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French Women Don't Sleep Alone: Pleasurable Secrets to Finding Love Kindle Edition
|Length: 207 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I don't blame the author, I blame the publisher. This "book" is in desperate need of an editor... although had it been properly edited, there wouldn't have been enough content to warrant a book contract. The content contained in this book truly doesn't warrant publication in any form other than a magazine article at best. Really, it's probably better suited to a couple of blog posts.
The author is a woman who had a French grandmother...whom she didn't ever really know very well. She briefly lived in France for a few months in her youth, but left for England as soon as culture shock set in. She doesn't speak French, she's a thoroughly American francophile. What was it again that positions this author as an expert in the mating rituals of French women? Dating in France? Perhaps dating a French man? Oh, that's right -- she has just visited France, read about it, and asked a number of French strangers about their love lives...just like every other American francophile out there.
Please, PLEASE allow me to sum up this book so you don't waste your hard earned cash during a recession:
- Lead an interesting life
- Buy and use perfumes, creams, lotions and fragrant soaps & candles
- Buy and wear matching lingerie every day
- Have an interesting group of friends who you socialize with regularly
- Cook well
I had optimism going in, I am an American woman frustrated with our "dating" culture. I find it exhausting getting all put together for a relative stranger - and costly with new clothes, the perfect shoes. And mostly disappointing - there seem to be lots of toads masqaurading as men.
Okay. So, French women not only don't sleep alone, paradoxically they don't date either. Quelle surprise!! And what, you may ask DO they do...?
They throw dinner parties. Every Friday night.
They invite there "circle". Or they include - to spice things up - their cousin's, cousin's nephew. (?!?!) Or the perfect hostess throws in a new person she met at the bookstore. (Apparently those still exist in France.) And that man is known by the postman, the butcher and the manicurist she goes to - who happens to be that "new" man's uncle's, nephew's girlfriend.
In other words - the French - socialize with people they have known all their lives. This is highly recommended. Because, after all, then the man is "known". And, bien sûr, a dinner party takes the pressure off. Frees a woman from obligation to - as conversely in awkward American style dating - an "unknown" man who is buying her dinner in a one on one situation.
Honestly I like this idea.
But, guess what? Those lucky-duck French women live in the province and town or village they were born in, as were all their pals - and all their family members since the beginning of time. - Which is why they have grandmère's Channel bag*. (wink- wink. See below).
Us American girls moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles for college, then got a job in San Francisco or Washington DC. Our brother lives in Oregon. Our sister lives in Austin, Texas, and we think we have a cousin somewhere in Miami.
A dinner party? For whom? Our cat and that guy from the mail room and maybe the receptionist since she knows everything about us anyway? - Kinda like knowing us since childhood.
You know what else is nifty about French women?
They never wear anything but matching silky underware, they always have a fresh and shining mani-pedi. They are always delicately perfumed and casually yet alluringly coiffed. This way they are always prepared for an impromptu tête à tête, which, so we are told is a regular occurrance and rather the point of the dinner parties. A man is soley for secret rendezvous until they find the "right" one. Then they go public.
To entice men - though really, naturèlment, it's only to please themselves - French women dress impecibly. They mix and never match the precisely slouchy jacket from a thrift shop with an "old thing" that used to belong to their grandmère* - such as a Channel bag or Hermès scarf. (Which they themselves laid out a few thousand Euros for, but saying so would be gauche.)
Earlyish - about 10:30am - they have Manolo Blaniks and Tods ballet flats to slip into along with their Ray Bans or Channel (encore) sunglasses to zip out to puchase a paper and baguette. Pursing their aux natural rosy lips as they chose the best one of each.
But - only after the ritual that all French women take the time for: an extra half hour in the morning for a scented bath. We are instructed to do so as well. And like the French women to apply Tunisian body oil excreated from a three month old baby newt. It makes for soft, dewy and supple skin without oily residue and most of all: without seeming to have tried at all.
THAT is the French way. It is quntissentially French to seem as if no effort went into your ease and perfection in appearance and dress and grooming.
Ha. Clearly - from this book - it's all every French woman thinks about and what they spend all their time and money on.
It seems French women while never sleeping alone also don't ever have to get up to go to work. Or have children. Or pay bills. Or have traffic to drive through. Or indulge a craving for Cheetos and Ben & Jerry's. (Goodness no! French women only nibble, slowly on tiny, tiny bites of food like lettuce, fish and Friday night champagne and chocolate desserts!)
And what's extra special: the men too spend this same care in grooming and dressing and eating so they too are prête pour la tête à tête at a moments notice. Can you say "metro-sexual"?
This book is absurd.
We are accused as Americans of approaching finding a man like finding a job. We're apparently scruffy and under groomed. Definately over blinged according to French sensibilities.
This book is also poorly edited. It gives the same recommendations more than two or four times - for example a certain chocolate dessert is the only one apparently suited for this weekly Friday night dinner party and lest we not take note the first time we are told 3 or 4.
French women do whatever it is they do because they are French, in France.
We, mes amis Americaines, are stuck with Match.com because we are American women living in the US.
French woman may never sleep alone, but American women and culture will never be French.
I've seen quite a few American women let themselves go and stop working to attract the other sex the moment the ring is on the finger and while the words "I do" are still lingering in the air. The mystique that attracted your mate to you in the first place, as the author writes, is then gone.
I blame a lot of this on American television. With "reality" TV, those morning talk shows, the Oprah's and Dr. Phil's, and all the mind-numbing TV in between, we've been programmed to think we need to talk everything out and share every inner-most feeling with the opposite sex until we are blue in the face.
Callan does a wonderful job of highlighting the cares that many French women take to retain the air of mystery, retain their femininity, and thus retain their mate. Much of the advice conveys a less is more approach to life (as long as it's quality), such as maintaining a good skin care routine, using minimal makeup, wearing beautiful lingerie, etc. But what stood out to me the most was the feminine confidence that seems to naturally flow from many French women. They appear very comfortable in their own skin, they are comfortable with flirting, and they don't forget what attracted their mate to them in the first place - the femininity and mystery and allure of being a woman.
This is a fun and quick read, and I'm guessing more relationships might prosper if this is on the bookshelf.
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