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Day 315: Macaron Day Fail.

 Illustration by Charla Pettingill

Last week, the blogosphere was all abuzz about Macaron Day here in Paris. Per my understanding, Macaron Day is a day where select boulangeries give away these irresistible, pastel-colored, almond pastries to promote awareness and encourage donations for autism and other charities. Loving the idea behind this and excited about being in town for something as chou as Macaron Day, I sent a festive email to Zoé and Séb wishing them all the best on this festive day. 

Crickets chirping.

They had no idea what the hell I was talking about.

I must say, this doesn't surprise me that neither of them had ever heard of it. Non-natives always seem to know more about what's going on in town than the actual locals. I get it, when I lived in New York, I always relied on my friends who were from other states for fun city activities because they seemed to have their thumb on the pulse way more than I did. It's either that, or this day was clearly created for the expat community, because we seemed to be the only people who were aware of its existence.

While my wide ass hardly needs a free pastry, I still wanted to partake in the offering and donate the little that I had on me. Consulting the map of participating bakeries, I found one right in my neighborhood. On my way up to the north side of Paris to run an errand, I walked in to the participating boulangerie and disappointingly saw no signs of a celebration and/or giving away of anything, no less macarons. I guess I let my imagination run with this one where I thought there would be platters set out, conversation from the other enthusiasts and overall unabashed excitement about Macaron Day...2012! This wasn't the case and before I could quietly leave the bleak boulangerie, the baker had arrived from the back to take my order. I couldn't escape now and asked for a vanilla macaron. Upon handing it to me wrapped in a piece of parchment paper, she had requested 60 centimes - the cost of one. Oh, I wasn't expecting that but I assumed it was part of the donation? I fished for my wallet, but stopped myself as I saw this as an opportunity to articulate myself in French, something that I shy away from when in the company of strangers or authority figures. I lowered my wallet into my purse and politely explained the details of Macaron Day. 

There was silence. The woman looked at me like I was about to hold the place up.

We stood there staring at each other, me holding the vanilla macaron that was starting to crumble and her, looking at me like I was out of my mind. "Gratuit, mademoiselle?" she asked me in complete confusion while widening her ancient eyes at me. Okay, defeat accepted, there is no Macaron Day, there never was and never will be. I placed a euro on the counter and hightailed out of there, feeling like well, an asshole.

Eating the remains of my crumbled pastry on the street, I considered checking out the other "participating bakeries" to see if I'd have better luck, but since I was heading up to the less than scenic Porte de Clignancourt, I just had a hunch that the boulangeries and patisseries in this neck of the woods would also not be basking in the glory and jubilation that is Macaron Day.

After a long afternoon in the more festive part of Paris, I returned to my chambre de bonne to find that everyone was atwitter (literally) with their macaron experience. This was when when my phone rang. It was from Séb calling from work, who enthusiastically wanted to know what flavor I had chosen in observance of Macaron Day. In one frantic breath, I told him that I had selected vanilla, it had crumbled in my hands and half of it was left on the floor of the bakery, I tried to explain "Macaron Day" to a 90 year old French woman with my stupid American accent, while simultaneously fumbling for my pièces in my purse so I could just pay her, I couldn't make my little donation because I just wanted to get out of there because I felt dumb and couldn't go to another one because I was heading to Porte de Clignancourt. Respire! 

"Wait, I don't understand, you went to Porte de Clignancourt for Macaron Day?" was the only thing he could gather from my hysteria.

Not impressed with my Macaron Day, feeling disappointed with myself, my PMS being in full hormonal swing, and my apartment hitting Grey Gardens status, I had to just get off the phone and told him that I'd see him later.

Although we both know it wasn't the point of the event, but that night he surprised me with a dainty box from Ladurée filled with intact and non-crumbled goodies in colors of magenta, rose, mint green, creamy yellow and baby blue. "They weren't celebrating Macaron Day at Ladurée either, don't worry, it wasn't just you," he said while waving the box of fancy French delights under my nose, that once again, my lumpy ass certainly does not need. 

I'm glad that everyone else enjoyed their Macaron Day and were able to partake in such a good cause. Perhaps I'll have better luck next year? But really, was there something that I missed? Did I not read the website correctly? Perhaps there was some fine print that read that I had to bring an egg like in that 90210 episode before being granted my free macaron...?

Either way, Happy Macaron Day!

18 comments:

  1. Ahah!! I had read your post on the morning of "Macaron Day"... so I emailed my bf saying "Happy Macaron Day" due to your post... and then high-tailed MY wide, lumpy ass to the boulangeries here in Grenoble so see if they were doing it Parisian style.. and then... nada. I figured it's because I'm in the capital of the Alpes, not the capital of Macarons.. but even you had the same experience, in Paris! Mwaha!

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    1. Did you ask them if they were participating and got shut down like me too?!? Or you just accepted defeat once you didn't see the "celebration" happening?

      I'm sure this experience was totally my fault because everyone else seemed to make out like bandits!

      Oh well..there's always next year, right?

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  2. i went. it was pretty uneventful. your text that you sent me after you tried cracked me up. i was laughing all afternoon. and i agree. i think it's a holiday for tourists and expats. i'd much rather say happy spring then happy macaron day to people!

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    1. hehehe, glad I made you laugh. It was a pretty dry text. I wasn't impressed...

      When you went, were the "macs" set out or did you have to ask...or was there a secret handshake that I forgot to do?!

      Yes, I prefer Happy Spring (or rather, Happy Summer! It's toasty up in here) as well. : )

      Btw...I'm still shaken up by your story at Les Halles...how are you doing?

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  3. What a terrible experience! I skipped Macaron Day, because only one boulangerie in our town participated in the event. The website listed all the participating bakeries in each city and I presume only the touristy, aka money pits, join in on the celebration.

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    1. LOL..."the celebration". I'm sure you missed out on quite a rager. ; )

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  4. hahahahahahahaha!!! Yes, the blogger community was ALL abuzz about Macaron Day.

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    1. LOL, I didn't mean that to come out bitchy, but it's true, there was much buzz! That's how I found out about it.

      Thank god for the b-community otherwise I'd be going to the same places over and over. They all inspire me to get out of the house! : )

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  5. I think you did go to the wrong place! Only you!

    Love this post!

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    1. Oh please, I'm almost positive I went to the wrong place. It's typical "me". : )

      And thank you, Rachel.

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  6. Sad that you didn't get a free macaron! But at least you can have a macaron. And you have an amazing boyfriend who gifts them to you, which is a perfect way to celebrate macaron day.

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    1. Yes, it wasn't the experience I thought it would be, but you're so right, at least I got to eat one or seven "macs" on Macaron Day...in a lovely mint green box! So Antoinette.

      How are you doing, Miss? Are you missing the FBF? : ) When are you coming back to France?

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  7. Seb is such a darling! How cute! Good on him for saving your Macaroon Day.

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    1. Like for reals. I was pretty jazzed when he come over with these little guys. I really wasn't expecting it. He is constantly surprising me! : )

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  8. You must take a cue from Amy Thomas (Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)):

    http://godiloveparis.blogspot.com/2010/03/47-macarons-later.html

    :)))

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    1. Thanks for this link Duchess! I should have read it beforehand! It looks like she's got M Day DOWN!

      Okay, It's official...I'm consulting this next year to echo her experience.

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  9. I love your blog! You make me want to live life in Paris even if it isn't always peaches and roses! You're amazing. Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you so much Nicole..and welcome! :)

      I'm glad that you're enjoying my blog. I try to portray all sides of Paris; la vie en rose et la vie dans la merde! Because just like any other city, you take the good with the bad, so I'm pleased that you appreciate that, because not everyone does! : )

      Again, thank you for your super kind comment. ::blush::

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