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chasing skirt.



Illustration via Real Simple by Aimee Miller

Summer is just about here -- well, summer to the best of Paris' ability, which means cool and sunny warmish days, spotted with the occasional scorching hot day. Paris doesn't exactly "do" summer and boast the humid east coast summers I grew up with, nor the dry, desert, temperature-soaring west coast summers that I had familiarized myself with in my early 20s. But who's complaining here? Not me. It's not raining and I'm not forced to wear my wool toggle coat, so consider me a happy gal.

What comes with warm weather comes the shorts, summer dresses, skorts, and maxi dresses fashioning lighter fabrics, brighter colors and bare legs. Something I have noticed here is that the few times a year my legs get a little "air time" with a modest above-the-knee skirt or worse, when I wear a pair of yoga pants out and about, you'd think I was wearing a metallic g-string with matching tassel pasties based on some of the reactions I've gotten on the street. Some of the men here are just animals, and the slightest bit of skin or form-fitting garment causes them to pant like puppies in their prime. I have to say, it's worse here than I have seen in LA or New York, and that's saying a mouthful. I had one creepy guy go as far as to stop me on the street to tell me he had been waiting for me all day, which was followed by an evil laugh (think: muwhahahaha) once he saw the confusion cross my face. 

Last Thursday, taking advantage of these lovely, mild days as vacation looms on the Parisian horizon, I was invited to attend the private sales at the haute boutiques on the fancy shmancy rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. This late-spring fête offered servers passing along trays of champagne and mini sandwhiches, bossa nova was streaming from store to store while shopping (or in my case, looking at) freshly marked-down items. Arriving at 7pm, I had no choice but to come directly from work and showed up for my little French taters that afternoon in a structured ballerina-shaped mint green tank dress, my white Repetto jazz shoes and a striped vintage Missoni cardigan.

While at work, my little ones who have only really seen me in leggings, work jeans and long sweaters took notice to my cotton candy ensemble and during a vocabulary game that I created called "big ball/little ball", they decided to chase after me, Madame Barbe à Papa. There's something about having a pack of three-year-old French boys charging towards you, ready to pounce, screaming "À l'attaque! À l'attaque!" that is beyond terrifying. When they're that small and compact, they're fast and grab you in vulnerable spots like your ankles.

Franck, precious, precious, sweet, chocolate-covered Franck took the attack as a perfect opportunity to lift my skirt to see what was underneath. Being the ringleader of the group, this incited a riot of tiny monsters with their little, dirty, marker-stained hands trying to snatch me from under my skirt. À l'attaque, indeed.

Having grown up with all boys, I was one step ahead of the game that morning when selecting my undergarments. Being behind on laundry, the choice was either a fuchsia lace thong or a pair of white briefs that I had washed a few years ago with the detergent that is made only for black clothing, and after several washes were now stained a spotty brown. Hotsy-totsy or poopy-esque? Oh, the choices. Not at all foreshadowing these turn of events, but also not wanting to go Letourneau in the event a prolific gust of wind should happen, I went for icky brown.

The attack lasted no longer than a few minutes, forcing me to reprimand them in French. When the parents arrived an hour later, the kids had nothing to report other than they had seen my culottes and that they were brown and poopy. I was mortified. Just mortified. While one of the fathers looked completely embarrassed and directed his eyes to the window to look at absolutely nothing, one of the mothers was proud that her son was expressing his sexuality (yes, direct quote) and another father said that his son's mother doesn't usually dress like how I was dressed so it was a natural reaction to see what was under the skirt. 

What. The Fuck. So now it was my fault? I was asking for it?!

Regardless of the weather, I have since returned to my usual uniform of leggings and long shirts with the brown panty incident never to be spoken of again, despite one of the father's "rational" explanation. They say that kids have select memories in regards to their childhood, and I pray that this isn't one that sticks with them. Because seriously, poopy undies? God help them.

20 comments:

  1. hi..pretty sure we all have a pair of those brown panties in the back of the drawer.

    very Carrie Bradshaw outfit...on the outside anyway..LOL

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    1. Carrie had some guy underwear, remember?:)

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    2. Everyone has their emergency fugly panties, but most people wear them with pants so they don't get exposed! I learned my lesson...do my laundry more often!

      The outfit had a touch of Carrie especially with my frizzy hair! Have a nice weekend, ladies!

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  2. at first i was going to comment and say that i love the white jazz shoes. then of course your fab outfit all around. (clearly i'm over commenting on the shit paris weather!)

    but i must say... the parent's reactions are just OOC. of course there are no apologies that their children were brats... but it's because of the outfit you chose to wear... what gives? i mean... honestly.

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    1. This weather is played out. I feel like such a yenta because I'm always complaining about it, but seriously...it's going to be July, we should NOT be wearing winter coats!

      Hahahah the parents are nuts. Yes, it was my fault for dressing like a hooker to school. Too funny...

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  3. AnonymousJune 11, 2013

    Your outfit sounds so lovely! I can't believe I walked in jeans and boots today- it was scorching! Those kids.. wow! Not sure who's more eyebrow-raising, the kids or the 'rents! Glad you made it out in once piece and I hope you had a great time at the fancy fête !

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    1. The parents are crazy! I actually have a lot of fun with them. They're not that much older than me which makes me feel so behind in life professionally! Ah, tis the life of an expat, eh?

      The cold weather came back to Paris yesterday, we were all in winter coats. It was awful but I see the sun is out today. I hope you have better weather by you. Bon week-end!

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  4. Oh Lordy!

    Chuck the brown underpants at once, woman!

    Brown panties... God.

    Lucky for you they didn't take it upon themselves to start calling you poopy pants:))))

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    1. But they're not dirty! I just washed them with the wrong detergent! I'm such an old-world Italian, I hate wasting things...yes, I scrape mold off food.

      The brown panty incident is long forgotten because I'm learning that 3 year olds have the memory of a puppy. They don't even know what they had for dinner the night before!

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    2. Oh, I didn't mean to imply they were stained in THAT way!:)))

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  5. Kids.

    Outfit sounds adorable! The visible parts anyhow ;)

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    1. Hahaha thanks!

      Aren't kids just the cutest?

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  6. A natural reaction to see what was under the skirt-Expressing his sexuality... Quoi? O.O
    Hilarious , I've never heard that one before. French people are so inventive with their choice of expressions and words.

    You just got to laugh.

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    1. Yep, that's exactly what I did, just laughed because it was so out there. I don't need any 3 year old expressing his sexuality with me! Ahhh, so gross!

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  7. Aww, little Franck, such a darling child... Bet it was his mum that was proud of him too!

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    1. I swear, every week it's something with him...and yes, it was his mom who was proud of him. Wow, you're good!

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  8. Haha at the French parents' reactions! Americans would have been mortified if their children were doing that to the teacher.

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    1. I know! It was so awkward! I was just going to let it go and not say anything because I was embarrassed, then the kids had to go and bring it up!

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  9. This is the best damned post I've read in ages (well period; Cause I haven't been reading posts for ages).

    The offensiveness of the French parents' response is worthy of a book, as is your wonderful description of the icky culottes.

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  10. Maybe seeing that some beautiful girls where horrifyingly unsexy undergarments will stop further attacks. I find France's sexuality a bit disturbing. I hate not being able to dress in normal summer attire without being leered at. They all need to get a grip. Rant over.

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