Holidays.